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Home Maintenance  /  July 18, 2016

Types of Kitchen Faucets

There are more than a dozen different styles of kitchen faucets on the market. These include single-lever models with separate spray nozzles as well as pullout nozzles and dual handle styles. Faucets are available in a variety of finishes to complement different kitchen decors. Regardless of the design, a kitchen faucet can develop a drip or leak, which can increase your monthly utility bills. To repair the problem, you must first identify what type of valve is present inside the faucet. Kitchen faucets utilize various types of valves to control the flow of water.

The repair techniques required to correct the issue depends on the valve assembly in your faucet. The four most common types of kitchen faucet valves are ball, disc, cartridge and compression. While the first three are washerless valve assemblies that do not use rubber or neoprene washers, compression valve assemblies require the use of a washer. This guide provides an overview of the most common types of kitchen faucets. If you need assistance replacing a faucet, contact the experts at Handyman Connection of Lexington.

Ball faucets have a distinctive single lever that moves over a rounded ball-shaped cap. Slots within the ball valve mechanism regulate the volume and temperature of the water dispensed when the handle is moved from front to back and side to side. A commonly used design, the faucet’s internal construction is more complex than the other types of valve assemblies. Although it does not contain a washer, a ball valve does utilize a series of O-rings and spring-loaded rubber seals. The complexity of this design increases the potential that the faucet will develop leaks and drips.

The latest advance in faucet technology, ceramic disc faucets also have a single handle. Rather than a ball, the cylindrical body houses a mixing chamber known as a pressure balance cartridge to regulate the flow and temperature of the water. Lifting the handle raises and lowers two ceramic discs located at the bottom of the cartridge that control the water volume. Turning the handle side to side controls the temperature. These high-quality faucets are extremely reliable.

Single- or double-handle kitchen faucets may utilize a cartridge valve mechanism to control the water flow and temperature. Single-handle cartridge faucets may look similar to their ball design counterparts. The difference is that the valve on a cartridge faucet is opened by lifting the handle rather than pushing it backward. The outward appearance of a double-handle model may be indistinguishable from a compression faucet. The main difference between the two models is the amount of pressure required to turn the faucet off. While a compression valve may require more force, the cartridge valve turns off in a smooth motion.

Compression valves are the oldest style of faucet mechanisms. They have been around since the beginning of on-demand plumbing. Typically found in older homes, this type of faucet is also a common feature in modern homes equipped with utility sinks. These types of kitchen faucets always have two handles that require a fair amount of force to shut off the flow of water. They use a stem that works similar to a screw to squeeze, or compress, a washer against the valve seat. It is the least expensive design and the most prone to leaks.

Regardless of the type of valve assembly inside your kitchen faucet, the professionals at Handyman Connection of Lexington have the expertise to diagnose and repair the cause of any problems that it may be experiencing. Contact us if you need assistance repairing you current faucet or installing a new kitchen one.


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