Everyone has a faucet in their house, but few people know how they actually work. All the faucets in your home might look the same, but they most likely work differently. It’s important to know the different types of faucets for repairs and replacement.
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Below we cover the different types of faucets and the pros and cons of various faucet models.
Main Types of Faucets
Below are the major types of faucets in modern homes and how they work.
Ball faucets are one of the most common types of faucets and are frequently used in kitchens and bathrooms. Ball faucets have a handle on the top that slides over a ball-like mount near the base of the faucet fixture. As the user moves the handle, the faucet moves rubber seals and O-rings on the inside to control the flow of water.
Ball faucets are simple and easy to use but suffer from durability problems. They have more moving parts, so repeated use is more likely to cause mechanical problems and leaks. They are the most common type of faucet and are cheap to install.
Cartridge faucets are another popular type of faucet in modern homes. Cartridge faucets have two handles—one for hot water and another for cold water. When you turn one of the handles, the internal washer moves slightly to the side to allow water flow.
Cartridge faucets are durable and easy to use, meaning they do not require as much maintenance as other types of faucets. However, the design is somewhat complicated, and cartridge replacement costs are expensive.
Disc faucets are a relatively new type of faucet that uses ceramic discs to change water flow and volume. Disc faucets have a single handle and a cylindrical body or pressure balance cartridge that mixes hot and cold water. Moving the handle moves the discs to allow either hot or cold water through.
Disc faucets are a popular and high-quality option for kitchens and bathrooms. They are also durable and less prone to failure and leaks than other faucets. However, the new design and more durable construction mean they are usually more expensive to install.
Compression faucets are one of the oldest types of residential faucets and have been in homes since the invention of indoor plumbing. Compression faucets have a simple design that consists of two handles, each with a compression nut. When you turn the handle, the force compresses the nut and allows water to flow.
Since compression faucets rely on pressure, you have to turn the handle harder to shut off the water. Since the design relies on mechanical friction, compression faucets may require more maintenance than other faucets, but replacement parts are cheap and easy to install.
Choosing the Right Faucet for Your Home
When choosing faucets, you want something that fits your budget as well as the style and aesthetic of your home. Below are some handy tips on selecting the best faucet for your house.
- If you want a durable faucet that is easy to use, disc faucets are the right choice. However, disc faucets are more expensive to install and repair.
- Disc faucets are also a good choice for people with arthritis who have difficulty pushing a compression or ball faucet.
- Ball faucets are cheap and versatile, so you can use them in most sinks in the house if you want to save money.
- Ensure that the spout height and reach are long enough for the sink. For instance, ball faucets won’t have a long enough spout for vessel sink basins.
- If you don’t want to deal with maintenance, cartridge faucets are easy to repair and replace.
- If you want to switch from a multi-handle to a single-handle faucet, buy plates to cover the empty handle holes.
- An old house with compression faucets might require some plumbing updates before you can install new types of faucets.
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Published: Dec 20, 2022