Will I hate a low-flow sink faucet & do I need lead -free?

fun2learnJuly 11, 2013

Hi again. I have a few more bathroom sink faucet questions. (Who knew there were so many things to consider for a sink faucet?)

1.) Would I hate having a low-flow sink faucet, or not even notice the difference?

I realized that many of the faucets I am considering are low-flow (1.5 gpm instead of the traditional 2.2 gpm). Our water supply is free from our own well, and water is plentiful out here in southern Maryland (it seems to have rained almost everyday so far this summer!), so I am not too concerned about water conservation at my bathroom sink, at least. We also don't have very good water pressure, either, so I am afraid that a low-flow faucet will really seem low-flow. I want to be able to get things clean, and not have to take longer (and thus probably use the same amont of water anyway!)
Anyone out there have a low flow faucet? Can you tell the difference?

2.) Should I really avoid a faucet that isn't certified as "low-lead" or "lead free"?

Are the older standards that much worse? I also wonder if that just means lower quality plastic parts, or inferior metal is being used to qualify for that "lead free" designation (though from what I learned trace amounts of lead can still be used)? Anyone care to enlighten us about this subject? I have googled and learned a bit about the new Calif. , VT (and now MD, too, I believe) regulations, but not sure how they compare with the old ones, or if it really is an issue. Thanks so much.

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fun2learn

Ok. Here is my "duh, I should have known that " moment. I called the company of the faucet I was considering and asked if I would notice the difference in flow. He told me that if I didn't like the low-flow, all I had to do is change the aerator on the spout (available at any hardware store.) I should have known that. I guess I thought that maybe they did something internally to change the flow. Hope this helps someone.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 11:22AM
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Babka NorCal 9b

We didn't think about that at first either, and it when I whined about the piddle coming out of my shower while at a plbg. supply store, the clerk just said, well, take out the restrictor. Duh....here too. ;-)

Yup. Our hand held shower head had 3 layers of restriction. Took some pulling and tugging and we got them out. The mfg. (Grohe) showed NO parts on their spec sheet for this particular shower head, as they do on the others.

-Babka

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 7:54PM
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lori_inthenw_gw

I haven't bought a sink faucet in a while, so have not seen the lead-free designation. Do you drink out of your bathroom faucet or have kids who do? (Lead is more of an issue for children.) Lead measured in household drinking water is usually from the pipes, not the faucet.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 12:07PM
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fun2learn

Thanks, y'all. Yes, we do drink out of the bathroom faucet when brushing teeth, etc. so I guess I should go with "lead-free". My original concern was that lead-free choices seemed limited and all had low-flow (vs. just "low-lead" choices or regular ones.) I did find a good deal on a nice-looking widespread faucet that is lead-free. I was originally concerned that the low-flow would be an issue, or that "lead-free" meant "plastic parts that would break" but the manufacturer's rep assured me that I could just swap out the aerator if I didn't like the low flow and that it was still made of brass parts, but that they just changed the formulation of the brass to reduce the lead to meet the "lead-free" limitations. I guess my state (Maryland) has just enacted stricter lead requirements anyway. Not sure if they could have sold me a regular one or not, but I have noticed some faucets listed as "not for shipment to CA or VT". Anyway--here is a link if anyone else is interested. I did google for reviews of this company and they have very good reviews, btw. Hope this helps someone else!!

Here is a link that might be useful: inexpensive lead-free widespread faucet

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 1:28PM
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