“Tie Goes to the Leader”
In writing these blogs, I have always prided myself on writing my own copy, as opposed to simply cutting and pasting some one else’s work, and I mean to do so again today. The problem I am encountering, though, is describing Delta’s latest in one word. Actually, it’s not hard to come up with the word. The word is “elegant.” The problem, though, is that everyone else who has written about Delta Fuse has used the same word! But how else would you describe a faucet with such grace?
The Fuse has wondrous curves and comes in honest-to-goodness color! C’mon, now, when’s the last time you saw a faucet with that kind of color? They are available in stainless steel and a choice of three colors: Cracked Pepper, Chili Pepper or Snowflake White. But beyond colors and graceful styling, there is still the simple matter of a faucet that actually delivers the goods, by which I mean one that will last for more than just a few years. Delta actually provides a Lifetime Faucet and Finish Warranty on this item, but what backs that up, besides the integrity of the company itself, is the design of the faucet.
Here’s the problem with water. It corrodes the bejabbers out of plumbing, and it is especially hard on faucets. To mitigate the ravages of time Delta has come up with things like DIAMOND Seal Technology. What that means is that, once inside the faucet itself, water never actually touches anything metal. Some years back Delta went through the interior of faucets with a new broom, completely redesigning them. What they wanted to do was develop more durable components and simpler construction. The end result was a faucet that lasts ten times longer than the industry standard, which is why they are comfortable with a lifetime warranty. I understand they figure these babies will last for as many as five million uses, which is considerably more than an old bird like me is going to need! For those who are younger (probably most of you!), try running the math on that: x number of uses times y number of days times anticipated life span expressed as years. If you’re getting a headache, you can stop!
The other totally cool thing about these faucets is that you can actually install them yourself. Personally, I’m a cabinetmaker, so I like to think I’m fairly handy with such things, but I do NOT like mucking about with plumbing, never have. One of the other things that Delta does, though, is to continually test the ease of installation of their products. When we were there to tour their plant, they had one part of the day when every one of us was under a kitchen or bathroom sink installing a new faucet. They actually set us up with boxed products that are identical to what you would find in a home improvement outlet. They had people on hand to watch us fumble about with the products, but we were actually on our own. Truthfully, it was a snap. This was a conference of bloggers, a fair number of whom never manipulate anything more difficult than a computer keyboard. Everyone did just fine, but then they took it a step further. They actually got us into a room and asked a lot of questions to get an idea of what our experiences were with their faucets, good or bad. I understand that everyone who has reason to enter that plant, from new employees to touring guests like ourselves is put through the paces of installing those faucets and attending a feedback session. It’s because they want to make very certain that the people who buy their products can easily and quickly install them.
However, designing a faucet and installation instructions that simplify that sort of thing is, to me and I think to you, not nearly as big a factor as how well the faucet itself works. One of the things I love in a kitchen sink is a sprayer. One of the things I hate in a kitchen sink is a sprayer that droops. When they’re new, all of them work just fine, but after a while, the holding mechanism fails, and they droop, to such an extent, sometimes, that nothing short of epoxy is going to keep them in place. To solve the dilemma of a handy sprayer that ends up a nuisance, Delta has developed what they call a MagnaTite docking system that holds the sprayer in place with a powerful magnet. And by the bye, if you don’t see the sprayer in these pictures, it’s because they are actually part of the faucet and are designed to pull down when needed and go right back where they belong when they’re not.
I have written about a fair number of faucets in these blogs and expect to write about considerably more as the years go by. But in doing that I am forever mindful of the experiences my blogging partner Joe Dusel and I had when we were privileged to journey to Indianapolis in 2010 for a tour of Delta headquarters. One of the things that impressed me, beyond their incredible hospitality, was the way at which they went at faucet design, that is, tenaciously! I have written about my experiences with them before and won’t repeat that now, but close on two years and several hundred blogs later, I still remember getting a peek into how a Delta faucet is designed.
They were rightfully concerned with keeping their propriety secrets, but it can surely be no secret that they put so much into their design work. I’m the kind of person who sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night and jumps out of bed to write down an idea for a writing passage. These people must do the same thing with their faucet designs. There are definitely other people who go at design just as avidly, but surely the best they can ever hope to do is tie Delta in that department!
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