The spread of any virus is only made possible when there is some form of direct or indirect contact with a carrier. During the prevalent pandemic, it is crucial to stop this spread of the virus from individual to individual. One major source of contamination through contact is the traditional faucet in both public and domestic spheres. Ironically, having to touch a faucet to wash hands ruins the purpose of washing hands; it causes the spread of germs. An ingenious solution is the touchless faucets, which eliminate the fear of contamination by eliminating the need to touch the faucet.
Touchless faucets, also called sensor faucets, operate with the help of presence sensors, i.e. sensors that detect the presence of hands. These sensors, when activated, open the valves and allow the water to flow until the hands are removed from under the spout. You do not need to touch the faucet anymore! This means that there is no risk of contracting germs from the faucet.
Types of touchless faucets
There are many different types of touchless faucets that differ in terms of the material they are made of and the type of presence sensors involved. Some common types include:
Solid brass faucets
Solid brass faucets are made entirely of brass which makes them very durable. This is so because brass does not erode. This feature makes them ideal for use in places with “hard water”. “Hard water” increases the risk of erosion in faucets and pipes, so the solid brass faucets are useful because brass does not erode.
Brass and chrome coated faucets
Solid brass faucets are faucets made of zinc and coated with brass. The brass coating helps prevent corrosion by keeping the zinc unexposed and thereby keeping the surface shiny. Hygiene concerns, however, need to be kept in mind; if the brass surface wears off over time, the zinc is exposed to the risk of corrosion.
Stainless steel faucets
Stainless steel touchless faucets are corrosion-resistant and shiny. The stainless steel surface remains shiny as long as it is not scratched.
These faucets are by far the most commonly used type of touchless faucets, primarily because they are cost-effective. A drawback, however, is that they are easier to break or damage than other materials and thus less durable.
How to touchless faucets work?
Touchless or sensor faucets make use of presence sensors (instead of motion sensors) to detect the presence of hands under the spout. When hands are brought under the spout, the sensors are activated and the solenoid valves, which control water-flow, are opened. These sensors can either be infrared sensors or ultrasound sensors. The infrared sensors detect the infrared rays emitted by the hands while the ultrasound sensors open the valves when the rays are blocked. The sensors control the solenoid valve, which is a solenoid-activated diaphragm valve, which in turn control the flow of water. The sensor, valves, and the electronics need a power source to operate and this source can either be a dry cell or low voltage current from an AC generator.
Sensor faucets operate automatically and this eliminates any water wastage. The water will begin to flow only when hands are brought under and as soon as they are no longer detected, the water flow will stop. This mechanism significantly reduces water wastage, which is particularly useful in commercial settings where risk of wastage is higher.
Eliminated risk of contamination and spread of viruses
When an individual touches the tap of a faucet, there is a risk that he will be contracting some germs from the surface which many others had touched. Spread of germs in this way is particularly problematic in public places where many people use the same faucets. Touchless faucets are the ideal solution to this problem. There is no need to make any physical contact with the faucet as the water flows and stopped flowing automatically. By eliminating the need to touch the faucet in this way, sensor faucets reduce the spread of viruses.