Hands-free faucets

thmetcalfJuly 11, 2014

I've read some favorable posts here about the Tapmaster foot controls for faucets, and am intrigued by a hands-free kitchen faucet operation. But I don't want a solution like the Tapmaster which puts the foot-controlled valve in series with the regular faucet valve: I want the faucet to always work normally (move the regular valve, water comes out) no matter what, with no latching or pre-opening required. I also want to be able to walk up to the faucet and use it hands-free without any prior preparation.

I'm thinking about getting foot-pedal valves (e.g. from T&S Brass) and a remote-valve kitchen faucet (there's one in the Kohler Simplice line, for example) and connecting the faucet input to both the regular valve and the foot valve with a (likely homemade) wye. Has anybody done this successfully?

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Thmetcalf, have you looked at the Moen MotionSense faucets? Ours can be used just like a regular faucet by turning it on with the lever on the faucet, or I can walk up, wave my hand over it and it turns on. You don't have to do anything such as latching or pre-opening. Perhaps I am missing something you are looking for because it seems the MotionSense units may work the way you hope. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 10:56PM
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Same with Delta Touch 2 0. That's what I have now. It can just be turned on and off 'normally' if you want.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 10:59PM
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How do you adjust the water speed and set it for hot or cold with the motion sense?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 11:03PM
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I've got the Delta Touch faucets and they can be turned on or off manually by moving the handle or they can be turned on or off by touching the top of the faucet or the handle.

EmmaR, if you're using the motion sense the heat and speed are set to what you manually set. I usually leave the water pressure on medium (so there's not a ton of splashing) and at a warm setting. If I'm away from the faucet for a long time than it'll be cold as soon as it turns on but if I'm back and forth for awhile it stays fairly warm. I usually use the touch setting just to get it turned on if I've got something like cookie dough on my hands and after I've mostly rinsed off my hands I'll change the temp or pressure if necessary. It's REALLY convenient!

Here is a link that might be useful: Home Blog

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 11:16PM
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The sensor and touch faucets do look interesting. The first drawback I imagine is that they might befuddle visitors; someone comes up to the faucet and is startled when water suddenly starts flowing, because they touched it or activated the sensor. For those of you that have these faucets, how have visitors reacted to them?

The other question is how long the sensing mechanism will last for. Will it keep working for 20 years? How repairable will it be?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 7:26AM
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The touch definitely befuddles visitors. I don't have unique visitors enough that it's a big deal, but if I did, and I was organized, I'd remember to put the handle in the off position. Remember that if they go for the handle, unless they've touched the neck or something else previously, it'll operate like normal...except that if they let go with it in the on position, it'd stay on. But since most people's habit is to turn it off, it works fine. I imagine someone were wearing long sleeves, they could inadvertently get a wet sleeve, but that'd be about it.

I used to be annoyed that visitors would turn it off. Now, I get it.

If the touch feature died, you'd still have a nice enough faucet.

I'm replacing it with a non-touch one in our reno and I know I'll miss it. But I also know if I miss it enough, we'll get a Tapmaster.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 8:22AM
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The problem we have with the sensor faucets at work is that they go off and on spontaneously and sometimes will not go on when you want them too.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 8:50AM
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We are getting a Kohler Sensate touchless faucet. I don't think it'll be a problem for visitors since they usually go for the handle which will work normally. If they inadvertently put their arm underneath the arc and trigger the sensor, they might be surprised but they are going for the water anyway so it shouldn't be a problem.


    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 8:53AM
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I'm not sure there is much historical info on the longevity of these faucets. As a previous poster said if the sensor dies you still have a regular faucet. As for the surprise arm drenching, I turned off the front-facing sensor on our Moen to prevent that from happening. The sensor on top is still activated for the wave-over on. I love the faucet. One more thought, the sensor control is in a separate box mounted below the sink. I am guessing that could be replaced in the future if needed.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 9:08AM
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Marc Johnson

We bought a Delta touch faucet about 18 months ago ... love the concept, but it's been a flaky experience for us - sometimes when the dishwasher starts to drain, the faucet turns on for 1 minute or so. A few times the touch system "died" and I had to pull the batteries to reset it. This was their 1st generation, so maybe they have improved ... but it was enough trouble that I'm going with Moen for our new one.

The biggest advantage of the Moen motionsense is that you can preset a temperature and that's what always comes out when you activate it via motionsense.... i.e. if you want warm water for washing your hands, that's where you set it (under the sink). The manual water selection overrides that, so you can easily go to hot or cold just by pulling the handle out.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 2:17PM
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Love my touch Delta. It's a funny thing and we had a few problems getting it working properly when it was first installed, but I really like it, especially when I'm handling raw meat (the main reason I got it). As for visitors, they are always befuddled but it's also a cool conversation piece.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 10:34AM
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Marc Johnson

Once you've gone touchless, it's hard to go back! I still slip up every once in a while when I go to a friend's houses and tap their faucet :)

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 11:54AM
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