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Things To Remember When Purchasing Plumbing Accessories For Your Restaurant

If there is one thing that is in constant need in a commercial foodservice operation, it’s water.  Commercial faucets and plumbing accessories need to be in place before any operation opens its doors, but purchasing the right pieces is not always easy.  Here are a few tips to bear in mind when shopping for commercial faucets and plumbing accessories.

Types of Faucets

There are a number of varying faucets that appear quite often in the commercial environment.  Here are a few of the most common, and the areas you may find them.

  • Spout Faucets – Available in gooseneck and straight neck varieties, spout faucets are the most common in the commercial foodservice environment.  Ideal for prep sinks, mop sinks, hand sinks or dish sinks, spout faucets can be found in sizes or configurations that suit all standard sinks.
  • Pre-Rinse Faucets – Intended for the commercial dishwashing area, pre-rinse faucets feature a spray nozzle attached to an extended flexible hose.  Pre-Rinse Faucets can come with or without a spigot, and come in a variety of different configurations.
  • Bar Faucets – Intended specifically for low height bar sinks, bar faucets are essentially smaller spout faucets.  They tend to come on smaller centers and are designed specifically to be lower profile.
  • Utility Spray Faucets – Similar to pre-rinse faucets, utility spray faucets are attached to a flexible hose that does not hang vertically.  These faucets are ideal in instances where the power of a spray nozzle is required, but extended flexibility is needed.  These spray faucets are perfect for vegetable prep sinks or mop sinks.
  • Pot Fillers / Wok Faucets / Specialty Faucets – There are a number of extended length single valve faucets on the market intended for quickly filling things like stock pots.  These faucets are typically wall mounted (though there are some exceptions), and usually swing to better facilitate filling.  Wok faucets are similar to these stock pot fillers, however they are activated by swinging them from one side to another.  Typically wok faucets are positioned over a wok range so cooks can seamlessly add water to cool down a wok without having to constantly turn the faucet on at the tap. There are other specialty faucets on the market, including things like glass fillers or faucets for ice cream dipperwells.

Mounting Options

There are several standard mounting options that commercial faucets are manufactured to.  Each mounts differently, and not all faucets will fit all sinks.  Be sure to find faucets that mount in ways specific to the sinks you purchase, and vice versa.

  • Splash Mount – Splash mount faucets are meant to affix directly to the backsplash of a commercial sink.  These faucets come on 4” or 8” centers, which are standard for most commercial sinks.  There is one center chamber that connects both the hot water and cold water taps.
  • Deck Mount – Similar to splash mount faucets, deck mount faucets operate in the same manner, and also come on 4” or 8” centers.  The primary difference between deck mount and splash mount faucets is that deck mount faucets mount on flat surfaces rather than a backsplash.
  • Wall Mount – Wall mount faucets affix directly to pipes protruding from a wall, and then tighten to connect with a sink.  Similar to splash or deck mounts, wall mounts are also found with 4” or 8” centers, and feature the same center chamber that connects to a spout.
  • Pantry Mount – Pantry mount faucets, unlike the other varieties, do not come on centers.  Pantry mount faucets are designed to mount on a single hole, regardless of whether they are single or dual valve units.  Traditionally, these faucets are used when space is of more importance than water flow, as their smaller footprint also tends to decrease the water that passes through them.

Additional Accessories

There are a number of accessories that can be purchased for faucets and sinks that can improve performance, of custom tailor faucets and sinks to your specific needs.  Things like knee or foot pedals for hand sinks are available, as well as replacement spouts, jointed spouts (for instances where extra length is needed occasionally), commercial straining drains and all other pieces of commercial restaurant plumbing are available a la carte.  This allows businesses owners the option to replace only pieces of their plumbing rather than having to buy pieces they don’t need.

All companies that offer commercial plumbing (and residential plumbing) and accessories currently offer both standard and low lead models.  There are currently some states, such as California, that mandate all plumbing accessories be low lead compliant, but as of January 2014 that will change.  There are new national low lead mandates going into effect in early 2014 that will mandate all plumbing be low lead, and manufacturers are already beginning to phase out standard models and replacing them with their low lead counterparts.