Kitchen faucet issues -- just a bad product or expansion tank needed (or ...?)

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NBeener

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Several years ago, I bought and DIY installed a Kohler Graze faucet for my kitchen sink. It has 2+ modes: a fat, single stream (works fine); a 'turbo' fan pattern (works fine), and "Berry Soft" (a fine spray that shoots through a whole bunch of small holes in the spray head, concentric and around the perimeter. It should form a tight column that flares out slightly as it leaves the spray head and heads toward the sink.

But after not a lot of time, it always develops stray streams -- sometimes they don't stray far from the herd; other times, they stray 40+ degrees away, meaning that if the spray head is swiveled the wrong way, and/or the faucet neck is swiveled too far from the sink center. water will hit the adjoining countertop and/or the backsplash. If you don't catch it, you can have a real mess on your hands.

Kohler has sent me several rebuild kits and a couple of new spray heads over the last couple years, but nothing fixes it. I eventually asked them just to replace the entire faucet with a different model that doesn't function the same way.

They sent me an identical faucet. I reluctantly installed that a couple weeks ago.

It's doing it again.

Hooked my pressure gauge to the drain outlet on my 50gal electric water heater. No expansion tank. Baseline PSI = 50#

Ran about 12-15gal of hot out of the tank, then shut it down. Watched the pressure gauge for an hour (I have no life).

Results:

TIMEPSI
843HOT H2O OFF
84860
85348
85855
90390
90847
91340
91880
92352
92887
93347
93864
94373
94846
95350

I wouldn't have expected this much variability, but ... it also doesn't seem bad enough to warrant an expansion tank or to be the likely cause of my faucet issues (no other plumbing/fixture issues in the house).

Or does it??

Could this just be a bad design, and/or consistently poor QA out of Kohler?

My sincere thanks for your time.
 

WorthFlorida

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This post seemed to have just popped up though it's a month old. Is this still a problem?

The chart though good, is the 12-15 gallons discharged each hour? Is any hot water drawn during the hour stamp? What does Hot H2O OFF. Do you mean the cold water inlet valve was closed? Is it well or city water. Does the erratic spray pattern stays constant for the selected mode pr changes for each on cycle?

A max of 90 psi is not all that high. Most residential faucets are designed up to 150 psi.

My guess is you have hard water deposits that rapidly builds up in the spay head. It also be sediments in the water jamming things up. Is there sediments in any other faucets with aerator's?



.
 

NBeener

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Hey! Thanks for the reply!

First ... the stuff that actually DOES matter:

Clinical Trail on a Cancer Drug Started 1/31/24

I wish you all the best of luck in your cancer battle. Truly. I'm terminally ill, so ... I have a pretty clear perspective on what's important in this life. I'm actually just trying to knock down a punch list to not leave silly stuff for my wife to deal with.

"HOT H2O OFF" just represents the time that I shut off the hot water (that I ran to bleed off the 12-15gal of hot water) through the kitchen faucet. I only ran that amount once before logging the pressures. I ran it just to get the water heater to cycle. I didn't shut off the ball valve for cold water supply to the tank, but no other tap was open during the time when I logged pressures. No laundry machines. No dishwasher. Everything should have been off.

We're on city water. From our water utility:

The water supplied by ELCO has a hardness of approximately 35 mg/l or 2 grains per gallon

I understand that's definitely soft water, right?

The 'wild' spray pattern only happens on the "Berry Soft" setting. It's supposed to look like this (very short segment of Kohler YouTube Video). Mine looks like this instead (there are hyperlinks in both instances of the word 'this' in those sentences).

The "sweep" mode (kind of a 'one row' fan pattern) and the "normal" mode (single, fat stream from center of spray head -- like most faucets) work fine.

The aerators in other faucets around the house only ever 'show' debris after our utility has cut into a line to do work (or maybe when the utility flushes fire hydrants annually).

The spray heads come with a 'star knob' wrench that's used to remove the face of the spray head. I've done that numerous times and really found nothing (debris, scale, etc.) of note in there. I use a toothbrush and a mix of dishwashing liquid and vinegar to clean it up before re-assembling. Sometimes that helps for a very short while. Sometimes, not. I think it's just coincidence, really.

Both our showers have adjustable, hand-held showerheads with about eight options for spray pattern. Nothing similar ever happens on those, and no minerals ever seem to build up or affect their flow.

The internals on the spray head include a very fine 'mesh' ring (think of it like a paper-thin, flat micro-perforated washer) that runs around its own channel in the interior perimeter of the spray head. I assume this is the 'diffuser' for "Berry Soft" mode. It seems to me that -- if this mesh ring wasn't just a dead-nuts perfect fit within the housing, then even a tiny bit of water getting past it could shoot out at pretty much any angle.

I had a plumber install an expansion tank since posting my original question here. Didn't affect the faucet issue. He looked at the faucet and -- similarly -- said it isn't an excessive pressure problem. The spray pattern was quite the train wreck when he took a look -- worse than in my video clip.

It's the kind of stupid thing that ... just annoys me ;-)

All the best to you in this battle. Seriously. Cancer ... sucks.

My sincere thanks again.
 

WorthFlorida

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My faucet has two spray patterns and use the heavy center stern about 95%. The other spray was so fine it was useless so I drilled out the holes and help a little faucet is 11 years old and cannot remember the brand. Just a few weeks ago I mentioned to the wife time to replace it. The SS finish has held up pretty good. Just last week I remove the spray head and soaked it a few hours. I also have soft water from the county
 
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