What’s in Your Water and Cartridge?

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Solder from Piping in Cartridge

Debris in Aerator

Debris in Cartridge

Minerals from Water Built up on Spray Head

Debris or Minerals in your water supply can cause issues with your faucet.

A cartridge is the most important part of the faucet. It mixes the hot and cold water and turns the water on and off. A partially or fully blocked cartridge can cause several different issues including dripping, leakage at the base of the faucet or through the body down under the cabinet. It may cause only the hot or cold water to have low flow.
It is not difficult to replace a cartridge, but if you do not find the cause of the blockage replacing the cartridge may not be a permanent fix.
A block cartridge immediately after installation is usually the result of minerals built up in your plumbing braking up and coming lose from the walls of your piping when you disconnect you old faucet or sink. If the person installing your faucet does not thoroughly flush out these mineral particles out of the system before installing the new faucet, a blockage may occur. In the lower-left picture, you can see small particles that were in the aerator of the new faucet.

Debris can also come from installation or modification of your plumbing system such as new piping or replacing shut off valves. The two top images below show solder and shavings caught in the cartridge. In this case the homeowner had his valves replaced before installing the new faucet. You can see a piece of solder and the shavings from cutting the pipe in the photo.
Hard water is particularly hard on all faucets but Kitchen faucets because they have the most moving parts, have the longest water channel and used the most, are more likely to have issues. Water softeners DO NOT solve all mineral issues. Softeners remove much, but not all minerals and most systems are installed only on the hot water. If you need a softener, you may be more prone to issues. The lower-right photo below shows mineral build-up on the spray head of a Cygnet Faucet. While you see it on the exterior, it is also building up inside the faucet, and on the flow-to-spray switch.

Apron Front/Famhouse Sink that Fits Most New and Existing Cabinets

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FSR3312APF-7 Genoa for New and Existing Cabinets

The New FSR3321APF-7 Apron Front/Farmhouse Sink works with most new and existing cabinets. To install, you remove the false drawer and remove a shipping piece from the sink. The apron then drops over the front panel of the cabinet. The FSR3321APF-7 Genoa is a PerfecFlo™ sink. Watch the Video on the PerfecFlo Video page listed in the menu at the top of this page. The picture below is a section of the apron front.

Cross Section View of Apron

How to Clean a Stainless Steel Sink

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  • To clean a stainless steel sink ANO recommends Barkeeper’s Friend and a green Scotch Brite Pad. You do not need to be gentle on the sink, but you should scrub with the brushing. If you sink does not have a brushed finish you will not be able to cover scratches. DO NOT use steel wool or other steel products. These products will leave behind metal dust that will rust. The rust can normally be removed with Barkeepers Friend and Scotch Brite pad.
  • Do not use the sink as a cutting board particularly with high quality hardened knives!!! This will leave scratches in the steel that will be very hard to remove.
  • Use grates fitted to the sink like Eclipse grates. Make sure you remove the grates clean under the grates particularly the legs regularly. Failure to clean under the grates can leave small stains under the legs.
  • If you use a rubber pad on the bottom of the sink make sure you lift it and scrub the sink at least once a week.
  • Acid-based cleaners will harm the sink so avoid them.
    On a brushed finish sink, you can remove minor scratches with abrasive scratch removers. We use a product by the name of Scratch Away which is available on the internet.
  • When scrubbing heavy pots protect the sink with grates or other protective accessory. If you rest a pot directly on the sink while you scrub it, it can slide causing slide scratches.
  • Most rust spots are the result of surface rust from sources other than the sink such as the water supply or cans and can usually be removed by a thorough cleaning.
  • Note, if you have a polished finished sink (sometimes called a mirror finish) it will be very difficult to repair. If you have what is marketed as a matte or satin finish, it means there is no finish at all. The sink is stamped and send it to market. Scratches will be impossible to repair.

 

You Can Spend To Little on a Stone Countertop

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We have all seen the plastic lawn signs by the side of the road advertising unrealistically low price for granite countertops. How can some contractors make granite countertops so cheap?

Sometimes they can't and will try and bait and switch you to a higher price when you meet them.

Some do not have proper insurance. Liability insurance is expensive, but it protects the customer if something goes wrong. The law requires workmens' compensation insurance. If the contractor does not have the insurance, the homeowner can get stuck if there is a problem.

Not all granite is the same quality even if it has the same name. Commercial grade granite can be duller and less attractive or have more defects and carbon spots

Some contractors use mismatched slab. This happens when there are leftover slabs (orphans) from a particular block of slabs. They might have the same name but can be far different – see pictures. The only way to avoid this is to approve all slabs that will be used in your top and make sure the slabs are number consecutively. This is particularly important on slabs with a lot of graining or colors.

Installers working on the cheapest countertops also do not have the time to install proper bracing or finish seams and edges properly.