Building a Better Mousetrap

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It is Hard to Buy a Better Mousetrap

In the nineteenth century, Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.” Sounds right except when Emerson was speaking there was no internet and there were no big box stores. Today he might say, “Build a cheaper mousetrap, regardless of quality…”

In today’s marketplace, the lead is nearly always price. On the internet, it is impossible to tell a good faucet from a cheap plastic version of the same thing. Even brands are not sacred. Most big manufacturers make cheap versions of their mainline product for the big box stores and internet.

In the picture below, a Freendo faucet we sell is side by side with the knockoff sold at a big box store. The big box store version is sold to the public for about our wholesale price. Notice, the finish on the big box version does not have the highlights our version does. The big box store has a plastic cartridge instead of a longer lasting ceramic cartridge, and when you get it home – the drain is not displayed in the store – the plug and drain are all plastic.

And it is not just this manufacturer. The big box store calls in the manufacturer and offers to purchase large quantities of the product but dictates the price. The manufacturer then goes back and makes the product fit the price. When the product shows up on the internet, there is no way to tell from the pictures which version of the product you are buying. Often the only packaging difference is the part number.

What does that mean to you?

It means it is hard to get a better-quality product, any product.

Recently, ANO was interviewing manufacturers of ceramic lav bowls to improve the quality of the product. The manufacturers were so accustomed to price only purchasing that it took months to find one who was willing to upgrade quality, even at a higher price. ANO’s needs were simple, or so we thought. Our customers wanted the following:

  1. A finish free of dimples, dust, and bubbles
  2. A consistent size – one major manufacturer recommends 5/8 inch overhang because the bowls vary so much
  3. Glazing that went to the top of the bowl, so the installer did not need to install a large caulk bead to hide the unfinished bowl
  4. Flat top so it lays flat on the countertop
  5. Glazing that went into the overflow hole, so the chrome drain cap was not required.

ANO was willing to pay a premium for these features.

It took months to find a manufacturer willing to even discuss these issues. We have now made arrangements with a factory that meets these needs. ANO is getting the top ten percent of the production runs to avoid the defects and size differences. The sinks are sanded to lay flat on the countertop, and so the glazing goes to the top. ANO is also inspecting the bowls to make sure we get what we require.

At the bottom is a picture of the gazing on the new ANO lav bowl.

Cygnet Stainless Faucet Features

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Features of Infinity Series Stainless Faucets

  • Solid Stainless Steel, so they heavy and are built to last as long as the granite
  • On/Off handle is forward motion only, so there is no interference with backsplash.
  • New swivel top hose
  • Lead-free not just meet the code but truly lead-free.
  • Faucets are sand cast stainless steel, so all components match. Many other brands faucet have more than one color tone.
  • Excellent color match to the Infinity and Decora Series stainless steel sinks.
  • Solid Stainless means no finish to come off, and minor scratches can be buffed and repaired.
  • Spring retraction system so there is no weight to bang on plumbing or hang up on items stored under the sink.
  • Popular styles
  • Quieter long-lasting vinyl hose.
  • Soap dispenser with longer spout, so it does not drip on granite or rundown sink.
  • Parts are easy to replace if

PerfectFlo™ Small Radius Fabricated Sink

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Problem Solved!!

Small Radius Fabricated sinks have a great modern look and are increasing in popularity.
Current manufacturing process for Small and Zero radius sinks does not allow for good drainage. Standing water in these types of sinks is common.
ANO presents the PerfectFlo™ Sink that solves the problem. Watch the video and judge for yourself.

Models Coming in May

  • FSR-3219 Single Bowl
  • FSR-3310A-PF Apron Front for Farm Sink Cabinet
  • FSR-3307A-PF Apron front for existing Cabinets
  • FSR- 2318-12PF – Laundry Sink 12″ deep

A Faucet that Does Not Work is Not Always Defective

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We recently received a call from a consumer who said that there was water leaking from the base of his faucet, from the flow to spray button on the head, the faucet would not switch from flow-to-spray, and the on-off handle sometimes stuck when turning the faucet on or off.

That is a lot of issues for one faucet, so Jim decided he needed to take a look so he scheduled an appointment.

First, he removed the aerator and found a good deal of debris – see the bottom picture.

He then removed the cartridge – the part under the handle that turns the water on and off and mixes the hot and cold. Inside the cartridge, he found a drop of solder that must have come from the pipes where it was left when the valves were changes. The handle was sticking because of the drop of solder. When the handle was forced, it shaved the drop of solder, and the shavings continued into the faucet blocking the flow-to-spray switch.

The homeowner was not there when the faucet was installed, so he did not know if the valves were changed. When Jim wiped the cabinet after finishing the repair, he found the large drop of solder in the cabinet that was left behind by the install.

When a new faucet is installed, the water lines should be flushed thoroughly before the water lines are hooked up. Flushing would have removed the solder and other debris in the lines and avoided the leaks and service call.