Pot fillers take the hassle out of pasta preparation

Some time ago, commercial kitchens discovered a solution to the problem of lugging around heavy pots of water. Instead of hauling the load from sink to burner, why not install a faucet at the stove designed specifically for filling up pots?

Pot fillers have since become a popular feature for residential kitchens as well. The flexible fixture extends from the wall, allowing you to pour water into a pot that has been placed on the stove. Once you're finished, a pot filler can simply be folded back against the wall so it isn't in the way.

The most obvious benefit to this feature is that it makes work in the kitchen a little easier. A gallon of water weighs eight-and-a-half pounds. Riverbend Home, a New Hampshire home renovation company, says carrying a pot with several gallons of water can be strenuous, especially if you have back problems, arthritis, or other ailments. By filling up at the stove, you'll save yourself this difficulty.

There are two ways to install a pot filler by the stove. WalterWorks Hardware, a company in Annapolis, Md., says deck-mounted pot fillers are more traditional since they are attached to the kitchen sink or countertop. Wall-mounted pot fillers are generally closer to the stove, allowing you to pour water into a pot after it has been placed on a burner.

Wall-mounted pot fillers usually require more effort to install. Chris Deziel, writing for SFGate, says the fixture needs to connect to a cold water pipe. If none is available near the stove, it can be quite costly to install the necessary plumbing.

You'll also want to make sure that the dimensions of a pot filler will accommodate your kitchen and kitchen supplies. The fixture should be installed high enough that your pots will fit underneath it, and should retract far enough that it won't be in the way while you're working at the stove.

There are a few disadvantages to a pot filler you'll need to consider as well. The fixture typically costs hundreds of dollars, plus the price of installation. Toulmin Cabinetry & Design, a kitchen design company in Tuscaloosa, Ala., says this money might be better spent on a number of other features.

Adding a plumbing fixture means there's more risk for a leak. A dripping pot filler or leaking pipe can damage your stove as well as the kitchen's walls and floor. A pot filler should have two shutoff valves to ensure that you'll be able to stop a leak.

A pot filler is designed to be stylish and aesthetically pleasing, but it can also mean more cleanup work in the kitchen. Deziel says a pot filler located by the stove will have to be cleaned regularly since it will be stained or tarnished by grease, heat, and smoke produced while cooking a meal.

You'll also want to consider how often you're likely to use a pot filler. It can be useful if you're frequently filling pots to make pasta, steam lobster, or otherwise require a supply of boiling water. Otherwise, it will be more cost effective to simply deal with lugging the occasional pot of water to the stove.

However, the secondary source of water a pot filler creates can also be quite useful. The Delta Faucet Company says the fixture can be a convenient way to fill up flower vases, kettles, humidifiers, coffee pots, and water bottles.

Pot fillers also make it easier to multitask. WalterWorks Hardware says they can help free up the sink, which can then be used to wash vegetables or perform other tasks and save time during meal preparation. Riverbend Home says you can even use a pot filler to soak pots and pans on the stove while doing dishes.

While a pot filler can eliminate the task of carrying water from the sink to the stove, you'll still need to carry water back to the sink once the meal is done. One option to avoid this step is to install a drain near the pot filler to discard any used water.


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