8 Types of Faucets and Their Characteristics

Today, faucets are so common that we probably only notice them when they start to leak and as the slow drip breaks the silence in your home. However, if you do some research, you will realize they come in a wide variety of shapes, colours, styles and sizes.

When choosing a faucet for your kitchen or bathroom sink, a key thing to consider is functionality, besides the aesthetic design. Knowing how the different types of faucets work make it easy to identify and repair issues. While installing a faucet isn’t a complicated procedure, involving a professional plumber is recommended. This is one way to make sure it works as it should.

The following are eight types of faucets:

Type #1: Ball Faucets

Ball faucets feature a ball joint that controls the flow of cold and hot water lines and combines them as needed. These types of faucets are controlled by one handle, which sits on a rounded cap mounted directly on the top part of the spout. They feature one lever, which is pushed up and down to regulate water pressure, and side to side to regulate the water temperature.

Ball joint faucets are commonly used in high-use areas such as kitchens since they have no washers. Most types of washers are made from rubber, which eventually wears and tears due to corrosion, causing the faucet to leak. The lack of washers in ball joint faucets makes them resistant to leaks. They are easy to use.

Type #2: Disc Faucets

Disc faucets are some recently produced, and these types of faucets are not cheap. On the other hand, they are long-lasting and extremely reliable. These faucets share some similarities with their ball joint counterparts. For instance, you just need one lever to operate them. The difference, however, is that disc faucets use a cartridge mechanism to mix hot and cold water.

So, instead of the lever being attached to a shaped cap as it would in a ball joint faucet, it sits on a wide cylindrical cartridge. Two ceramic discs that rise and descend to control both cold and hot water pressure are placed beneath this cartridge. The side-to-side movement of the handle controls water temperature by opening each side more than the other. Once the handle is pushed down, it pushes both discs down, turning off the water.

Type #3: Cartridge Faucets

Cartridge faucets feature either one or two handles. With a two-handle cartridge faucet, you turn and twist to turn the water on and off. The handle moves up and down. As the cartridge rises, more water flows into the mixing chamber to increase the water pressure from the faucet. To control water temperature, open the hot and cold cartridges in different ratios.

Type #4: Compression Washer Faucets

These are among the oldest faucet types, but they are still used today. Compression washer faucets use rubber washers as a seal to stop the water flow. They are quite inexpensive and can be found in houses with older plumbing fixtures.

The disadvantage of using compression washer faucets is that they are not durable, a critical downside since the washers require regular replacement. They are characterized by two static handles that turn the water on and off. With these faucets, you can feel the handle tightening as you shut off the water, and loosening as you turn on the water.

Type #5: Tub Wall Mount Faucets

These types of faucets are mounted directly onto the tub. The spout and the faucet handle are fixed in such a way that they pass through the tub. If you want a standalone tub, this faucet is great. Installation might present a challenge when connecting the standalone or clawfoot tubs to the waterline, but one can use a diverter valve to remedy the situation.

Before purchasing your tub wall mount faucet, measure the tub’s faucet holes to get the correct fit. It’s important to note that you can’t use this faucet on built-in bathtubs.

Type #6: Wall-Mounted Faucets

These faucets are designed for floating sinks. They create a modern look for bathrooms and kitchen sinks. Before installing a wall-mounted faucet, ensure it will reach the edge of the sink. This is a common mistake people make during installation, rendering the fixture impractical. Wall-mounted faucets allow one to easily change the basin at any given time without interfering with the water lines.

Type #7: Touch-free Faucets

Touch-free faucets have a small sensor that activates the water flow by a simple hand wave. These faucets are common in public bathrooms to make sure no bacteria is transferred to the faucet. Recently, this technology has been adopted in most chef’s kitchens as a perfect solution for the preparation of foods that require handling raw meat.

To adjust the water temperature, however, one has to touch the lever at the base of the faucet. The downside with these faucets is that they are expensive. On the bright side, however, they last a long time.

Type #8: Sprinkle Faucets

These are modern faucets that use a uniquely designed spout. The spout in a sprinkle faucet is rectangular in shape. It features a grate at its mouth. When the water is turned on, the grate allows water to flow in a rectangular pattern, which is quite unique and appealing. These faucets are mainly used in bathroom sinks.