Pre-rinsing in the wild: Select the right pre-rinse unit accessories for real-life function, durability

A T&S accessory tee allows water to be appropriately diverted from the pre-rinse unit to a chemical dispensing unit for sanitizing or other specific cleaning needs

T&S Brass pre-rinse units are the workhorses of many kitchens, and the core components and function of them are pretty straightforward: water plus hose plus spray valve equals cleaning power. What really makes the pre-rinse unit function best for the users and prove valuable to the kitchen operation is the way in which various parts come together to make up the whole.

Selecting and specifying the components and accessories that best align with how pre-rinse units will be used ensures proper function and long-term durability.

Flexible function

For three compartment sinks, which handle a lot of kitchen work from washing and sanitizing to thawing and rinsing, the pre-rinse unit needs to offer flexible function that reflects real-world usage. Add-on faucets are commonly specified for these units, but there are other accessories that should be considered.

A T&S accessory tee allows water to be appropriately diverted from the pre-rinse unit to a chemical dispensing unit for sanitizing or other specific cleaning needs. Cutting into the pre-rinse unit riser and inserting a generic tee, as some users do after installation, introduces potential leak points and, importantly, voids the warranty.

In a dish sink, where an add-on faucet would generally just be in the way, an accessory tee may still be warranted if there’s also a silverware soak at the station.

If the user will be scrubbing pots and pans, consider a brush attachment to protect the spray valve. Users will sometimes scrub hard-to-clean spots with the end of the spray valve, which can loosen seals and shorten the life of the spray face. A nylon bristle brush attachment provides scrubbing capability without sacrificing the integrity of the spray valve.

For all pre-rinse units, regardless of the application, a spray valve swivel is a valuable addition. Twisting and turning are just part of normal pre-rinse unit use, but these movements apply torque to the hose, leading to early wear. The swivel, which allows 360-degree rotation of the spray valve, lengthens the life of the hose and is more ergonomic and easier to use for operators.

Nearly all pre-rinse units should also be specified with wall brackets, which add stability and provide support for the riser. Pre-rinse units are often subjected to hard use and occasional abuse in busy kitchens, and this extra support reduces the wear and tear on the connection between the base and the riser and decreases the opportunity for leaks to develop at wear spots.

Boosting the durability of pre-rinse units

T&S Cerama cartridges are another option for boosting the durability of pre-rinse units. Backed by a lifetime warranty, these cartridges can tolerate the higher temperatures that are often used in pre-rinse units. And since they have only one moving part, there’s less opportunity for leaks or drips.

Other considerations regarding the use of the pre-rinse unit can help guide the selection of certain customizable options. One commonly seen issue is pre-rinse units being subject to abuse and sustaining damage over time from users overextending the hose in order to spray out nearby dish machines or other equipment.

One way to combat the problem is with an overhead swivel arm instead of traditional overhead spring assembly. The swivel arm offers side-to-side rotation but removes the ability for up-and-down motion, eliminating the temptation to abuse the hose by pulling it too far.

Conversely, a T&S balancer is made for extending the hose’s reach by 5 or more feet in order to facilitate rinsing of equipment or to fill nearby sinks.

Depending on how the sink is used, a low-flow aerator on the faucet may be a worthwhile addition. Switching to a 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm) aerator can reduce water waste and boost sustainability. But that approach can backfire if the faucet is commonly used for filling a sink. Not only does restricted flow take more time, it can lead to more waste if an operator walks away during a slow fill and gets distracted, leading to overfill and subsequent dumping.

No matter how you configure a pre-rinse unit, the spray valve choice is one of the leading factors when it comes to performance. The T&S B-0107-J offers the best in performance and conservation, using 1.07 gpm with a narrow, focused spray pattern that cuts through grime like a knife. Other options include low-flow choices and spray valves designed for improved ergonomics.

Whatever the need, T&S Brass has the pre-rinse unit configuration that’s ideal.

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