An Intro to Touch and Motion Activated Faucets - Plumbing Zone - Professional Plumbers Forum
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:49 AM   #1
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Default An Intro to Touch and Motion Activated Faucets



Love them or hate them, touch and motion activated faucets are here to stay. Usually found in public and business restrooms, these faucets have made their way to the home market and are worth learning about to better serve your clients' needs.

What Are Touch Activated and Motion Activated Faucets?

Touch activated faucets make use of an electrical sensor, usually powered by batteries, that utilize technology like that of a smartphone or tablet. The sensor picks up on the minute electrical signals given off by skin and takes them as a command to turn the faucet on. Older style foot-pedal faucets are technically also touch activated faucets, but are often classed in their own category and not lumped in with newer tech.

Motion-activated faucets also rely on an electrical sensor to give the signal to turn the water on and off. Instead of actually waiting for a touch to register, all that’s needed is to block the light in front of the sensor for a brief period of time to trigger the faucet on or off. Like touch faucets, motion faucet sensors are battery powered.

The Pros of Motion and Touch Faucets

Motion and touch faucets are both advertised as being more convenient and sanitary than their traditional counterparts. Minimal or no contact with handles when you have dirty hands means less contamination from germs and debris. Additionally, being able to save valuable seconds turning a handle makes them a time saver, especially for tasks that take up most of a person's attention or focus.

Motion and touch faucets also have fewer chances of developing leaks from the handles. Because they don't rely on turning a handle to activate, the seals and equipment in the faucet handles don't wear out as easily and are less prone to failure.

The Cons of Touch and Motion Faucets

Motion and touch faucets are sensitive. Some clients find them too sensitive. Others are surprised to walk in and find their cat, child or dog drinking from the faucet they turned on themselves. This can be a hazard if temperature controls aren't strictly monitored or the faucet involved doesn't have an automatic timed shutoff.

Still other challenges are presented by newer generation sensor-powered faucets. While the handles are less likely to wear out, the sensors themselves can fail. Batteries require regular replacements, depending on usage. Other faucets are prone to sucking up debris into valves, leading to constant drips.

Different models have different failure rates, with Delta and Moen being among the most trusted brands for touch and motion faucets. Various manufacturers and suppliers also have different warranties available in the event of an equipment failure or break – and it's not just plumbing that can break, there's also an electrical component to consider.

Should You Emphasize a Motion or Touch Faucet?

Motion or touch activated faucets can be a boon for clients who engage in activities that require their full focus, such as dog grooming, high-intensity cooking or those with small children. These same activities can also make a motion or touch faucet a burden, so it's a highly personal choice. Nobody wants a faucet that turns on the minute a shadow hits a sensor, especially if water is already at a premium.

New wave sensor powered faucets are worth learning about and learning to install – even basic models from Moen and Delta can take an additional two hours to install because of the need for ground wires for the sensors. It's up to you to educate your clients on their potential sensitivity and set your repair and removal policies accordingly.

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Old 01-11-2017, 05:26 PM   #2
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If you are going to install these types of faucets, I suggest you form relationships with the outside guys from your local reps who support the different manufacturers whose products you install. These guys generally know the idiosyncrasies of their valves and if you have a valve with a stumper of a problem, they probably have seen and dealt with it before.
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Old 01-14-2017, 11:24 AM   #3
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I hate those things....when my hands are soaped up, I like copious amounts of water, not the tiny minute amount that is metered out.

All of these water-saving fixtures means less water down drain and sewer lines to carry waste and debris which means more chance of stoppages.
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Old 01-14-2017, 12:48 PM   #4
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I installed a few customer supplied delta touch faucets....in my opinion, complete garbage, made cheap and and sometimes the faucets have a mind of their own, and I dont see the touch feature having a long life span, water and electronics dont mix well, but time will tell, and the fun starts if you have to fix these things, seems like its gona be a disposable faucet, when it breaks parts and labor will be more than just installing new..
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Old Yesterday, 01:38 PM   #5
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One of our local Lowe's pulled all motion sensor faucets and replaced them with self-closers.
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Old Yesterday, 06:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy plumber View Post
I hate those things....when my hands are soaped up, I like copious amounts of water, not the tiny minute amount that is metered out.

All of these water-saving fixtures means less water down drain and sewer lines to carry waste and debris which means more chance of stoppages.
Tommy, it has helped the Sewer and Drain Cleaning business. I am not a plumber, but I hear the new stools are going to 1.28.
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Old Yesterday, 06:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Tommy, it has helped the Sewer and Drain Cleaning business. I am not a plumber, but I hear the new stools are going to 1.28.
We've been at 1.28 for a while now.
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Old Yesterday, 07:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Tommy, it has helped the Sewer and Drain Cleaning business. I am not a plumber, but I hear the new stools are going to 1.28.
they should come with a coupon for high fiber cereal so what comes out will flush....
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