Touch and touchless faucets are amazing examples of really useful advanced technology. Not having to touch levers or handles to turn water on during messy kitchen tasks – or crafts projects – is certainly, well, handy. And, touch and touchless faucets are ideas that finally moved from commercial markets to residential in stylish packages to compliment nearly any style.
Delta Faucet introduced the first touch faucet for residential consumers in 2008. Bob Rodenbeck, Delta’s director of R & D, explained to Make magazine how the touch technology works.
In a nutshell, human beings have capacitance, which is how the body stores electrical energy. Delta scientists developed a capacitive sensor that measures increases in capacitance so water flow turns on with the first touch and then off again with the second touch.
Since the introduction of touch faucets, other companies have harnessed the technology in their own way. Let’s compare four of the top brands:
Trail-blazing Touch2.0 technology was introduced to the masses in 2008 and was met with
rave reviews. For the first time, home cooks and parents supervising messy crafts projects wouldn’t have to concentrate on touching faucet levers and handles as little as possible so they could wash their hands. With the new touch faucet, though, they could use their wrist or forearm to tap the top of the faucet to summon the water, eliminating the need to include the entire fixture in clean-up.
Delta Touch2.0 products feature the option of using AA batteries for two years of life (included) or using C batteries for five years (not included).
Operating under the Minta Touch brand, Grohe’s touch faucets are operated by a touchfrom the back of a hand or wrist. They feature a factory set auto stop after 60 seconds to conserve water and avoid accidents when little ones are using the faucet. Grohe also uses a battery to power the touch technology; a 6V lithium unit is included.
Unlike the others on this list, Kohler’s Sensate line of touchless faucets uses electricity to
power its sensors. Users wave their hands, or a pan or a utensil under the curve of the faucet neck to turn water on and off. Another sensor at the base of the faucet stem also responds, with both locations responding in 20 milliseconds.
The MotionSense line of faucets from Moen come equipped with two sensors – one on top of the handle and one on the base – for hands-free operation. The sensors are powered by six, AA batteries, and users can choose an aerated stream for everyday use or a more powerful rinse for more challenging cleaning. There’s also a pause function with the spray head to stop water flow without having to turn the fixture off in the middle of cleaning.
The four brands listed above do share some common features; single levers that adjust temperature and water flow, magnetic docking systems that keep pull-down spray heads in place, and glide technology for easy operation of the pull-down spray head.