Yes, ένας νιπτήρας" is a wash basin as you'll find in a bathroom to wash your hands. Ένας νεροχύτης" is the kitchen sink.
Here's a Greek proverb: το 'να χέρι νίβει τ' άλλο και τα δυο το πρόσωπο "one hand washes the other and the two the face." And "Νίπτω τας χείρας μου" (Pontius Pilate) This means "I'm not responsible." "I wash my hands of it."
The quote from Pontius Pilate is quite common in Bulgarian as well („измивам си ръцете“), but it is normal for anything even barely connected to Christianity to be similar in both languages.
The first one is a part of one of the most beloved children's songs in Bulgaria, which roughly translated into English means:
Hey little hands, hey those two!
They listen to me the most, woo-hoo!
The one washes the other, and both – the face!
It is such small things that made me fall in love with Greek! :)
Yes, very interesting -- thanks, @Daimon-Dave and @jaye16. The more I learn Greek and Spanish, the more surprised I am by the similarities between those two languages, similarities that seem to be lacking between Greek and French.
It will be an interesting question to dig into one day, after I've learned more of each language.
I got this as a "Type What You Hear" exercise. I knew it was "the sink," but I couldn't remember how to spell the word in Greek, so I wrote what I heard: "Ο νεροχίτις."
Obviously, this was marked wrong. But when Duolingo showed me the correct answer -- Ο νεροχύτης -- I started to think about the three Greek vowels that make an "ee" sound: η, ι, and υ.
Is there a subtle distinction in their pronunciation that I'm missing now but may pick up with practice and experience? Or is it like English, where there's one sound that can be spelled many different ways, and you just have to memorize the spellings of various words?
Alternately, is there any logic to it, like the -ίτις vs. ύτης example above?
I'd appreciate any light that anyone can shed on this. Ευχαριστώ!
Is there a subtle distinction in their pronunciation that I'm missing
Or is it like English, where there's one sound that can be spelled many different ways, and you just have to memorize the spellings of various words?
There are in fact six ways to spell 'ee' in Greek: η, ι, υ, ει, οι and υι. You must have noticed that verbs end in -ει, nouns in -η (neuter nouns in -ι, in singular at least, e.g. δάσος - δάση). There are patterns and you'll learn to recognise them. No masculine nouns end in -ι. Check out this too: https://www.foundalis.com/lan/grknouns.htm
Regarding νεροχύτης, it comes from νερό + χύνω (to spill) so, like most compound words, its spelling is not too difficult to guess, if you have a wide vocabulary. Have patience, if you can spell in English, you will eventually be able to spell in Greek too!
χύνω ( https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%CF%87%CF%8D%CE%BD%CF%89 ) is a verb meaning to pour or flow.
χύτης is a noun derived from that verb meaning something like a "pourer" -- one who does the action of the verb.
So a νεροχύτης is a "water pourer", literally -- the place where water flows down.