- 1 Difference Between Touch-on and Touchless Kitchen Faucets
- 2 How Does A Touchless Kitchen Faucet Work?
- 3 Pros of Using a Touchless Kitchen Sink Faucet
- 4 Cons of Using Touchless Kitchen Sink Faucets
- 5 What is the Cost of A Touchless Faucet?
- 6 Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Touchless Kitchen Faucets for Your Home
Difference Between Touch-on and Touchless Kitchen Faucets
We’ll begin by answering the question: What are touchless kitchen faucets?
A touchless kitchen faucet is a smart faucet type that uses motion sensor technology so you can start the flow of water without touching the faucet.
To put this into perspective, this is unlike working with traditional faucets where you have to pull or push a handle to get water flowing from the tap. Here, the faucet responds to or detects the presence of something in front of it. Isn’t that amazing?
Contact is minimized, and you don’t have to bother about picking up germs while cooking or touching your faucet with messy hands.
Now, how are automatic faucets different from a touch-on faucet?
Actually, the two are more similar than different. Touch-on or touch-sensitive faucets–as they’re otherwise called–respond to physical touch rather than detecting the presence of something.
So both are innovative modifications of traditional faucets.
How Does A Touchless Kitchen Faucet Work?
Like we said earlier, a touchless kitchen faucet was developed with built-in sensors to detect the presence of a hand or other things in front of it.
Some hands-free kitchen faucets use infrared sensors to detect hand movement.
So to turn these kinds of kitchen faucets on, you’ll have to move your hand in front of the sensor. Then the infrared light will then bounce off of your hand and into the infrared detector. And this will signal water flow.
Magic, you may call it!
There are also some other kinds of automatic kitchen taps that use ultrasonic field sensors.
With these types, you also turn the faucets on or off by moving your hand in front of the sensor. But the mechanism here is that your hand will disrupt the ultrasonic field which triggers the faucet to turn on or off.
To better understand how touchless faucets work, let’s take a closer look at their four main parts.
· Sensor window
A hands-free kitchen faucet has got a motion sensor at either the lip or base of the spout to detect the presence of a hand or another object.
Placing your hand (without contact) will cause the flow of water. And removing your hand will cause the water flow to cease.
So the whole process starts by placing your hand near the sensor window to activate the sensor.
You already know the two common sensors being used now: infrared sensors and ultrasonic field sensors.
· Solenoid valve
The solenoid valve is an electromagnet that controls the flow of water.
So when the sensor sends a signal like the presence of hands to the solenoid valve, the solenoid opens up the rubber-like disc valves to allow water in the tap to flow. And when you take off your hand, it gets another signal to close the valve and stop the flow of water.
And then, we’ve got the spout.
The spout of a touchless faucet houses the mechanism: all the other parts. So when the valve opens up, water flows through the spout.
And that’s the cycle.
· Power source
There is a common question people ask about touchless kitchen sink faucets: Do touchless faucets need electricity?
Yes, touchless faucets need a source of power to work. You can either plug the faucet into a source of electricity like a low-voltage current from an AC transformer or use batteries to power the faucet as some other faucet models do.
Another popular question is, “Can a touchless faucet work manually?”
Yes, some (probably most) touchless faucets can work when there’s a loss of power. A kitchen sink faucet of this category has got manual sensor override mode to allow it function as a traditional faucet.
That’s an extra reason why you should get one for your kitchen or other places in your home.
Now we know how a touchless kitchen sink faucet works, let’s observe the advantages and disadvantages to see if having one is worth it.
Pros of Using a Touchless Kitchen Sink Faucet
From being a handsfree tool to helping to control the flow of water, there are lots of fantastic reasons why hands-free faucets are worth having at home (or in the kitchen at least).
Let’s find out more about why you may need an automatic tap in your sink.
The major reason people love touchless faucets is because of the ease of operation. Whether you’re going for a touch-sensitive or touchless kitchen faucet, they’re mostly hands-free; requiring minimal or no contact.
They’re activated with a touch or swipe of your hands or pot. How fantastic! You don’t have to bother about dropping your pot or container to twist or push the touchless kitchen faucet on or off.
This feature also makes them easy for kids and seniors to use with very minimal effort. And some also help you detect the water temperature so you can be more careful with scalding water.
Aside from being a time-saving tool, the touchless kitchen faucet is hygienic and easy to clean. First, you won’t be bothered about spreading germs as you don’t need to turn the water flow on or off.
This means you can now prepare your meals safely as you won’t transfer grime and bacteria between your faucet handle and cooking. This feature also extends to touch-sensitive faucets as you can touch them without handling them with your palm.
· Water conservation
Many automatic faucets produce aerated water which flows with greater pressure and reduces the amount of water usage.
This also reduces the impact of water usage on the environment.
And secondly, you’ll save more water and money as the motion sensor embedded in the spout of a hands-free faucet automatically cuts the water off when you’re done using it.
So no more dripping water and leaky hoses.
With the gorgeous and futuristic design of a touchless kitchen faucet in your kitchen space, you’ll have both your countertop and faucet competing for attention.
Cons of Using Touchless Kitchen Sink Faucets
Regardless of how innovative and awesome the touch and touchless kitchen faucets are, they also come with a few disadvantages.
So what are the cons of having a touchless faucet?
· Its engineering
The engineering of an automatic faucet makes it have more mechanical parts than a traditional faucet. And this could pose some problems to the user. You’ll have to call the plumber for even the smallest repair. Traditional kitchen faucets are easy to maintain in this regard since you can tighten the faucets at home and even replace them if need be.
This state-of-the-art technology kitchenware doesn’t come cheap. Both the touch-sensitive and touchless faucets are more expensive than the traditional ones.
You’ll need to fork out a pretty decent amount of money to get one (more on that shortly). Secondly, you may need a plumber to help you install it. The good news is that the ROI is well worth it as they’ll ensure you don’t wastewater.
· Power supply
A touchless kitchen faucet runs on electricity. Some are battery-operated while others require a connection to an AC output.
So if you’re going for a battery-powered model (even if you get rechargeable batteries), the hassle of always recharging or changing the battery can be quite a headache.
And if you prefer the one that you can plug into a source of electricity, this can run up your bill.
However, some touchless kitchen faucets can work manually.
· Sensor failure
Sometimes the motion detectors can fail and when you swipe your hands, it just won’t pick the signal. When this happens, it can be super frustrating.
As you may want to control the water temperature and flow rate, adjusting the valves beneath the sink may not be easy.
However, some have modes embedded in the faucet, and other use remote controls.
What is the Cost of A Touchless Faucet?
The cost for the best touch and touchless faucets usually starts at around $200. These faucets, despite their cheap prices, have the awesome features any homeowner or renter would desire.
But the prices for some luxury faucet brands could rise to $600, with some even costing over $1,000.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Touchless Kitchen Faucets for Your Home
Before you can decide on the touchless kitchen faucet technology that’ll best suit your home and style, here a couple of factors and feature you may need to first consider.
· Activation feature and accuracy
Since touchless faucets use motion sensor technology to turn the water flow on and off, the number of sensors and their accuracy is the most important feature you’ve got to look out for.
The primary thing you should take into account here is how accurate the touchless faucet is. And the right faucet for your kitchen is the one that responds immediately to the swipe of your hand; not the type that will have you moving your hands multiple times before starting and stopping.
Generally, a kitchen faucet with multiple sensors tends to be more accurate. But while some of the best touchless kitchen faucets have more than one sensor, there are also others with one super-accurate sensor.
Another thing you’ll want to observe in a touchless faucet’s accuracy is how it responds to other movements that don’t concern it. if it’s triggered by the slightest motion in the room, then it won’t make a good choice as it’ll lead to wastage of water and drive up your utility bill.
So make sure to compare the number of sensors and the accuracy of the different brands before buying one.
· Water flow rate
The best way to know if a faucet will run your utility bill up is by knowing its water flow rate. This is usually measured in gallons per minute (GPM).
This will help you know how efficient your kitchen faucet is in conserving water. Secondly, the flow rate will also indicate if your faucet has an aerated flow.
Generally, the maximum American standard expected of kitchen faucets flow rate is 2.2 GPM. So to save your money and the environment, you should choose a faucet that’s less than or equal to this value.
Secondly, a faucet with an aerated water flow will also save you more money as the water is mixed with air.
· Power supply
We’ve already established that the sensors need a power source to work. But the power source you use depends on the electricity fixture in your home.
If you’ve got access to an alternating current (AC) transformer in the form of an outlet in your sink cabinet, then a model you can plug into that source will be the best option.
This will be more economical as you won’t spend money on buying batteries. Plus you won’t also have to bother about changing or charging batteries often.
On the other hand, if you haven’t got an electrical connection around your sink, you’ll just have to opt for faucets that use batteries. And the good news is that the battery option is less expensive.
The major disadvantage of using models operated with batteries is that you’ll spend more money buying new batteries. This is especially so for kitchen faucet brands that are not energy efficient.
To minimize cost, use rechargeable batteries. And still, go for kitchen faucet brands that are energy efficient so you don’t end up recharging the batteries.
Before getting a hands-free faucet for your kitchen, you’ve got to know if it’s right for your sink.
For example, the kind of faucet that will fit a sink that’s sitting above the counter will be different from the type that will fit a sink built into the counter.
Secondly, sinks have got holes that allow for water to be connected to the faucet. Depending on the brand and the spatial arrangement of its holes, a faucet may require around one to four holes.
So make sure to check if a hands-free faucet fits your sink before making the purchase.
The best touchless kitchen faucets are named so not only because of their performance, but also the quality materials they’re made of.
So when choosing a hands-free faucet for your kitchen, endeavor to get the ones made from quality materials that will resist corrosion, leakage, not break easily, and are lead-free. Plus they should be durable and not show any sign of aging with time.
Also, you’ll need styles that complement your home décor: so, choose wisely.
Here is a list of finishes used in engineering the best touchless kitchen faucets.
Because of chrome’s mirror-like and polished appearance, it’s a finish material commonly found in modern and lush homes.
The finish has also got a warm and inviting appeal. But the material requires better care as it’s not as hard as stainless steel. Another feature that makes it a good faucet finish is that it’s hygienic and easy to clean.
It can be recognized from its silvery sheen (which is shinier than stainless steel).
2. Stainless steel
Stainless steel is able to resist germs, soap, and minerals from building up on its surface. And this makes it a great finish material in both healthcare and food environments.
This durable finish is also resistant to corrosion, rust, and scratches. And it’s also very hygienic and easy to clean and maintain.
It can be recognized from its medium gray metallic color that can be brushed or polished to give it a high shine.
3. Brushed nickel
The antique and rustic look of brushed nickel makes it win the hearts of traditional faucet lovers.
It looks and feels warmer because of its gray color and the soft matte texture of its brushed surface. So if you prefer a quality material with a contemporary appeal, a brushed nickel finish can give you that.
And for the record, its beauty becomes more pronounced when paired with matching finishes in kitchens.
If you’ve got wood panels or dark-colored walls, you may want to opt for a touchless kitchen faucet with a bronze finish.
The dark brown or coppery color of the bronze finish makes them look great in white kitchen sinks and bathroom fixtures.
· Pull down or fixed spout
Another factor to take into consideration is if your touchless kitchen faucet will feature pull-down technology or be a fixed spout type.
Pull-down sprayers are more convenient to use as they’ve got flexible metal hoses that can be extended to reach farther areas of the sink. So this might be a great option for you if you’re always busy in the kitchen. Plus some have multiple spray modes for spraying and rinsing.
A fixed spout sprayer hasn’t got the flexibility of its pull-down counterparts. But their advantage is that while some pull-down sprayers may limp off after extended use, they’ll always remain fixed to their positions.
So to avoid your pull-down spout coming loose, get the touchless kitchen faucet brand with a magnetic connection.
· Cost and warranty
The touchless kitchen faucet is more expensive than its traditional counterparts. So when choosing one, get one that’s got the best value for your money. Also choose a faucet with a really long warranty, like one with a lifetime warranty.
· Additional Features of Touchless Faucets
Some smart touchless faucets come with a voice control feature that you can activate using Alexa or Google Assistant.
Some hands-free faucets also allow you to program your ‘gadget’ to obey a couple of other commands that will make your using it easier and more comfy.