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Old 07-14-2014, 07:20 AM   #1
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Touchless faucets


Have been thinking of ways to conserve energy and resources. Are the touchless faucets a cost effective option? I heard they used to require a lot of maintenance to keep them in proper working condition. Please share your thoughts. Rob
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:30 AM   #2
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Trying to understand the logic, there going to cost more to buy, one more thing to fail, and going to use the same amount of water.
For more bang for the buck I'd be double checking air sealing the house envelope, adding insulation in the attic if need, checking for air leaks around windows and doors, replacing old leaking windows.
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:39 AM   #3
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Assuming the touchless sink and current sink use the same satisfactory flow rate (if you downgrade to a less flow rate, you often use MORE volume of water because you have to stand there that much longer to get satisfactorily clean).

In theory, a touchless sink uses less water given the same flow rate because on the original sink, the time it took you to take your hand from the valve, to the soap, to the water and then again from the water, to the towel, to the valve to shut it off is "water wasted."

In reality, the turn on time is spent waiting for the water to come to a desirable temperature and wastes down the drain anyway and most people incorrectly go from water back to valve shut off anyway, negating really any gains there. Given a typical 3gal/min flow rate, if you are "wasting" 5 seconds of water per hand wash and you wash your hands 10 times a day for every day of a year, you just saved 912.5 gallons of water. Going back to proper hand washing techniques, I'm not really sure if 365 days x 10 handwashings/day is actually a realistic estimate - 365 days certainly is not either but this "extrapolated math" is how these energy conservation gimmicks try and sell customers.

You can make your own determination whether 912.5 gallons will cost you what the upgrade will, ASSUMING the new unit has zero additional maintenance or problems in that timeframe. From what I've seen and used, that's a poor assumption. Frankly, I just don't like the way they function and think they are tacky and clumsy.
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:26 AM   #4
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I just bought a new bathroom faucet, and a kitchen one is on my to-do list.

I quickly ruled out the touch faucets. IMHO the selling point is the "cool" factor rather than energy or resource conservation. I don't see them saving enough water to compensate for the price.

One thing I didn't look into is power source. Do they require a battery? Dunno.

The bottom line is they are just too new and untried for me. I would hate to come home to find the water has been running all day while at I was at work.

Edited to add: I also wondered about cats. Would a cat be able to accidentally turn it on?
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:33 AM   #5
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The best faucet that you can buy is a $45.00 dollar basic faucet
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:14 PM   #6
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I installed one for a customer in December---She hates it----------My cat sure would like the thing---
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:38 PM   #7
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If you're worried about wasting water then you would want a metered faucet or a sensor faucet.
We've all encountered them in public restrooms- they're the ones you swear at as you wave your hands around trying to find the sweet spot.......

One type I always thought would be handy at a kitchen sink though, is one with foot pedals. Only delivers water while the pedal is pressed. The pedals are located in the toe kick area- hands free operation
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
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One type I always thought would be handy at a kitchen sink though, is one with foot pedals. Only delivers water while the pedal is pressed. The pedals are located in the toe kick area- hands free operation
Oh, yeah! Cool! I forgot about those. I saw those at a local hospital and thought they would be sooooo handy!
I want one for my bathroom though. No more toothpaste smeared all over the faucet handles.
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Old 07-15-2014, 05:47 AM   #9
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Check out pedalvalve.com. I have two. They aren't cheap but they do what you are looking for.
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Old 07-15-2014, 06:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEplumber View Post
If you're worried about wasting water then you would want a metered faucet or a sensor faucet.
We've all encountered them in public restrooms- they're the ones you swear at as you wave your hands around trying to find the sweet spot.......

One type I always thought would be handy at a kitchen sink though, is one with foot pedals. Only delivers water while the pedal is pressed. The pedals are located in the toe kick area- hands free operation
I could see some use for that in my shop's utility sink. Call me OCD I guess, I don't like the mess even in a utility sink.
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:54 PM   #11
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Thank you for all of the great feedback. I must apologize for my ignorance in the matter. When I referred to the type of faucet that I had in mind as being a touchless faucet, I was thinking of the kind that you see in public restrooms where you have to hunt for the sweet spot, referred to as metered or sensor faucets by the moderator TheEplumber. I would think that much less water would be wasted through their use.

As was stated in earlier replies, one has to way the initial costs of the purchase and of maintenance against the actual conservation savings.

Thanks again for all of the great input............... much appreciated! Rob
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Old 07-16-2014, 12:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killermrob83 View Post
Thank you for all of the great feedback. I must apologize for my ignorance in the matter. When I referred to the type of faucet that I had in mind as being a touchless faucet, I was thinking of the kind that you see in public restrooms where you have to hunt for the sweet spot, referred to as metered or sensor faucets by the moderator TheEplumber. I would think that much less water would be wasted through their use.

As was stated in earlier replies, one has to way the initial costs of the purchase and of maintenance against the actual conservation savings.

Thanks again for all of the great input............... much appreciated! Rob
Oops. My bad. I was thinking of the touch faucet, not the touchless.

Are you thinking bathroom, kitchen, or both?

When we redid our main bathroom, DH really, really wanted a standard faucet with the two porcelain knobs. Being ecologically minded, I always turn off the water while brushing my teeth. Which inevitably means I have to turn it back on with a handful of toothpaste. (Let's just say I'm a thorough brusher and a bit of a slob), so I wouldn't mind one in the bathroom. I don't know if it would pay for itself, though. The one I'm about to install is a single lever so at least I can "bump" it on and off with my wrist.

This thread has me looking at them more closely. They are not totally touchless. There is an adjustment lever for the temp control. I wondered about that.


The kitchen ones by Moen look awesome, but I don't think I would want one. Sometimes it turns off by itself, sometimes not, depending on how it is turned on.
The propaganda video shows a woman "waving" it on to fill a pot, but if you're filling the sink, and you have to adjust the temp anyway, what's the point.
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Old 04-12-2017, 03:08 PM   #13
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Re: Touchless faucets


I'm from the school of belief that the more 'hygienic' or anti-bacterial we become, the weaker our natural immune system becomes. Unless your house is writhing in anthrax or you life in a bus terminal, I fail to see the benefits of not touching your faucet or any other common surface. I also think the concept of a 'touchless' faucet with a pullout nozzle a tad oxymoronic.
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