Thursday, November 26, 2009

Why Do Reverse Osmosis Faucets all Look the Same???

For those familiar with reverse osmosis drinking water systems, you know the water is treated, then fed through separate plumbing to its own faucet.  These faucets are special high-purity faucets that don't leach any of their construction materials into the water, potentially affecting the taste (or worse, if they have lead in them!)

Reverse Osmosis systems typically include a faucet that is often referred to as a "Gooseneck faucet."  Looking at one, its pretty easy to see where the name comes from.  Most are chrome with either a little black or white plastic tip on the end, and a lever on the side which you can either press down to dispense water, or flip up and snap into position to keep the faucet running for filling pots, jugs and larger containers.  These faucets are standard for a reason: they tend to blend in and be unobtrusive - they don't really look out of place anywhere.

That being said, sometimes they aren't quite a fit for some of the more modern, higher-end kitchen faucets out there.  I had a client earlier this month that had that exact concern.  They have a relatively standard stainless steel sink, but have a really nice faucet with a pewter or brushed nickel finish.  Their faucet was very round and curvy and the standard gooseneck RO faucet, while acceptable, certainly didn't add to the look of the kitchen.

I did a little research and came up with a line of faucets that I thought would be very close and offered the client an option to upgrade.  She liked one of the faucets in the brochure I showed her (of course not the one I thought was a "perfect match" but that's not surprising since I didn't get into the water business because of my interior design skills!)

We were able to offer her a trade in for her the Hague branded faucet included with their system since we use a lot of them.  (The Hague H3500 Reverse Osmosis System, our top-line water purification system, has enough pressure to handle up to SIX connections, so most clients have multiuple faucets in their home - one for the kitchen, one in a bathroom/ensuite and one in a wet bar, plus the usual hook ups to their refrigerator, ice maker, and furnace humidifier.)  For a relatively small amount, the client was able to upgrade to the faucet she wanted and not only did she get the purified water she was seeking, but her kitchen looks great with the additional faucet installed.

There were some interesting kitchen installation requirements.  Instead of putting their reverse osmosis system in the basement (the way I prefer it,) this client wanted it in the kitchen - but not under the sink, she wanted it in the adjacent cabinet.  This was an acreage system, not "regular city water" so we had an additional pump installed, as well as a UV chamber for disinfection.  We also ran plumbing through and along the back of their cupboards so we could still connect the ice maker in their refrigerator.  (What good is having premium water if you have terrible ice for your drinks?!??!?)

Really good flow rate from the new faucet!

Tight, but functional.  Client requested installation in an adjacent (12" wide) cupboard, not under the sink as is the norm.  You can see the UV chamber on the top-left of the system, and the booster pump is near the bottom on the right (nestled between the two grey "sumps" of the system.)

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