How do touchless faucets work?

Moen's Motionsense touchless faucet.
Moen’s Motionsense touchless faucet works by waving a hand over the faucet. (Photo: Moen)

Motion activated, or touchless faucets, work when a sensor on the faucets detects hand movement or hand presence, sending a signal to a solenoid controlled valve that lets water flow. Depending on the type of control sensor on the faucet, water will stop flowing either when it senses no more movement or when a hand is waved in front of the sensor again to stop the flow of water.

Some touchless faucets have sensors below the faucet spout to detect hand movement. These work best in bathrooms or other locations where hand washing is the primary use. Others, like Moen’s Motionsense faucets, are activated from a sensor on the top of the faucet spout. Waving your hand over the sensor turns the water on and off. These are ideal for kitchen environments where you might want to run water for extended periods when there will be no motions, such as when filling a pot.

The temperature on touchless faucets is set at the control unit below the sink. It can be tuned to be cool, warm or hot, depending on your needs.

Will a touchless faucet work in a power outage

Home motion activated faucets are powered with batteries and will work in a power outage. The control unit and valves are located beneath the sink. Batteries will typically last about a year. But if the batteries do die, you can still turn on the water manually using the faucet handle.

What are the advantages of touchless faucets

Touchless faucets make it easier to turn on faucets when your hands are dirty and can help reduce the spread of germs when you have handled raw food. They can also help reduce the waste of water by making it easier to turn off the flow of water, or by doing so automatically after a set period of time has passed.


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