The Plumber: Looking for a soft-stream kitchen faucet; relaxing recommendation for in-home spa
Dear Ed: My present kitchen faucet has a very strong, dense stream of water that splashes when it hits the sink, dishes, my hands, etc. I’m looking for a new kitchen faucet with a nice soft water flow. Any recommendations?
— Travis, Arizona
Dear Travis: With kitchen and bathroom faucets, the first thing you want to do is make sure you follow your local plumbing codes. Many areas require lower flow rates to save water. The good news is you can usually change out just the existing faucet aerator to a water-saving aerator to meet codes.
In most cases, these aerators cut water use by mixing in a high volume of air with the water while still providing a steady flow. A quality high-efficiency aerator can also cut down on splashing due to the softer air/water mix. So if you want to tame the water flow on your existing faucet, try installing a new water-saving aerator.
If you’re looking for a brand-new faucet, manufacturers do make high-efficiency kitchen faucets with the water-saving technology built in.
Bottom line: You can cut down on splashing and save water at the same time by simply installing high-efficiency aerators and faucets.
Dear Ed: We plan to turn an unused room into an in-home spa. We’re installing one luxury plumbing fixture along with a toilet and sink. What’s your suggestion for a relaxing plumbing fixture we can enjoy for a while versus jumping in and out?
— Joan, Wisconsin
Dear Joan: There’s a lot of good fixture choices out there for in-home spas, such as custom showers, jetted whirlpool baths and steam rooms. While choices like these are relaxing, they may wear you out a little sooner than expected.
So if you’re looking for a plumbing fixture you can enjoy for longer periods of time, you might want to look into a more gentle spalike experience.
I recommend you look into an air bath, commonly called a bubble massage tub. Bubble massage baths have small air holes at the bottom of the bath that release thousands of tiny bubbles to massage you gently as you stretch out in the tub.
So if you’ve ever dreamed of taking a long bath in a big glass of champagne, a bubble massage tub can really wet your whistle.
Master Contractor/Plumber Ed Del Grande is known internationally as the author of the book “Ed Del Grande’s House Call,” the host of TV and Internet shows, and a LEED green associate. Visit eddelgrande.com or write firstname.lastname@example.org