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Buying a Single Handle Faucet

Single handle faucets are much easier to install than double handles, requiring just one hole on the countertop. They’re also a popular choice for older homeowners who may find it difficult to operate a double-handle faucet.
When buying a single-handle faucet, you should consider its finish and how it will be attached to the sink. Deck mounts require holes in the sink or countertop, while wall-mounted models free up space on either side of the faucet and can be mounted to the exterior of a home.
Finish: Chrome is the most common finish, and it complements most sink materials. Other finishes include polished nickel and brass, which look good with porcelain, enameled cast iron or composite sinks and tile or stone countertops. You can even choose a white porcelain or matte black finish for an extra touch of design panache.
Spout: Single-handle kitchen faucets often have a swivel spout, which makes it easy to rinse and fill large pots and pans. High-arc spouts are available for extra room in the sink, but they don’t work as well with small or narrow sinks.
Aerator: Faucets that feature an aerator help reduce splashing when you use the faucet. These are usually made of mesh and have multiple tiny streams that break up the water flow, reducing the volume without losing pressure.
Installation: Many models have a quick-connect system, which allows you to quickly connect the faucet to your supply lines. Some models also come with braided supply lines, which help prevent leaks and damage.
Sprayer head: Some models come with sprayers attached, which make it easy to rinse and wash vegetables, fruits or herbs. They’re available with a variety of spray patterns and water temperature settings.
Leaks: A single-handle faucet can leak if the hot and cold valves are worn out, or if rubber gaskets or O-rings are damaged. You should replace these parts with a model-specific repair kit to get your faucet functioning again.
Cartridges: A faucet’s cartridge is the most important mechanical part of a tap, controlling how water flows through the faucet. Cartridges are usually manufactured of stainless steel or brass, but some plastic versions have been developed to save money and increase the faucet’s durability.
Springs: A faucet’s ball valve is another crucial component. Compared to cartridges, they have a greater tendency to wear out over time, especially when used frequently. To keep them working properly, you should change them as soon as they’re noticeably worn.
A faucet’s handle can also be a problem, especially when it becomes difficult to lift up and down. If the handle is not turning smoothly, you should disassemble it and clean away sediment or mineral buildup to ensure it works properly. If this doesn’t solve the problem, you may need to replace the cartridge.
You should also check your faucet’s seals, which protect against water damage and wear over time. They’re most likely to need replacing if they become clogged with scale or mineral buildup. To remove the buildup, swab it with a cleaning solution and then wipe the inside of the cartridge with a soft cloth to eliminate excess residue.

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