Soup’s On: How A Pot Filler Faucet Can Save Your Back And Put The Joy Back In Cooking For A Crowd

For anyone out there that’s ever had to feed a crowd, or makes big batches of stock from scratch, you know – probably too well! – how heavy a big, huge pot full of water can be. You probably also have that one pot that’s just big enough that it doesn’t quite fit in your sink properly, and is as hard to fill and get out from under your faucet as it is to carry. If this sounds familiar, it might be worth looking into installing a pot filler faucet as part of your next kitchen renovation.

Blanco Cantata Wall Mounted Pot Filler - Chrome
Blanco Cantata Wall Mounted Pot Filler - Chrome

Pot fillers, like this Blanco Cantata install somewhere on or around your stove, and have long, tall, adjustable arms that allow you to move the spigot over your biggest, tallest, heaviest stock pot and fill it while it sits right on the burner. That means no heavy pot to carry, no sloshing water, no half-full container, and no back pain. For someone who makes a lot of soup or pasta (both frequently and in large quantities), this is a little convenience that can make your life a lot easier.

Rohl Deck or Island Mounted Swing Arm Pot Filler from the Rohl Country Kitchen Series
Rohl Deck or Island Mounted Swing Arm Pot Filler from the Rohl Country Kitchen Series

I say it should be part of a larger remodel, though, because even if you install it in your counter, as with this Rohl Deck Mounted Pot Filler and not directly into the wall, you still have to run a cold water supply line from your main source (probably your kitchen sink) over to your stove. Now, depending on the layout of your kitchen, this could either be pretty easy or extremely complicated. If your sink is on completely the opposite side of the room from your stove, it might be better to get your water from another source (say, a bathroom with a shared wall) if one is available. But usually a deck mount pot filler only requires a few feet of extra piping and a single hole drilled in your counter top to mount it.

Blanco Grace Pot Filler - Satin Nickel
Blanco Grace Pot Filler - Satin Nickel

For a wall-mounted pot filler, like this Blanco Grace, on the other hand, the new plumbing must be run not only up to the stove but into the wall behind it. That makes it a great project to pair with the installation of a new tile backsplash, but not ideal if you’ve just completed a similar project. A wall-mounted pot filler definitely requires more of the ripping end of construction than the deck-mounted versions, but are also conveniently more customizeable. While deck mounted pot fillers can only fill a pot shorter than the tallest arm, with  a wall mount you can set the height of the faucet to match (or exceed) your tallest pot. And because the water flows pretty much straight downward, even a very tall one can fill a smaller pot without splashing.

Blanco Pot Filler (Deck Mounted) - Chrome
Blanco Pot Filler (Deck Mounted) - Chrome

Be aware, though, that fillers like this Blanco Deck Mounted faucet should be mounted pretty close to your stove so the arm can unfold to be able to reach and fill a pot set on almost any if not all of the burners. If you aren’t installing new counter tops while you’re at it, especially if you have a very hard stone counter, like granite) you’ll probably want professional help drilling the hole (especially if there are any gas or electrical lines anywhere nearby – no reason to play with fire!).

Brizo Two Handle Wall Mounted Pot Filler
Brizo Two Handle Wall Mounted Pot Filler

Once all the major work is done, though, installing a pot filler is a snap, regardless of which kind of mount you use. If you’ve ever done any plumbing, or have a knack for picking up skills from youtube videos, the actual faucet installation is extremely simple. All you have to do is mount a nipple to the supply valve, drill in the hidden metal mount around it, coat the threads of the pipe and the faucet with liquid teflon, twist the faucet into place, and check for level. A little cap will cover the hardware and piping where it attaches to the wall – either snapping into place or secured with a small screw. – which keeps everything neat and tidy. Just remember, this is NOT a job for a pipe wrench! Pot fillers come in wide variety of finishes, from chrome to nickel to this beautiful Brizo Bronze Pot Filler, and a metal wrench with metal teeth will permanently damage all of them! Instead, use a rubber strap wrench, which will get the faucet tight in place without damaging the metal.

Rohl Single Handle Wall Mounted Pot Filler
Rohl Single Handle Wall Mounted Pot Filler

Pot fillers usually have several bending arms designed to be able to reach most areas of your stove, but if you’re looking for something a little less gangly, this Rohl Wall Mounted Pot Filler has a single, kitchen faucet style spigot (okay, maybe a little longer). On the pro side, it takes up a lot less space, and looks a little less like an alien robot arm, but on the other hand, it’ll only be able to fill pots in a much smaller radius, and depending how deep your stovetop, you might actually have to hold the pot under the water to fill it – which, I think, sort of defeats the purpose.

Herbeau Single Handle Wall Mounted Pot Filler from the Royale Series
Herbeau Single Handle Wall Mounted Pot Filler from the Royale Series

But if your problem is with the look rather than the shape, don’t worry – pot fillers come in everything from ultra modern to old fashioned country kitchen style, like this Herbeau Royale Pot Filler, with it’s elegant knobs and classic metal cross handle. Many pot fillers come with two handles, so you can turn on the water at the source and then adjust it as needed over the pot, but one handle works just about as well, if with a little more reaching.

As far as snazzy sink accessories go, I think a pot filler is one of the most useful, especially if you find yourself feeding a lot of hungry mouths. While it does take a fair amount of work to set up the hardware for one, if you’re planning at least a minor kitchen remodel anyway, it’s a relatively inexpensive, easy-to-install project that will add a touch of class to your stovetop, and a lot of ease to your dinner prep. Have you ever used a pot filler, or do you have one in your own home? Is it worth the pain of installation, or would you rather just tote your water from kitchen faucet to burner? Let me know in the comments!