Do you know that most people don’t bother understanding how a kitchen faucet functions until it develops some problems? Remember, not all faucets are made in the say, and hence they operate differently.
For instance, although the water pressure difference is the basic principle that is applied in all types of kitchen faucets, it does not mean they function in the same way. The operational mechanism significantly varies from one model to another. The valves type used in a particular faucet is one of the significant differences in the inner functionality of a specific tap.
Types of Valves
There are four types of valves in any kitchen faucet. These are:
The compression valve. It is the most uncomplicated faucet among all other types of the kitchen faucet. A compression valve comprises a screw stem which is driven up and down by turning it. A rubber washer is usually fixed at the bottom of the stem. When you turn the handle in the clockwise direction, the rubber washer and the stem is raised, thus opening the water inlet, which in turn allows water to pass through the faucet body hence coming out via the spout. Turning the faucet in the opposite direction (anti-clockwise direction), the rubber pressures on the bottom of the valve, thus closing the water inlet, thus blocking any further water flow.
The ball valve.
This type of ball valve comes with a steel ball as the main controlling component that regulates the water flow. The ball valve design resembles a network of grooves aligned to match the hot or the cold water inlets. Once you turn on the handle, the water flow is opened that allows for the water passage. It is common to control the water temperature and the flow rate using the adjustable ball.
The Cartridge valves.
These valves have become the most common types of faucet in use today when compared to both the compression and ball valves. One of the main features of all cartilage valve faucets is that they have a small plastic or brass cylinder. The cylinder features a network of channels in which water flows through once you press the handle. Moreover, these channels make it possible to regulate the water pressure and temperature according to your needs.
Most cartridge valves come with an O-ring, which is used to seal the cylinder bottom, thus preventing the water leakages near the edges. Cartilage valve based faucet are usually multi-purpose; hence they can handle both the double and single handle configurations.
The ceramic disc valve. These faucets have become the most popular valves today, mainly because they are strong and durable. These faucets come with two rotating discs that have channels that line up when you are turning the handle, thus letting in water flow through them. Moreover, the discs can regulate the water flow rate and temperature.
How does a touchless kitchen faucet function?
In terms of technology, the touchless kitchen faucets are the most advanced and effortless. Unlike the other faucet types that come with a handle to turn on and off the water flow, this touch fewer faucets make it possible to turn on and off the water, regulate the water pressure and temperature without touching the faucet itself. However, note that these faucets still uses the valves described above only that they have an advanced trigger mechanism that brings all the difference. The main parts that bring the difference include the:
The Sensor mechanism.
A touchless kitchen faucet comes with a sensor mechanism that is installed near the base or at the tip of the spout. The sensor can automatically detect any presence of hand when placed under the spout, which turns on the faucet. The sensor mainly comprises an infrared light and a detector that functions simultaneously. When an object (your hand) is brought near the spout lip, the infrared light rebounds off your skin to hit the radar, which in turn triggers the faucets valve. Other types of touchless faucets use an ultrasonic field sensor, which is activated by small movements of your hand, cuts the fields.
The difference between the standard valves in other faucet and those in the touchless tap is that the later is simply solenoid valves operated using the electrical polarity. Unless the sensor signal triggers these valves with rubber-like discs, they will remain closed. Once the lid is opened, the water flow is allowed. Remember, a touchless kitchen faucet requires a power source for operating, and in most cases, a low voltage alternating current transformer or a dry cell battery is used. The touch- on faucet mechanism is another unique feature of these touchless faucets as it allows you to stop the water flow. Others come with a manual control panel.
When you Understand how kitchen faucet functions can help you in many ways, for instance, it enables you to make a better purchasing decision. Moreover, knowing how your kitchen faucet works can aid in tracing the causes of a problem in your faucet system.