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Electronic/Hands-Free Faucets: What to Know

Faucets haven’t come too far since they were first invented, when you consider their function. For the most part, their job remains distributing water and proving a method to regulate the temperature. However, that’s not to say there haven’t been plenty of advancements, in terms of style, materials and more. If you’re in the market for faucets, you’ll soon find that some of the newest options are those that are electronic/hands-free. Before you go spending any money, though, keep reading for the information you need to know about this option.

A Brief History
The hands-free faucet’s design can be traced back to the 1970s. It was the public’s fear of coming into contact with germs that built the demand for commercial faucets that worked without a push button or handle. This would alleviate people’s concerns about using a faucet in a public restroom, while also making them easier for disabled people to use. Unfortunately, this push didn’t get very far. With the technology at the time, wiring faucets wasn’t easy and the increased energy costs made the whole idea unrealistic.

Finally, the hands-free faucets would have their chance in the ‘90s. It was a combination of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Energy Conservation Act passing in 1990 and 1992, respectively. This spurred innovation and today we have hands-free, electronic faucets that are battery-powered yet unaffected by the condition of the water, its pressure or temperature. They are activated thanks to infrared sensors that are triggered when your hands are within reach.

Choosing a Hands-Free Faucet
Like just about any style or version of faucet out there, you have a range of options to choose from when considering hands-free models. Although there are some versions that run off your home’s electricity, you’ll find that the majority of models are battery powered. This does mean that, from time to time, you’ll need to switch them out. However, batteries for hands-free faucets are relatively inexpensive.

Another similarity with choosing traditional faucets is considering each model’s longevity. You’ll find that manufacturers tend to do it one of two ways. Some will rate a model’s longevity in terms of how many washes it will offer. Others will simply tell you how many years it’s estimated to work for. Either way, when considering hands-free faucets, you need to combine this rating with how long the battery will last for a true sense of its maintenance schedule.

You’ll also want to know how your hands-free faucet adjusts its temperature. Obviously, without traditional fixtures, you can’t simply change the hot or cold water at will. The same consideration needs to be given for how long the water will run after being activated. With many models, this is predetermined. However, you can also find options that allow you to program it as you see fit.
Potential Disadvantages

For the most part, having a hands-free faucet probably seems ideal. It’s convenient, yet effective. However, this doesn’t mean there aren’t some perceived disadvantages to think about. You may decide it makes more sense to choose a hands-free faucet that runs off your home’s electricity, for example. While this means you don’t have to worry about changing out its battery, you’ll be without a faucet if your power goes out.

Furthermore, let’s say you want to get a glass of cold water from your tap. With predetermine temperature settings, this won’t be possible from your hands-free faucet.
In terms of aesthetics, most would agree that hands-free faucets have a ways to go. Style just hasn’t been a priority for their manufacturers, though you can expect this to change in the future.
If you want the most convenient option for a faucet or if the traditional versions simply aren’t feasible because of physical limitations, a hands-free, electronic faucet is worth considering. For more information please give Simon’s Supply a call and one of our trained plumbing specialists will be more than happy to assist you.

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