The most used component in a home kitchen is the kitchen faucet. You can’t execute any work properly without the active participation of faucets. A bathroom has a faucet, and they often work in the same fashion, yet they don’t face the same abuse. Most people do not work how a kitchen faucet works, and when diagnosing issues, it helps pinpoint where the problems are.
The function of all the common types of faucets is similar, although they are not identical. The internal mechanisms of faucets vary across different types and from one model to the next because of design or budget.
In our guide, you can learn how does a faucet work, diagram not required. By the end, you’ll understand the principles of how faucets work, and when you have issues, you’ll know better where to start fixing the problem or replacing parts.
How Does A Faucet Control The Water?
There’s more to how a water faucet works than water in the pipes until you turn on the tap. There are quite a few components inside a tap as they need to stop water coming out when not needed and deliver water at a specific pressure as you use the tap. (Learn How To Plumb A Double Kitchen Sink With Disposal And Dishwasher)
How Do Faucets Work Step-by-Step
- When you turn the handle on a faucet, the cartridge or valve directly connected to the handle opens up all the pathways for the water to flow through the body.
- After that, the hot and cold water are mixed if you select the mix setting.
- If the water temperature reaches too high on some faucets, the cartridge turns off the hot water and then raises the cold water pressure.
- The water moves from the faucet body to the sink, which flows from the end of the tap.
- Because of their aerator, you will get the normal water pressure when the water comes out of the nozzle.
- If you have a sprayer, the water will move from the hose and out the nozzle when you press the trigger.
That was a quick explanation of how do faucets work.
What about touchless kitchen faucets?
Touchless faucets are equipped with advanced modern technologies. These are equipped with sophisticated motion sensors that can detect anything in the immediate surroundings.
You should approach the faucet and put your hands close to it. It will recognize your hands in milliseconds and turn on the water flow for a short period. Place any object near it, and it will start to flow water on its own.
As a result, you won’t have to touch anything when you use it. Because of this, they’re also known as a hands-free faucet.
Here are all the components of faucets, so you’ll see how do faucets work and function to stop water and deliver water when you need it.
- Handles: This part is crucial since it aids in the opening and closing of the cartridge and the final delivery of water. Single-handled faucets are the most common nowadays. Handle/s are located near the top of a sprout. Rotate the handle when you need water.
- Valves/cartridges: The cartridge’s main component is a kitchen faucet. These are also known as cartridge valves, and they are shaped like a little cylinder. Typically, cartridges are constructed of plastic or brass. (Read Faucet Washers Sizes Chart)
This little cylinder guarantees that the water flows smoothly through the various channels when you press the handle.
The cartridge also helps to maintain the temperature and pressure of the water.
- Body: The body is the mixing ground for hot and cold water. A single pipe will supply water to the body if you have a single-handled faucet. This is the method used in the majority of modern faucets.
- Sprout: Water passes from the faucet body to the sink through
the sprout. When people glance at a kitchen sink, the first thing they see is a sprout. These come in a variety of shapes. Gooseneck, high-arch, and shepherd’s crook, for example.
- Aerator: This portion is located near the kitchen faucet’s tip. It’s often built of mesh. An aerator’s primary work is to reduce faucet water pressure while maintaining a balanced output. You will never waste water if you use an aerator at work.
- Nozzle: This is where the water from the sink exits. Some nozzles in sinks can filter the water, while others cannot.
- Sprayer: This is a valuable item that can be found on the side of your faucet. A faucet sprayer can assist you in cleaning hard-to-reach areas. This device comprises a hose, a nozzle, and a diverter valve.
A diverter valve can be found inside the faucet. Water will flow out of the nozzle from the hose by going through the hose when you squeeze the trigger or handle of the sprayer.
These are all of the components that combine for how do faucets work. If any fail, you need to find out what you’ll be replacing.
How does a single-handle kitchen faucet work?
Single-handle faucets are similar to cartridge faucets in appearance. The faucets are also known as single-lever faucets, widespread in American homes.
To work, these rely on a highly complex internal process. The cartridge is the first main internal component, the ball valve, and the ceramic disk.
It functions similarly to a cartridge faucet. Simply turn on the inlets into the sink. With one handle, you can also change the water temperature.
How does a two-handle kitchen faucet work?
Compression faucets are similar to double-handed faucets.
If you have a two-handle faucet, you’ll see they have a conventional appearance and work using a regular mechanism like most faucets.
When you turn one handle on, it raises the stem and breaches the seal, allowing water to flow, when you rotate it in the opposite direction, the stem returns to the original position.
Here, it pressurizes the washer and stops the flow of water.
How Do Bathroom Sink Faucets Work?
Bathrooms won’t have the same function as kitchen taps. Here are the main types you will come across: single faucet or combination faucet designs using modern technology.
How Does a Bathroom Compression Faucet Work?
Traditional faucets are compression faucets. You’ve probably seen one in your kitchen. There are two handles on these faucets, which is a typical style. The first is for cold water, while the second is for hot water.
Compression faucets have handles that are directly linked to the stem. As a result, moving the handle forces the stem to rise, relieving the washer of its weight.
This finally cracks the seal, allowing water to drain from the sink. When you turn off the faucet, the stem returns to its original position, putting pressure on the washer and blocking the water flow.
How Does a Cartridge Faucet Work?
Moen is the only manufacturer that makes cartridge faucets. These faucets are made with cutting-edge technology.
Cartridge faucets have directly attached handles to the inlets to supply both hot and cold water. The hot and cold water will be combined in a clever procedure as you rotate the handle.
This faucet’s water flow is constructed so that the cartridge’s inlets open the hot and warm water holes as you turn the handle.
The cartridges inlets are so smart that when the temperature rises too high, they stop the flow of hot water and immediately raise the pressure of cold water to bring the temperature back to normal. (Read Hinge Sizes Chart)
How Does Water Get To Your Faucet?
Not all faucets work in the same way. However, the underlying idea of water being released because of a pressure difference appears to be the same.
The delivery system differs from model to model. The valves’ type is usually the most significant difference in the inner workings.
Tap water is delivered to your faucet via a public municipal water treatment system or a private well.
Water is transported to your house plumbing by a network of pipes. If you get your water from a public municipal water treatment system, it usually comes to your property via the distribution system’s main line.
1. Ball Valve
A steel ball controls the flow of water in faucets with ball valves. This ball valve has a network of grooves that match the cold and hot water inlets.
When the handle is turned, water flows through them. The ball can also control the water flow rate and temperature in most cases.
2. Ceramic-Disc Valves
Ceramic disc valves are now commonly used due to their durability. The handle rotates two discs with channels that align when the handle is turned.
They let the water run this way. These discs can also control water flow and temperature.
3. Compression-Style Faucet
This is the simplest type of kitchen faucet valve. A compression valve has a screw stem that moves up and down, and the stem has a rubber washer at the base.
You’ll often see this type of faucet in older homes, and it is made with a washer for the seal rather than expensive cartridges.
The main issue with compression faucets is that the rubber washer or seal wears, then the tap drips.
Newer compression faucets raise and lower the washer without grinding it into the seat valve.
For example, American Standard’s NuSeal budget faucets lower and raise the rubber washer vertically.
Less wear on the washer because of less seat grinding.
To disassemble the faucet, use slip-joint pliers. Then unscrew the valve stem by rotating it clockwise.
All you can do is replace rubber washers and an O-ring.
Washerless faucets like a ball, cartridge, and ceramic-disc models don’t use washers to turn on and off, although they still include O-rings and neoprene seals to control the flow and prevent leaks.
Ceramic Disc Faucet
Ceramic disc faucets rarely drop or leak due to their low maintenance design. A movable top ceramic disc turns or raises and lowers against a fixed bottom ceramic disc. The watertight seal between the two discs is achieved by polishing them nearly flat.
Ceramic disc faucets were popularized by high-end European faucet manufacturers and are now produced by American Standard, Kohler, and Price Pfister.
Ceramic disk faucets are low maintenance and virtually indestructible. In addition, ceramic valves outlast other valves in a wide range of water conditions.
The discs are diamond-like rigid, resistant to line debris, mineral buildup, and other frequent issues that shorten valve life.
This faucet leaks due to inlet and outlet seals or sediment buildup. The handle should be in the “on” position to avoid shattering the new seals.
A galvanized pipe peeling or a small rock in the valve can cut the surfaces, but this is rare. If a ceramic disc faucet drips, flutter the handle back and forth to dislodge any particles.
A single lever rotates a slotted metal ball. This ball’s slots control the incoming water volume, matching hot and cold water intake seats in the faucet body.
The decorative cap and screw must be removed using a flat-head screwdriver. You can use two screwdrivers in the slots and cross their blades to tighten the plastic adjustment ring within the cap.
To fix a spout leak, unscrew the cap with locking-jaw pliers. Replacing the rubber seats and springs on both sides of the valve
Replace worn O-rings if the spout leaks. (Read Danco O-Ring Sizes Chart)
A hollow metal or plastic cartridge insert seals the spout or faucet body. Water in kitchen faucets is mixed and controlled by how the cartridge’s perforations line with the stem.
Drips usually mean a new entire cartridge.
Washerless cartridge faucets manage the flow without a washer or valve seat.
The water flow is controlled by the cartridges and the water temperature by rotating the handle.
Remove the ornamental can and screw. To remove the cartridge, use pliers to straighten the retention clasp. Replace O-rings and seals in the cartridge to stop leakage.
If the faucet drips, replace the cartridges.