From washing dishes to brushing teeth, the faucets in our home get a lot of use. Beyond function, in today’s modern interior design, a stylish faucet can complete the look of your kitchen or bathroom.
When it comes to buying a new sink faucet for your home, it’s not always as simple as picking the one that looks the best. There are actually different types of faucets for you consider. Each one is designed and operates a bit differently, so it’s good to understand the differences.
Available in either single or double-handle models, cartridge faucets are very common in today’s homes. Inside, the faucet has a hollow metal cartridge that moves to block or allow hot and cold water from flowing through.
For a single-handle cartridge faucet, moving the handle up and down controls the amount of water flow, while moving side to side changes the water temperature. In double-handle design, a simple rotation of a handle will turn the hot or cold water line on or off.
More commonly found in kitchens, ball faucets were the first faucets designed without rubber washers (which can wear down easily and cause leaks). This type has a single handle – that controls both the hot and cold water – sitting on top of the faucet body.
As the name suggests, the internal components of the faucet body includes a small ball (either plastic or metal) with multiple chambers and slots built into it. The ball’s position determines the flow and amount of hot or cold water. When you move the handle either up or down, or side to side, you are controlling the position of that ball.
More modern but sometimes similar in appearance to ball faucets, the disc faucet features a wide cylindrical body and a single handle on top. This type of faucet works by having two flat ceramic discs inside an area called the pressure balance cartridge.
When the faucet is turned off, the two discs are pressed together, blocking the flow of water. When you move the handle, it lifts the top disc, creating a gap and allowing hot or cold water to flow through. The handle can move in all directions like a ball faucet, but with slightly less freedom. Because it uses fewer internal parts than a ball faucet, disc faucets are usually more durable.
Compression washer faucet
The most traditional type of faucet, compression washer faucets are typically found in older homes. Featuring separate handles for the hot and cold lines, it looks similar to a double-handle cartridge faucet, but the two work differently.
When you turn a handle of a compression washer faucet, you must apply pressure in order to move a compression stem (a screw with a washer at the end) up or down. The action is not as smooth as with a cartridge faucet. Since the design includes a rubber washer, this type of faucet is prone to leaks and may require more repairs.
Now you know the four major types of sink faucets. Whether you’re replacing an old fixture or upgrading your entire kitchen or bath, we hope you enjoy shopping for your new faucet.
If you have any questions about plumbing or need help installing your new faucet, you can always count on the professionals at Pratt Plumbing. We’ve been serving the Amarillo area for over 55 years. Call us today at (806) 373-7866.