Blog about custom sinks

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Copper Sink industry lies to consumers!
This import damaged by hot pans

I receive phone calls all the time from two different types of homeowners. The first type calls indicating they have a nickel plated apron front farmhouse sink and the finish has worn off - generally after just a few months. They want to know what can be done. The answer is NOTHING short of replacing the sink. The "greedy" purveyors of these sinks should, at the very least, be honest with their potential customers and tell them the nickel plating WILL fail. 

The second type of call I regularly receive generally gives me a bit of a scare for a minute or two. These callers do not initially indicate that they DID NOT purchase one of my sinks when they call in tears telling me their sink does not drain properly. In one early instance, I had the caller get a level and check to see if the counter was level. I had them put the level in the sink too! They said their counter was level and so was the bottom of the sink. I started to wonder... could I have possibly sent out a sink that did not drain properly? I know we test drainage over and over. I finally asked, "Did you purchase your sink from us?" The answer was "No... I did a great deal of research and you seem to be the experts on copper sinks and I thought you could help me". Sadly, this research should have been done BEFORE they installed a sink in their kitchen. When I told this caller there was nothing that could be done about the pooling water, she literally started to cry and told me she spent over $65K remodeling her kitchen and now she hates her sink. I have been able to replace many of these horrible sinks, but at a cost that the owner should never have had to pay if proper research had been conducted prior to purchasing the sink.

I am going to make some folks in my industry angry, but I have to sadly say that my industry reminds me of the car business back in the 60's and 70's. I can say that because I had a one year stint in the car sales business back in 1976. I felt like I had to disinfect myself when I got out. The copper sink business is just as bad now as the car business was back then! Many copper sink companies hide, lie about or omit information that an educated buyer should know about before making an investment. Below find some of the hidden, omitted or misrepresented bits of information I have seen online.

1. Use and care - This should be easy to find on a web site and should be explained in detail by the sales person. Use and care is generally well hidden, for good reason! Many indicate you must dry the sink after EVERY use! What intelligent person would invest in a sink like that if they knew that in advance?
2. Country of origin - This information is usually hidden, or even lied about! You should know if your sink is made of scrap that is unlikely purified to U.S. standards.
3. Purity of the copper - Often misrepresented or intentionally lied about. If the company does not have third party independent testing and written proof of purity, assume the worst!
4. Antimicrobial properties - Only companies with E.P.A certification can legally make that claim according to the Federal Government and the E.P.A. They are breaking Federal Law by making those claims. You should demand to see that certification!
5. The differences between annealed (soft) copper and cold rolled (hard copper) have been intentionally misrepresented online to suit the importer.
6. The big lie - If you see something like this: "When you disrupt the finish in the bottom of the sink, the finish will come back like the original." If you hear that and the original finish is NOT the color of an old penny, you are hearing a LIE!
7. Size Matters - Copper sink companies should clearly indicate their tolerances with regard to dimensional specifications in an easy to find location. Some sinks vary as much as 1/2" in all dimensions!
8. Are their sinks true and square? Many won't tell you their sinks might be out of square. If they do, they always say it is because the sinks are hand made. Think about that statement. The pyramids were hand made the the precision was far better than the sink on the right! The sink on the right fits tightly at the top and has a huge gap at the bottom. 
9. Is the inside of the sink lacquered? I have found that this information is rarely offered. A lacquered interior is a disaster waiting to happen! Hot water or a hot pan can ruin the sink!

Lastly, would you really want to do business with a company that intentionally misrepresents their products before the sale? Imagine what the customer service will be AFTER the sale! Invest in the best.

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