Pre-rinse Faucets Buyers' Guide
An effective warewashing procedure begins with a step to rinse scraps off dishes before the dinnerware is sent on to be washed. Nothing can streamline that step as effectively as a pre-rinse faucet. If it's your job to find a new pre-rinse faucet for your establishment, this guide aims to help you choose the best one.
Faucet Mounting Styles
Faucets are mounted in one of two ways. Be sure that your setup can accommodate the style you choose:
Splash-mount faucets are affixed to the vertical splash mount or wall behind the compartment sink.
Deck-mount faucets mount to the horizontal "deck" or counter just behind the sink's compartments.
When you're not bound to one style or the other, the best choice may depend on which would put the commercial sink sprayer in the optimal position, which will depend on a number of factors. One mounting style or the other may bring the faucet's sprayer closer to hanging directly over the sink's drain, which is the ideal setup. One of the options may also provide better coverage of all three sink compartments for an add-on faucet, if you choose to install one. That is essential if that's how you'll fill each compartment with water. Check the individual specifications and measurements of each pre-rinse unit you consider and determine if it can be installed so it's both functional and comfortable for the user.
The phrase "on center" refers to the distance between the centers of the faucet's inlets. That distance must be the same as the one between the water supply lines you'll be connecting it to. The most common by far is 8 inches, although you'll also encounter faucets that are made to be mounted on 3-, 4-, and 6-inch centers. Many deck-mounted faucets mount to a single hole in the deck and connect to the water supply by flexible hoses. Such a configuration would render the distance between your water supply lines irrelevant.
About Pre-rinse Spray Valves
Most pre-rinse units come with a spray valve, but that component is also sold separately. The major difference between spray valves is the rate at which they allow water to flow through, measured in gallons per minute (GPM). Flow rates between 1 and 11⁄2 GPM are common for standard commercial sink sprayers, but low-flow units are becoming more common. Low-flow valves use roughly half the amount of water per minute, but are designed to be just as effective at removing food residue from dishes and cookware.
Pre-rinse Unit Styles and Features to Consider
Pre-rinse units come in two main styles:
- Gooseneck faucets are the most common style. These units' hoses are wrapped in a spring that keeps the hose in its curved gooseneck shape while keeping it flexible enough for users to maneuver and use.
- Roto-flex faucets are built with a series of rigid pipes, either in place of or in addition to a flexible hose. Those pipes pivot on several elbow connections that allow the user to move the spray valve around.
Here are a few features and specialty options to look out for as you decide which pre-rinse units will work best:
- Add-on faucets, which are simple swivel faucets mounted near the base of a pre-rinse unit, should be specified on fixtures that will be used with compartment sinks. Add-on faucets let users fill those compartments quickly and efficiently without having to use the pre-rinse sprayer, which is not designed for that purpose.
- Where a full-size pre-rinse faucet might be too large or too heavy-duty for the job at hand, a mini pre-rinse faucet is a good alternative. Most are about half the height of a standard pre-rinse unit and don’t hang out as far over the sink.
- Most pre-rinse kitchen faucets are made with lever handles, but models with wrist handles, club handles, and foot pedal valves are also available to match your specific needs.
- Hold down rings are slipped over spray valve handles, holding the valve open and easing hand fatigue during periods of extended use.