Hands Free Faucets – selection and usefulness

 

For the times when your hands are a mess or both full, hands free faucets are great.  Let’s look at what options are out there, when a hands free faucet is a good idea, and what are some good ways to implement one.

Options:

Tapmaster – this is a foot activated valve that can be used with any faucet.  There is no power involved.  It’s a commercial product that will hold up to daily use.  It is pricey (you have to buy the faucet in addition to the unit).  I’ve had the basic model for 6 years and I love it. Sometimes, you turn off the faucet the normal way (force of habit), and then it’s off the next time you try to use it.  It can also be locked in the on position, so you can use it as a regular faucet (when guests are visiting and you want to avoid confusion). http://www.tapmaster.ca

1.     1756/1786 model –  allows you to control either hot or cold or both by pressing the left right or center of the pad that is mounted under the toe kick or in the floor in front of the sink.

2.     1750/1770/1780 model – basic model that turns water on and off.  Does not allow you to select hot or cold.  Pad is mounted under the toe kick or in the floor in front of the sink.

Moen MotionSense – Controlled by a wave sensor on top of the faucet, a motion sensor in the base of the faucet, and the handle.  Like the tapmaster, this is also a touchless faucet.  Looks like a good design, and Moen faucets are usually well made.  Limited to one style, and no control of hot or cold when using the sensors, but costs less than the tapmaster.  Requires batteries.  It’s relatively new at this time, so I’m not aware of any complaints.  http://www.moen.com

Kohler K-13472 gooseneck touchless  – A smaller faucet only controlled by a motion sensor in the base of the faucet.   Limited to one style, and has a temperature mixer.  Because this is a smaller faucet with no controls, it would not be your primary faucet at the sink.  Requires batteries.

Sloan – Sensor Activated, Electronic, Gooseneck Hand Washing Faucet for Tempered or Hot/Cold Water Operation. Battery Powered with 4″ Trim Plate and Below Deck Mechanical Mixing Valve. Like the Kohler faucet, this is a smaller faucet with no controls, it would not be your primary faucet at the sink.   Battery or a/c model.

Delta Pilar – Requires touching part of the faucet to activate, which can be awkward depending on how messy your hands are.  It requires batteries, which should last about a year depending on usage.  As with the Moen, there is no control of hot or cold when using the sensor, and you are limited to two styles.  Some of the complaints I’ve seen have to do with the faucet durability issues, the angle of the spout, and temperamental operations of the faucet (turning itself on or not always turning on when touched).  

http://www.deltafaucet.com/kitchen/collection/pilar.html?gclid=CJjsjaaf9bECFeddtgod9ScAFA

 

Brizo Talo/Venuto – Delta’s higher end faucet.  May have the same issues as above.

http://www.brizo.com/kitchen/collection/talo.html

Other sensor lavatory style faucets also exist.  Too many to list and review here.  Most are styled for bath or lav use, but could be considered in the right situation.

 

Usefulness:

1.     When both hands are in use and you need to turn on and off the water – rinsing dishes, cutting/cleaning and rinsing food

2.     When both hands are dirty and you need to clean them

3.     To avoid food contamination – working with meat, eggs, etc…

4.     Face it, it has a cool factor

 

Implementation:

If you find it would be useful in the above situations, but you don’t always want to turn the faucet on that way with the same force and temperature, then consider the following options:

1.     Get the Kohler or Sloan faucet and mount it as an accessory faucet off to the side of the main faucet.

2.     For a double bowl or wide sink, put in 2 faucets – one with a tapmaster and one as a normal faucet.  That way both options are available at the same sink.  This is the option I have chosen, and it works well.

3.     If you have 2 sinks, put the faucet on the secondary sink.

 

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