Does this water fountain pose a health threat to my cats?

Tatum

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Hello everyone. I bought this water fountain from PetSmart about a month ago. It’s by Whisker City and it’s “stainless steel”, although I’ve since learned that not all of it is stainless steel. I’ve seen some pictures about this particular fountain rusting in some places, which worries me. I’ve kept it clean and ran it through the dishwasher twice. However, I’ve noticed this weird stain discoloration on the fountain part after its run through the dishwasher. If I run my nail across it, I can tell there’s a difference in depth as if I could peel off the top layer but I can’t. I’m wondering if this fountain is just unsafe to use and I should get a different one. This one was $99 before tax, so that’s kind of disappointing. What are your opinions on this? Is this a health risk?
 

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catloverfromwayback

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I just looked at the reviews on PetSmart of this - have you seen them? I'd be inclined to get rid of it. As you said, the bowl may be stainless steel but the other parts aren't.
 
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Tatum

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Is it dishwasher safe? It looks like the color is peeling off.
Everything can go in the dishwasher except for the motor. But yes, it does look like something is peeling off.
 
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Tatum

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I just looked at the reviews on PetSmart of this - have you seen them? I'd be inclined to get rid of it. As you said, the bowl may be stainless steel but the other parts aren't.
Yes, I have seen the reviews, but only after I bought it. I’m disappointed because this is the first time I bought some thing from Petsmart that was so misleading. I saw the reviews afterwards, but was hoping taking care of it properly like cleaning it regularly would help.
 

catloverfromwayback

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Maddening, isn't it, when you have a "Why didn't I read the reviews first?" moment?

Possibly a ceramic bowl might be better - I use the Drinkwell Pagoda and I see it's dishwasher safe (I don't have a dishwasher so can't speak about that).
 
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Tatum

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Maddening, isn't it, when you have a "Why didn't I read the reviews first?" moment?

Possibly a ceramic bowl might be better - I use the Drinkwell Pagoda and I see it's dishwasher safe (I don't have a dishwasher so can't speak about that).
I’ll take a look at that one. Thank you.
 

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First, I'd say, no, the fountain does not pose a health risk but, second, if you don't like it because of poor quality don't keep it.

Even though the bowl is made from stainless steel, it can rust. There are different grades of stainless. Cheaper grades can and do rust. If you are outfitting a restaurant or a hospital operating room, you'll want to have high-grade stainless steel but, in cases like that, the extra cost is worth it. For inexpensive kitchen utensils or pet bowls, the expense of top-grade stainless steel is not worth it.

Rust, by itself isn't usually harmful. Rust is just iron oxide. Iron oxide is often found in drinking water. If you have brown stains in your bathroom drain, they probably come from iron in your water. Unless the amounts are high, there is nothing to be worried about. In fact, some people claim that a certain amount of iron in your water is good for you.

If your water fountain has rust on it, just scrub it off like you normally would. It shouldn't be a problem.

As for the peeling, it's probably nickel plating. I bet that not all the metal in that fountain is stainless. Some of it is probably regular steel that's been nickel plated. Again, nickel is mostly harmless unless the levels are high.

Nickel plating is common. It's done by immersing steel in a solution of various chemicals, containing dissolved nickel then passing electric current through it. The nickel comes out of solution and attaches to the steel, leaving a hard, impervious layer that looks nice and resists dirt and corrosion.

Metal parts are supposed to be perfectly clean before they are immersed in the plating bath. Any contamination will affect the quality of the plating, causing peeling like that. Basically, whoever was working in the plating shop where the parts for your fountain were made didn't do his job properly and left contamination which caused the nickel plating to peel off.

Again, the answer is to clean the parts as well as you can and don't worry about it.

However, if you don't like the fountain because of poor quality or even if you just don't like the product, you shouldn't have to keep it.

I don't know if you can return it and get a refund from the store or not. You can always ask. The worst they can say is no. Right?

If you can't return it for refund, send it to your local thrift store. It's still perfectly good even if you don't like it. Somebody else will be able to get some use out of it.
 
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