Motion sensor faucet – pros and cons
Traditional kitchen faucets can easily accumulate millions of germs after even the smallest and most menial of kitchen tasks. These germs can then pass from person to person with ease and is a common cause of many illnesses.
These germs stem from people touching the faucet after visiting the toilet and not washing their hands properly. A second common way for germs such as Campylobacter and Salmonella bacteria to appear is from handling raw meat and not cleaning up after.
Recent developments in motion sensor kitchen faucets have been revolutionary in reducing the risks associated with germ spreading. The technology is able to reduce these risks by minimizing the necessity for people to operate the faucet manually, thereby not ensuring that germ-ridden hands to not come into contact with the exterior of the unit.
Touchless kitchen faucets are available in a variety of models including AC touchless, battery-operated and hybrid faucets. Whichever faucet type you choose, take time to make sure it is compatible with your plumbing setup and that there is an outlet nearby that can assist with setup.
In addition to being hygienic, touchless faucets are also economical as when your hands are removed from within the area detected by the motion sensor, the water flow will stop. A common cause of excessive water use is through the forgetting to turn off the tap of a kitchen faucet. This is no longer an issue thanks to the motion sensors of touchless faucets.
While some motion sensors may still be over-sensitive and still leak water even when there are no hands present, models that have an off switch are advanced motion technology is generally considered the most economically and environmentally-friendly by reducing water wastage.
Better water conservation leads to better water usage on the planet. This is an environmental consideration that is too often overlooked when thinking about purchasing a faucet.
Touchless kitchen faucets can also reduce electricity bills.
Did you know that lots of energy are often wasted when choosing the temperature of water flow when using traditional taps? You may think that this process is pretty innocuous but it is actually very expensive.
E-taps on the other hand use controls allow you to pre-control for the temperature of water without needing to manually operate the taps. This ensures much less energy is wasted on temperature controls and it will ultimately save you money.
Touchless kitchen faucets are also helpful for those may be less able to manually operate a traditional kitchen faucet. Whether it be the elderly, children or people with arthritis, touchless kitchen faucets are very inclusive for those requiring extra care and convenience.
Convenience really is an understated positive of touchless kitchen faucets. Everyone would like life to made slightly simpler. Whether you are fully able or require more help, not needing to turn on tap can radically help someone in their day-to-day kitchen activities.
A touchless kitchen faucet is understandably normally a significant purchase. Typical price ranges for touchless faucets currently available range from $400 to over $1000. Price doesn’t necessarily guarantee quality or value for your needs. Examine the different aspects before deciding on what price range you are willing to go for.
Features to consider while buying the best touchless kitchen faucet
Below we discuss some important aspects you should consider before committing to a purchase of a touchless kitchen faucet.
Electric or battery powered?
Common questions around motion sensor kitchen faucets are focused on how they are powered. The two common power types are electric or battery power. Although both types are pretty effective in terms of delivering strong water flow, in the long run, electrically powered touchless kitchen faucets are more economical.
Electric touchless kitchen faucets are more economical because they retain a constant power charge, unlike batteries which will eventually need replacing. Electrically powered sensors will provide guaranteed performance with all of the time and will not require you to continually purchase batteries and have spares in case the power runs out at a crucial time.
Although some models such as the Sloan EAF150-CP contain very strong battery life lasting approximately three years, other more affordable models such as the RunFine RF411001 using AA batteries will need regular top-ups which can be annoying as a homeowner.
The downside of purchasing an electric touchless kitchen faucet is that they are inevitably significantly more expensive compared to battery-powered models. Despite the initial high-cost, be rest assured that these models more often than not are much more affordable in the long-term.
It is worth pointing out that there are some models in circulation that have both battery and electric powered sensors. While these may seem a good idea in theory, often in practice they are not worthwhile, especially with models that have a lever to manually operate the water in any circumstance.
Sensors are very important to consider before purchasing a touchless kitchen faucet. It is the sensor that starts and stops the flow of water.
Sensor accuracy is the most important dimension when analyzing the different sensors in the market. Top-quality sensors will only operate when your hand is placed close to the base or top of the sensor. These sensors will also immediately turn off as soon as your hand moves from the sensor range.
Poorer quality sensors can be really annoying. They may struggle to read your hands when they are in the correct position, failing to read any signs of movement. They also may cost you more if they fail to stop the water flow when your hands are moved away from the sensor. Cheaper products are more likely to encounter these issues.
Some touchless kitchen faucets have up to five different sensors. Take note of how many sensors are product contains by checking the key features. Products with more sensors are likely to be significantly more expensive than products with one front facing sensor.
The number of sensors increases the control zone. If you have a large wash basin or if reliability is really important to you, investing in multiple sensors may be the way to go.
There are various elements of size to consider including the hose size, spout height and spout reach. These considerations are important when considering the size of your sink and wash basin. The higher the hose length, the greater the reach you will have. Also if you are stacking many dishes, such as in a restaurant setting, you will likely need a faucet that is high in hose size and spout height.
How it docks
Automatic or manual docking are important factors to consider. Many touchless kitchen faucets are pull-down in design and therefore require some form of return into its original state. Docking can be down manually, but more expensive pull-down models have the technology to do this automatically.
Design and finish
Visual appearance is a really important consideration. Many homeowners forget how their faucet should line-up with the overall feel and appearance of a kitchen space.
Exploring different color options of certain faucet designs is something to consider if you want to match it with a particular color story.
Also whether the faucet is low or high arc can also radically enhance or ruin the visual aesthetic of a kitchen space. High arcs are more commonly associated with restaurant kitchens, with low arcs more common in a home setting.
Take time to examine the appearance of the touchless faucet and how it fits in your overall kitchen design.
Scrubbing and blasting a dirty pot for a long period of time without seeing any good results but greasy stains are something no one likes to do. The touchless kitchen faucet which comes with a pull-out head has this strong blast feature.
The settings of the spray are in such a way that it will hit the pot really hard to make a good difference. The set-up is not the same in all homes, so it is all right to find the same product being stronger in one home and weaker in another home. There are different factors that affect the strength of the blast, for example, pipes and home set-ups.
Every sensor requires a battery to be powered. Some models will need 6AA while most of the models need 4AA. Most manufacturing companies will tell you the specific amount of time the batteries will provide power for the sensor. Some batteries only last three months while others will power for as long as one or two years. If you are shopping for faucets and notice that they have the same quality features and price, it is advisable to choose the one whose battery has longer battery life. This is because it can be an indication of a better-quality faucet in general.
There are other features of the faucet but it means that you will have to pay a little more. First, is the LED light which is good if you want to use it at night. If you have many people in the house, it also ideal to have multiple sensors to ensure that there is no water wasted. Otherwise, one sensor should be just fine.
Secondly, is the feature of its ability to regulate the temperature and pressure of the water. It is not really an important feature but if you really need it especially for the children when they want to use it.
Finally, is the pull-out aspect which allows you to fill the coffee maker with water and also hose down the dishes before you can put them in the dishwasher. This feature can be useful if you are using it in the bathroom to wash your hair.
The price of the best touchless kitchen faucet can be really high but it is because of the cost of having an expert to install it. Luckily, most faucets are easy to install, you do not need to have studied plumbing to be able to install it. Therefore, consider the idea of you installing the faucet on your own. Find all the necessary tools that you may need before installation.
Touchless faucets come with varying warranties depending on the manufacturer. They can range from one year to lifetime. Having a warranty gives you as a consumer purchasing protection of the faucets. Some models such as the Moen 5923EWSRS have shorter warranties for the digital components of the faucet. Always check the restrictions to the warranty agreement before purchasing.
Tech specs for hands-free kitchen faucet
Every manufacturer for a faucet has designs used by the touchless faucets. However, how the faucets work is similar. This is explained below:
- Diaphragm valve: A solenoid operates it and its main purpose is to start and stop the water flow.
- Sensor: When an object is present in front of the faucet, it senses it and orders the solenoid to begin the water flow. And when it doesn’t sense the presence of an object anymore, it orders the solenoid to stop the water from flowing after a period of time.
- Power source: The solenoid and sensor use batteries for its power and most faucets use the AA batteries. Some use lithium types with 9 or 6 volts. You can also connect some of the faucets to the AC.
- Faucet spout: It has the fibre optic cables that connect the sensor to it. In some models, the spout can also house the batteries.