Touchless faucets are often used in commercial kitchens and public bathrooms to help conserve water and reduce the spread of germs from one person to another. Now, with the advancement of technology, you can have this feature in your home.
Just like the faucets you find in public spaces, the ones you add to your home can help reduce the spread of germs. This is especially beneficial in the kitchen when working with items such as raw chicken and red meat. By not touching the handles to turn on the water to wash your hands, you reduce the chances of your other family members coming in contact with E. coli or salmonella.
When the meal is over, it’s one less thing you have to clean. So touchless technology reduces grime AND saves time. (Note to self, install a touchless faucet in the kids’ bathroom ASAP!)
Before we dive into what to consider when selecting touchless faucets for your home, here are some of the benefits:
- considered an upgrade and may increase the property value to your home
- hands free – very helpful when your hands are full or dirty
- limits spread of germs and bacteria
- reduces clean up time
- conserves water & energy – save up to 70% on water conservation when compared with traditional faucets
- ADA compliant and beneficial to people with disabilities
Trinity Plumbing has installed hundreds of touchless faucets over the years, so we know a thing or two about what to consider when selecting one for your home:
1. Faucet Activation
Like the faucets in public restrooms, the ones you add to your home will have sensors that picks up on motion. The more sensors it has, the faster it will turn on.
Have you ever been in a public bathroom where the faucet doesn’t turn on when you place your hands under it and you have to wave your hands frantically?
Since you probably don’t want to experience the same frustration in your home, finding a faucet with multiple sensors that are accurate is in your best interest. You should be able to turn on your sink immediately when you wave your hand or a dish under the sensor. However, you don’t want the sensor to be so sensitive that it triggers when someone just walks into the room.
Q. How do I choose a touchless faucet that I don’t have to wave my hands frantically just to turn on the water?
To find the best touchless faucet, take time to compare consumer reviews – paying attention to the number of sensors, the accuracy, and the sensitivity.
Q. Help, my touchless faucet is acting crazy!
- Check the sensor. It may not have been installed accurately or set to the optimal distance.
- Clean the sensor. It needs to be cleaned regularly to remove soap scum, hard water film, grease spatters and dust.
- Replace the battery (if there is one).
- Reset the faucet. For how to do this, check the instructions for your make and model. (note: Not all faucets have a reset button.)
- If it still doesn’t work, give us a call.
2. Faucet Power Source
The sensors on your faucet need a power source to function. Currently, there are several options:
- battery power
- plugged into outlet or hard-wired
- solar power
- turbine power
The faucets that are powered by batteries are usually less expensive. However, you also have to factor in the cost of how often you will need to change out the batteries and how much these cost. Depending on how you use your faucet, you might have to change the batteries several times a month.
If you decide to buy a battery-operated faucet, you may want to consider rechargeable batteries. Overtime, the savings will add up.
Wall Outlet or Hardwired:
Another option is to buy a faucet that can be hard wired or plugged into an outlet. If you have a garbage disposal you may already have an outlet that the faucet can plug into. However, if you don’t have an outlet close by or under your sink, you may be able to have one installed.
Sunlight or even artificial light enters through a sensor and is then transformed into electrical energy. Most solar faucets still require batteries as a backup power source. Light conditions and frequency of use, will vary the usage of the battery backup. Since the faucet’s main energy source is light, the batteries shouldn’t need to be replaced as frequently.
A faucet that is powered by the force of running water! More specifically, running water spins a turbine and creates an electrical current. The energy created operates the faucet and recharges a backup battery. This significantly reduces the frequency of battery replacements. In fact in a busy restroom, a turbine-powered faucet may never use the backup battery.
Q. What if the power to the house goes out?
Most touchless faucets have a override mode or battery backup which allows them to still function during a power loss.
Q. Do I need to hire a plumber & electrician to install my touchless faucet?
It depends. But 99% of the time, your plumber can install plumbing fixtures that require a power source – like a garbage disposal or touchless faucet.
3. Faucet Materials and Finish
The inner parts of faucets are made from different materials – Usually cheaper ones are zinc and expensive models are brass.
To enhance the appearance and durability, the faucet is often covered with a finish – chrome, nickel, stainless, copper, bronze, to name a few. Thankfully, you have many options to choose from to match your personal style and décor.
When it comes to buying a faucet, whether that’s a traditional faucet or touchless, stick with a reliable brand! If you want to give yourself a headache, buy a no-name or knock off faucet – they are often made with cheap materials and the replacement parts are hard to find or nonexistent.
Q. Stainless steel faucets vs. fingerprints. Are they worth it?
One of the great things about having a touchless faucet is that you don’t have to worry about people leaving fingerprints on the surface. If you’ve always wanted a shiny faucet but never bought one because you didn’t want to have to clean it, now is your chance to get the faucet you’ve always dreamed of.
Q. What type of faucet should I buy?
Whether it’s a traditional faucet, touch faucet, or touchless faucet, we recommend solid brass faucets. They will last the longest and require less care & maintenance.
4. Extra Features, Bells, & Whistles
The great thing about technology is that you now have the option of faucets with extra features, like LEDs and voice activation.
There has been a significant increase in LED plumbing fixtures inside the home – from faucets to shower heads.
Faucets with lights! They are an eye catcher and futuristic looking. Did you know that they can also be a safety device? On many models, the color changes based on the temperature of the water. Some even trigger a flashing light to warn you when the water is too hot. Caution: This is not a fool-proof safety device.
Q. What power source do LED plumbing fixtures require to power the lights?
Currently most models are turbine powered.
Q. How do I make my kids wash their hands without being asked?
Installing an LED faucet just might be the answer!
Your faucet just got smart. For voice controlled faucets, connect it to a home device, like Google assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple’s Siri. Some apps also monitor water usage over time.
Saying “Turn on the faucet,” is just convenient, especially when your hands are full.
One of the best parts – voice controlled measurements! No need to find the right measuring cup – “Give me 12 ounces of water.” Done.
Q. Do you recommend Voice Activated Faucets?
While these features are cool and add modernity to your home, keep in mind that these faucets are usually more expensive and manufactures still have wrinkles to iron out. Because of that, Trinity Plumbing doesn’t currently recommend voice activated faucets, BUT they could be beneficial to someone with a disability.
The Right Touchless Faucet
When selecting a touchless faucet for your kitchen or bathroom, remember to consider these 4 things:
- Faucet Activation
- Faucet Power Source
- Faucet Materials and Finish
- Extra Features
The final choice will ultimately come down to personal preference and your budget. With so many options to choose from, you should be able to find the one that’s right for you.
As with any plumbing fixture, you want to make sure its installed properly so it doesn’t void the warranty, malfunction or leak. If you are not comfortable with DIY, hire a professional plumber with experience installing touchless faucets.
Contact Trinity Plumbing to schedule an appointment.