Q. I am a retired woman and never thought I would enjoy reading about plumbing, until I found your column. I'm planning to have a new kitchen faucet installed and always had a separate spray hose. Now I'm thinking about getting the new style, with the spray hose built right into the faucet spout. I know they are fancy and cost a little more. So, other than style, what benefits will I get for spending the extra money?
A. You're describing what is called a "pull-out" or "pull-down" kitchen faucet. The pull-out style pulls straight out from the spout, while the pull-down has a candy-cane-shaped spout and the spray head pulls down. These faucets give kitchen sinks a very clean look, because the spray-head assembly is removed from the sink rim.
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So, with an extra sink hole available, a soap dispenser can be installed, giving the user an additional kitchen-sink feature. An extra sink hole is just the start. With one spray/spout unit, the faucet is a lot easier to control than having a separate spray head and separate faucet spout.
Plus, whenever you want to do a wash-down or fill a pot, the faucet head is usually in your hand and can be pulled out a few feet.
Finally, pull-out faucets offer normal or spray-flow water settings for filling or washing.
With all these features, it's easy to see why many homeowners pull out their wallets and spend the extra money for a pull-out faucet!
• Master plumber Ed Del Grande is the author of "Ed Del Grande's House Call" and hosts TV and Internet shows. Visit eddelgrande.com or write email@example.com. Always consult local contractors and codes.
Scripps Howard News Service