Before you replace an old kitchen faucet or install something new as part of a remodeling project, there are a few things you should know. Our guide will familiarize you with everything you need to know about kitchen faucets before you buy one, including types, materials, and finishes.
Here is a complete breakdown of the various parts of a kitchen faucet and its operations to help you get a better knowledge of this vital appliance.
Parts Of Kitchen Faucets
Below are some of the most common faucet parts you need to know.
A faucet aerator creates a steady, splash-free stream of water by screwing onto the faucet tip. As a result, the stream will be smoother while limiting the water flow.
In addition to improving water flow, faucet aerators can also filter debris. The aerator is made up of small metal mesh screens that are placed on the faucet’s end.
The primary function of a spout is to transport water from the body to the sink. It consists of the spout body, cap, and handles.
The mouth of some faucets can also be unclipped, so you can move it around in the sink to clean it more thoroughly. Some faucets are equipped with an extra spout in the form of a sprayer that can be used in addition to the main spout.
Some common spout types are high-arc and straight spouts.
- The spout of a high arc kitchen faucet is taller and further out from the top of the kitchen sink. Generally, a high-arc faucet requires more space than a standard one, so check your installation space before you buy one. Due to the long, and curved arch, they are also known as gooseneck kitchen valves. It is commonly used in farmhouse-style kitchens to add to the room’s aesthetic
- Straight spouts have a much lower profile and are used in small spaces. Many pull-out faucet designs feature straight spouts to provide a more ergonomic experience. The nozzle handle is longer and wider to accommodate the straight spout design, making maneuvering the nozzle easier.
3. Handle Lever
With the handle lever, you can turn the water on and off as well as control the temperature. It can be turned in different directions to control water temperature, flow, and pressure. The majority of modern faucets have only one handle. It’s typically positioned on top of the spout, on each side of it, across the front of the body, or even next to it if there are other sinkholes.
4. Cartridge Lever
The entire valve mechanism in most kitchen faucets is contained in a cartridge and repairing the broken valves is also quite easy. In addition, a cartridge can be easily swapped out for a new one.
Cartridge valves are made in metal, plastic, or ceramic. Metal and ceramic valves are more durable than plastic valves because they are more robust. Ceramic will be used in more modern and high-end cartridges. These cartridges hardly ever leak and are unaffected by hard-water deposits. The most common type of leak on a faucet is caused by worn-out cartridges, so make sure your faucet comes with a new one.
If you need to replace one, it’s a relatively simple procedure. One-handle faucets are available with cartridges, ceramic discs, or balls. Two-handle faucets are either cartridge or compression. If you open a two-handle faucet and notice a faucet stem sticking up, you’ve got a compression faucet, which doesn’t have cartridges.
5. Escutcheon/Base Plate
A base plate is also known as an escutcheon is a mount that secures the faucet to the countertop. It is an ornamental feature that completes the overall look of the faucet. The base plate is made of the same material as the rest of the faucet, which could be stainless steel, plastic, zinc, brass, or copper.
Base plates are available in a variety of shapes, finishes, and sizes. They are also used to keep any external contamination out of the opening.
6. Faucet Body
In a faucet, the body transports the water from the collection pipe to the spout.
Waters from cold and hot faucets are mixed together before leaving the spout when the cartridge valve is placed in a single body. The cartridge valve houses the hot and cold water in a single casting for one-handle and two-handle faucet designs.
Suppose, if the faucet has a wider body, then it needs three holes for installation. In a separate pipe located under the counter, hot and cold water are combined. Besides the spout, a pipe connects the two valves and mixes both hot and cold water when it is turned on at the same time.
7. Spray Hose
The spray hose connects the faucet to the water supply and sits under the countertop. It is an adjustable pipe that enables the faucet to rotate. The feature is useful when washing a large set of items or spraying water in multiple areas. You can also move the faucet from one sink bowl to the other whether you’ve got a dual sink bowl. Also, the spray hose connects the faucet’s hot and cold water supplies.
8. Adjusting Rings
Adjustable rings are also called O-rings or gaskets. The adjusting ring’s primary function is to connect the faucet’s joints to be fitted and fastened properly. It is made of metal, rubber, brass, or other materials. It adjusts the pressure on the spout assembly on single-handle faucets.
9. Shut-out Valves
Shut-off valves are commonly found as cartridge valve components. They are responsible for regulating the flow and temperature of the water. Also, under-sink shutoff valves are also known as stop valves. It enables you to shut off the water towards the sink without having to use the main shut-out valve. The valve is simply replaced with a new one that fits the previous one.
10. Mounting Nut
A mounting nut is another important component of a kitchen faucet. It is the piece of hardware that connects the kitchen faucet to the sink. You can efficiently install the mounting nut as long as there is enough clearance between the wall and the sink. Before tightening the sink, first prepare the mounting holes.
Washers are a type of load-distributing hardware which is made of rubber, plastic, or metal. It is a small flat ring that connects the aerator to the compression stems of the kitchen faucets. It also stops leaking, seal joints, that allows water to flow freely. They resemble small metal discs with a hole in the center and serve to protect the parts being connected.
Adding a sprayer to the faucet will make dishwashing and cleaning the sink much easier. Many kitchen faucets include sprayers. They function similarly to a detachable hose for spraying water. This is ideal for cleaning inaccessible areas. The sprayer must be powerful enough to thoroughly rinse fresh produce. It is made of high-quality materials like plastic, zinc, or stainless steel for strong and long-lasting use.
When selecting an integrated spray head, there are some factors to consider. Select one with a simple spray/stream button for changing flow. Ensure that the sprayer reaches all corners of the sink as It allows you to wash various objects, such as fruits and vegetables.
13. Hose Guide
A hose guide is a type of faucet fitting that helps to regulate the direction of the flow of water and the ease with which the water can be maneuvered. It protects against scraping, allows for simple watering, and prevents the hose from becoming entangled. Finally, it secures the faucet’s side-spray head.
Flanges are similar to joints. The screws in the kitchen faucet hold the parts together.
15. Faucet Material
In an effort to eliminate lead, some manufacturers have begun to use PEX inside their faucets, which appears to be an exception to the avoid plastic rule. PEX has proven to be a dependable material, and PEX-infused faucets have received favorable reviews.
Below are the most common faucet materials.
- Plastic faucets are also less expensive than all-metal models, but far less durable. This is especially true in areas with hard water, as mineral deposits will wear down plastic components faster and more severely than metal. Plastic faucets should be better avoided.
- Brass has long been the most popular faucet material. Solid brass faucets are well-known for their durability. Avoid inferior brass-plated faucets, which will have a lower-grade metal underneath.
- Stainless steel has seen an increase in residential use and it is rust-resistant.
When it comes time to remodel, there are numerous types of kitchen faucets to choose from. Before deciding on a color or style, you may find it useful to first determine the type of kitchen faucet you require.
Newer finishes are specifically designed to resist the oils found in fingerprints and smudges, making it easier to keep clean and healthy. They are also drip-free and longer-lasting thus helping you save gallons. In the end, choose a faucet that complements your personal style, and saves water.
Hope this article has helped you better understand parts of a kitchen faucet.