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How Do Touch Faucets Work: Mechanical Engineers Guide You!

how do touch faucets work
Written by Jenny Molin

We all know that the faucet is the most-used fixture in a kitchen or bathroom setting. They are used so much that many become tired of manually turning them on or off and then they start looking for touch faucets.

If you’re one of those people but their functioning is a mystery to you, we’re here to explain the mechanism in detail. How do touch faucets work? Read on to find your answer.

Different Parts of the Touch Faucet

Touch Faucets Work

  • The Sensor

The sensors are the main functional part of the touch faucet. They work under the impression of ‘capacitive sensing’ that’s triggered by the human electrical charge.

These taps are composed of two sensors: one is appointed in the handle, and the other one in the spout, or sometimes at the tip of the spout. When silver, copper, or any other conductive material make a contact with the detector, it becomes an extension of it.

You can physically touch these detectors with your hands, nose, elbow, or with anything that is convenient at that time, to pour the water. To turn it off, you need a second touch; however, some models have a timer set in.

  • The Spout

The spout offers refuge to all operating parts. They are available in different shapes: standard, pot filler, and gooseneck. Touch faucets usually pick the gooseneck.

They are made of copper, zinc, and brass materials so they can hold the sensor and batteries in the place with reliability. Plus, the spout’s chrome and nickel finishing upgrade their durability and look.

The lips of the spout clutch an aerator screwed that controls the flow of the water. The aerator ensures water flow comes straight down to the target area instead of spraying all over the sink.

  • The Valve

The solenoid valves function when electrically stimulated. Touch faucets use these valves to control the water flow in the faucet. These valves are attached to the detectors and listen to their call.

When you touch the sensory parts of the faucet, they convey a message to the valve that it responds to accordingly.

The tap opens the water flow with a touch and requires another touch or a timer to stop, unlike the touchless ones. In touchless faucets, water flow starts when you bring your hand under to clean and automatically turns off when you move your hands away.

  • The Power

The sensors and valves can’t work on their own; they need an electric supply to function. These type of taps usually run on a battery, which can run short of energy and stop working. You need to make sure that the batteries have enough power to work flawlessly.

Nowadays the manufacturing companies are installing LED lights in these fixtures to help you replace the batteries. But not all faucet models have the same voltage consumption. Some of them use less voltage while some require more.

How Do Touch Faucets Work?

The touch faucet’s technology is quite identical to the touchscreen smartphone technology. There are two capacitive touch sensors – one is fixed in the spout and the other in the handle. They sense the capacitance – an electric charge that the human body possesses. These built-in sensors detect any fluctuation in capacitance of the 100-200 picofarads (pF) range.

The composition of the faucet’s handle and the spout is brass (conductive), which turns the full faucet into a touch sensor. When these faucets are attached to a metal sheet, silver, copper, or any other conductive materials, they also start working as a detector. You don’t have to worry about finding the exact place of the sensor to turn it on.

In a simple picture, to start or stop the water flow, you need to touch the faucet with your arm, hand, or any other part of the body.

The detectors run on a battery – a low battery can halt the process. An LED light fixed on the handle will blink red when the battery doesn’t have enough power to function.

Moen 7594SRS Arbor One-Handle Pulldown Kitchen Faucet Featuring Power Boost and Reflex, Spot Resist Stainless
  • SPOT RESISTANT: Spot Resist Stainless finish resists fingerprints and water spots for a cleaner looking kitchen
  • BOOSTED STREAM: Moen's exclusive Power Boost technology offers a faster clean and faster fill with the push of a button
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  • FLEXIBLE DESIGN: Designed to be installed through 1 or 3 holes; escutcheon included
  • BUILT TO LAST: Backed by Moen’s Limited Lifetime Warranty


Here is pretty much everything you need to know about ouch faucets. What are you waiting for? Buy one right now and try for yourselves!


1. Do touch faucets need electricity?

Ans. Yes, touch faucets run on electricity. But does water and electricity go well together? Don’t worry; the water flows safely inside non-conductive pipes. The normally used batteries retain 1.5V and can extend to 9 volts, which is safe to touch.

2. Do touch faucets have batteries?

Ans. Yes, touch faucets use 6AA or 4AA batteries that can hold up to 9 volts. These batteries usually run for 2 years. There is an LED indicator light attached to the faucet that will blink red when it needs to be changed.

3. How long do batteries last in a touch faucet?

Ans. Touch faucets use different batteries, but the most commonly used is 6AA. These batteries usually have a two-year (18-24 months more precisely) long runtime. But their life depends on the usage.

4. Could my cat turn on a touch faucet?

Ans. Yes, your little mischievous can turn on the touch faucet. Don’t worry: these faucets have a built-in timer. They’ll automatically turn themselves off after a few minutes. Most of the faucets switch off after 3 minutes of inactivity.

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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