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How Does a Touchless Faucet Work – Explained by Industry Experts

how does touchless faucet work
Written by Jenny Molin

Have you ever spent up to an hour in the kitchen? You can attest to the fact that the faucet is the most used fixture. Sometimes, you will lose count of the number of times you’d have to turn it on or off. With such usage, there is the tendency that it’ll attract the most dirt and germs. You can control this by installing a touchless faucet.

Touchless faucets allow you to enjoy water flow by waving your hand under the spout. The flow stops once you remove your hand. It will enhance your hygiene, convenience, and the ease of completing the tasks in the kitchen.

Using a top-notch touchless faucet in the kitchen can be a lot fun. But wouldn’t you wink your face if you’re asked how does touchless faucet work? This article will discuss its functioning as well as its maintenance tips.

How Does a Touchless Faucet Work?

The working procedure of touchless faucets is totally different from the mechanism of touch faucets. The first step to analyzing the way touchless faucets work is to look at their parts. Each of the parts contributes to the general functioning of the faucet which we’ll discuss in the next section.

Different Parts of a Touchless Faucet

The main parts of a touchless faucet are:

1. Solenoid Valve

The positive or negative signals from the sensor control the solenoid valve. The polarity of the signal determines if the solenoid will either engage a pull or push actions. The valves control the water flow by using a rubber-like disc. When there is no signal, the valve is closed, meaning no water flow through the faucet. The presence of a hand will send a positive signal to the solenoid causing it to pull the valve open for water to flow. The solenoid will close up the valve by a push action when the hand is no more.

2. Sensor

The work of the sensor is to forward the signals to the valve to turn on the faucet after detecting your hand. Its job is to inform the valve when to start or stop the flow based on the presence or absence of your hands. It has either an infrared light or ultrasonic sensors. In most cases, infrared lights sensors are often placed at the lip of the spout.

So, what about the infrared light and ultrasonic field sensors? When your hand gets close to the lip of the spout, the infrared light reflects on the infrared detector. And immediately, the valve will receive a positive signal to turn on the faucet. In an ultrasonic field sensor. The water flows from the faucet when your hand movements come disrupts the sensors. In like manner, the flow stops when you remove the blockade.

3. Power Source

In fact, there is nowhere you can operate a touchless faucet without electricity. Some touchless faucets are battery powered. You can connect a lot of others to the public power supply through the socket on the wall.

The solenoid valve of a battery-powered touchless faucet remains in an open position. It can only change if it receives an electric signal from the sensor to push back to a closed position. The AC powered faucet maintains the solenoid valve in an open position.

4. Spouts

All other parts of an automatic touch faucet are housed by the spout. They are available in different materials. The expensive models are often made of brass. The while the cheap types are of zinc materials.

Most manufacturers often cover the faucets with chrome or nickel. This is to enhance its appearance and durability.

You’ll find spouts of different styles. Most of the time it comes with a pull down or a pull out faucet style. They often match with your kitchen fixtures and lifestyle.Faucet spouts are some of the things that will make your visitors wish to spend more time in your kitchen. Thus, you should pay more attention to the finish and shape of the spout as well.

Moen 7594EWSRS Arbor Motionsense Wave Sensor Touchless One-Handle Pulldown Kitchen Faucet Featuring Power Clean , Spot Resist Stainless
  • SPOT RESISTANT: Spot Resist Stainless finish resists fingerprints and water spots for a cleaner looking kitchen
  • ONE SENSOR: MotionSense Wave features single-sensor touchless activation, allowing you to easily turn water on and off with the wave of a hand.
  • POWER CLEAN: Power Clean spray technology provides 50 percent more spray power versus most of our pulldown and pull-out faucets without the Power Clean technology
  • RETRACTABLE: Equipped with the Reflex system for smooth operation, easy movement and secure docking of the spray head
  • FLEXIBLE DESIGN: Designed to be installed through 1 or 3 holes; escutcheon included

How Does the Technology Work?

Touchless Faucet Work

Almost all the touchless faucets on the market have a feature that allows you to open or stop the water flow. This is by touching of the handle which is often controlled by the sensor at the handle.

The touchless faucet uses a simple mechanism called the capacitive technology. In this system, the sensor interprets sudden changes in the capacitance. It uses electricity to find the exact value in the rise or drop in conductive air or dielectric.

This concept is often used by various manufacturers of touch sensing gadgets. Since capacitance is a form of electricity. Its unit is measured in Farads. It is possible that your body can generate this capacitance in minute levels. The work of the sensor is to measure the value and analyze the difference. So, anytime your hand touches the handle of the faucet, the value of the capacitance increases and the water will flow. The sensor will measure a drop in the capacitance when you touch the handle again. This will make the flow of the water to stop.

Now, how does a touchless faucet work in some models? Here, the location of the sensor is at the lip or base of the spout. Once it detects your hand. The water flows immediately and then stop when your hand is out.

You might be wondering why the water flows each time you lay your hands on any part of the faucet. This is because the sensor is linked to the body of the faucet which is also metal. So, by touching the spout or handle of the faucet, the sensor picks the signal and immediately, the flow starts.

Even so, you should ensure that the faucet is free from metal objects. This is to prevent it from affecting the proper working of the sensor. One of the ways to curb this is by following the manufacturer’s instructions, especially on installation and maintenance.

Maintenance Tips

The cleaning of touchless faucets should be like ordinary faucets. But you should be careful with the electrical components.

  • Try your best to avoid the use of harsh chemicals on the surface of the faucet. Also, keep chemicals far away from the battery pack.
  • Be careful to replace the battery with the right size. The rating and functionality must same as the original.
  • And finally, don’t discard the battery in fire.

To sum it up, knowing the functioning of a touchless faucet will enable you to use it comfortably for long either in the home or restaurant. A touchless faucet can impact on your cooking environment. This can be in many positive ways you could never imagine. It is one of the first fixtures to consider while remodeling your kitchen area.

About the author

Jenny Molin

Interior Design Artist

Hello, I’m Jenny. I’ve been an interior design artist by profession since my B.S. in Interior Design. I’m a minimalist and prefer to save space when choosing fixtures, sinks and fittings. My style tends to make the most out of the least amount of space. The idea behind every interior design project is unique and it reflects personal style, taste and tradition. I’ve learned more when working than I ever did while I was studying in college. I worked in more than 12 hundred households all across the US and got positive feedback. I’ve been working with FaucetsReviewed as one of the founding members and regularly contributing to the site via testing and reviewing various interior fittings and fixtures.

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