Is faucet quality different at big box stores vs plumbing suppliers?

Is it true that the quality of a faucet is lower at big box stores compared to the same model being sold by plumbing suppliers? It’s often reported that the “guts” of the faucets are plastic at big box stores and metal at plumbing suppliers. But several reports from manufacturers and professionals show this is not the case.

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How do touchless faucets work?

Moen's Motionsense touchless faucet.
Moen’s Motionsense touchless faucet works by waving a hand over the faucet. (Photo: Moen)

Motion activated, or touchless faucets, work when a sensor on the faucets detects hand movement or hand presence, sending a signal to a solenoid controlled valve that lets water flow. Depending on the type of control sensor on the faucet, water will stop flowing either when it senses no more movement or when a hand is waved in front of the sensor again to stop the flow of water.

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Designs that caught our eye: Kräus Oletto kitchen faucet

The Kräuse Oletto single handle kitchen faucet is a contemporary style that would fit into any minimally-designed kitchen. And sometimes you just want to upgrade rather than doing a faucet repair. The Oletto is a good step up for a lot of kitchens and we love the commercial-style spring design that gives this faucet unique character.

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New study says bacteria can grow in kitchen water filters

A new study shows that while activated carbon drinking water filters are capable of removing heavy metals like lead and disinfectants like chlorine, they may actually increase bacterial concentrations in filtered water. The study was conducted on Ann Arbor, Michigan, city water and showed that “filters significantly alter the bacterial abundance and composition of drinking water.”

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Understanding faucet prices

Faucet prices are all over the place and it can be puzzling to look at the array of faucets in a plumbing store or catalog and try to pick out the best one. Faucet prices may be all over the place, but there is a reason for that. Although many faucets look alike, they’re not created equal on the inside. Faucets made of better materials, such as copper or brass, will carry a higher price. But they also offer better performance and a longer life.

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Test water for lead in your home

It is possible there is lead in your water supply, in which case you will want to learn how to test water for lead in your home. Lead can get into the water supply due to the poor quality of water pipes, kitchen or bathroom fixtures or from the pipes that connect a house to the main waterline. It’s important to note that exposure to lead in drinking water has declined significantly in the last two decades due to implementation of the Safe Drinking Water Act and the EPA’s Lead and Copper Rule.

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