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Touch vs Touchless/Hands-Free Faucets | The Major Takeaways

touch vs touchless faucet
Written by Lewis Turner

Manipulating knobs and handles can be quite difficult for people with disabilities. Also, all the sticky residues on your hands tend to adhere very easily to knobs and handles. For these reasons, installing common kitchen faucets may not be the wisest decision.

In these cases, touch and touchless faucets are a better alternative. These devices use advanced technology to reduce water consumption. Also, using them is the easiest thing to do. Today, we’ll explain you the more interesting features of these faucets and their main differences.

What is a touch faucet?

A touch faucet activates when the user touches the spout for a short time period. They’re ADA compliant, because the user doesn’t need to manipulate knobs or handles to use them. So, they’re ideal for people with disabilities, the elderly and young children.

Usually, touch faucets are made of metal. This way, the body’s electrical energy is transmitted from the surface to the sensor. In addition, they’re very resistant to high impacts, temperature changes and rust.

What is a touchless faucet?

A touchless faucet is activated when the user places his hand or any other object in front of a sensor. So, there’s no need to touch the spout or any other element of the faucet. Touchless faucets are also ADA compliant. They’re commonly used in public restrooms of malls, gas stations, schools and office buildings.

They’re very practical because they prevent pathogen transmission. In addition, they’re much more efficient than common faucets because they reduce water consumption.

Touch vs Touchless Faucet – Principles of Operation

Touch faucet – How it works?

touch faucets

A touch faucet uses sensors in the spout to measure the capacitance of your body. Basically, when you touch the spout, the sensors register an increase in capacitance. When this happens, the water flow turns on. Then, with a second touch, the water turns off.

A brief, light touch is enough to activate the faucet. So, if the user grabs or touches the spout during a long time, the water won’t run.

Touchless faucet – How it works?

touchless faucets

A touchless faucet uses proximity sensors located on the base of the spout. You just need to put your hand or any other object close to the sensor to activate the faucet.

These sensors are sensitive to acceleration. So, if you don’t move your hand to the correct acceleration, the water won’t run. This feature prevents accidental activation and waste of water.

Touch vs Touchless Faucet – Pros and cons

Touch faucets – Advantages

Working in the kitchen often involves dealing with dirty hands. And that’s not good when you have a common kitchen faucet. More than once, you’ll have to manipulate the handles with dirty hands. So, all those sticky residues on your hands will end up stuck all over the handle surface.

This means more time wasted on cleaning tasks. However, that wouldn’t happen with a touch faucet. To activate the water flow, you just need to gently touch the spout with your forearm or the top of your hand.

Since they don’t get too dirty, touch faucets don’t require too frequent maintenance. In addition, the external finish is highly resistant to abrasion and harsh chemicals. So, you can easily clean them with any commercial product without risk.

Touch faucets – Disadvantages

In contrast to common kitchen faucets, touch faucets are much more complicated to install. All touch faucets require electricity to function. The simplest to install only need a C battery or a pair of AA batteries. These models can have a maximum service life of 5 years.

On the other hand, touch faucets powered by AC may be a little tricky to install. Also, you’ll need to wear protective gear and keep the work area dry to avoid electric shock. These devices are more durable than battery-powered models. However, they also increase the electricity consumption in your home.

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Touchless faucets – Advantages

As said before, you don’t need to touch a touchless faucet to activate the water flow. This means less residue stuck to the surface and less cleaning. In addition, there’s no risk of pathogen transmission.

In addition, touchless faucets are much more durable than their touch counterparts. Less cleaning frequency also means less surface wear. So, touchless faucets will look like new for longer.

Touchless faucets – Disadvantages

Touchless faucets powered by batteries require special attention. Some models tend to consume the battery charge too quickly. That means you’ll have to buy new batteries too often. In these cases, AC-powered models are a better option.

In addition, compared to other models, touchless faucets are the most expensive of all. So, they aren’t the best option for people on a small budget. Also, they have difficulty controlling the water temperature.

Touchless faucets aren’t very convenient if you have toddlers at home. The absence of knobs and handles makes them very easy to use. So any toddler could activate water flow and cause a mess in the kitchen.

Common Myths About Touch and Touchless Kitchen Faucets

  • Myth 1 – Difficult to install

Many people believe that touch and touchless kitchen faucets are too difficult to install. But they’re wrong. Certainly, in these cases it’s convenient to have a basic knowledge of electricity before getting started. However, you don’t need to be an expert on the subject or have previous experience installing these devices.

Usually, touch and touchless faucets come with detailed instruction manuals. In addition, you can find a lot of different tutorials on YouTube and other similar platforms.

Also, all parts are numbered. So, the user can easily notice if there are missing parts on the installation kit.

  • Myth 2 – High power consumption

Another common myth about touch and touchless kitchen faucets is their high energy consumption. As said before, these devices need electric power to operate. However, they don’t consume as much energy as some people believe. Most of these devices only consume 9 volts. So, in case of using an AC powered model, you won’t notice the difference on the electricity bills.

However, it’s true that some models powered by batteries consume the charge too quickly. So, you’ll probably have to reserve some extra money each month to buy new batteries.

In addition, the voltage consumed by these devices is too low to cause electric shock. So, you have nothing to worry about if any electronic component is exposed to water.

Conclusion

Certainly, the benefits of touch and touchless faucets are many. So, choosing one or the other option may be difficult. To make the best decision, first consider the characteristics of your kitchen. Then, choose the option that best suits your requirements.

About the author

Lewis Turner

Market Researcher

Lewis has been a contributor to FaucetsReviewed for the last five years. After graduating in Marketing and Business Administration, he joined a multinational farm that used to be a leading manufacturer of plumbing fixtures and appliances. His professional experience opened doors for him to the diversity of the industry. His deep insights and product analysis add to the site’s authenticity. He is an avid reader and spends most of his past time studying. Lewis is also a trained photographer. He does the most photography of the site. His in-depth reviews are highly informative and insightful.

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