Touchless Faucets 101: Comprehensive How to & Troubleshooting Guide

Touchless Faucets 101: Comprehensive How to & Troubleshooting Guide

Kitchen faucets are the most touched part of your kitchen because you have to touch them every time you turn on the water to clean uses, dishes, or your hands. This makes them one of the grimiest spots in your home. In addition, turning the kitchen faucet on with dirty hands, especially right after handling raw meat or cookie dough, leaves them covered in germs.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about touchless faucets.

How does a touchless faucet work?

A touchless faucet turns on and off with a simple swipe of the hand. A sensor under the faucet detects motion and signals the water inlet valve to turn on and allow water to flow through the spout. Touchless faucets have four components that enable them to work;

The Sensor

The sensor sends the signal of motion to the valve to activate the faucet. It lets the valve know when to start or stop the water based on hand motion detected. The sensor used in the sink depends on infrared light or ultrasonic energy to detect motion. Infrared sensors are located at the base or tip of the spout to detect motion without obstruction from large items easily.

Check this too: Kraus Bolden Touchless Kitchen Faucet troubleshooting

Solenoid Valve

The signals of motion from the sensor engage the solenoid valve. The signal’s polarity affects whether the solenoid engages a push or pull action. The valve then engages the flow of water through a rubber-like disc.

If the motion is detected, the solenoid receives a positive message which pulls the valve open and allows water to come out. The solenoid closes the valve with its push action once you move your hand away.

Power Source

Touchless faucets require electrical power to operate. This can be supplied by batteries plugging it into a socket or via hard wiring. Always confirm the power source needed before ordering your touchless faucet to ensure it will be compatible with your current kitchen setup.  

The Spout

This is the part that lets the water flow once the solenoid valve is activated. The spout comes in different materials and sizes.

Is a touchless faucet worth it?

Unless you clean your faucet after every use, it is safe to say that your kitchen faucet is most definitely a bacteria hotspot, which is why a touchless faucet is much better for kitchen use. The hand-free approach keeps it germ-free and helps you save water as it is motion-activated and stays off when you leave the sink area.

Is a touchless faucet efficient?

Unlike the regular faucet, you cannot control the amount of water coming out of the faucet at each use. unless you use a spout with a sprayer or stream selector. This beats the purpose of the faucet being touchless. This means you potentially end up using more water in the long run

Additionally, the touchless faucet can also be activated accidentally. For example, your cat sitting under the sink may set off the motion sensor causing the faucet to turn on even when necessary. The motion sensor may also sense your presence by the sink and turn on the water even when you do not intend to use it.

How to install a touchless water faucet

Follow these steps to install your touchless faucet;

Items needed

  • No-touch faucet and installation hardware
  • Batteries
  • Drill
  • 3/32 drill bit
  • Screwdriver
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Tape measure

Position the Faucet

  1. Turn off hot and cold water supplies to the kitchen sink.
  2. Remove the old faucet, then thread the new faucet’s data cable, hoses and shank through the deck gasket.
  3. Align to the bottom of the faucet body.
  4. Insert the cable, hoses and shank through the mounting hole. If there are multiple holes, install a deck plate.
  5. Make sure the faucet handle is on the right side and the faucet is facing forward before moving on.

Secure the Faucet

Under the sink, slide the support plate over the cables, then slide the mounting washer onto the faucet shank. Make sure the data cable and hoses are within the curve of the washer. Thread the mounting nut onto the faucet shank, then make sure the faucet is correctly positioned on the counter or sink. Tighten the nut and ensure it is secure.

Note: Inserting the screwdriver through the holes at the bottom of the plate makes tightening much easier.

Install the Hose Bracket

Install the hose bracket about 2 inches from the end of the connecting hose. Slide bracket onto the end of the faucet, and secure in place with a hose-guide nut. Guide into the faucet spout.

Remove the protective cap on the end of the hose, and connect it to the faucet with quick-connect lines. Press, clip, and listen for an audible click that indicates a secure connection.

Connect the Hose and Supply Lines

Connect the hoses and supply lines by identifying the corresponding inlets on the control box. Remove protective caps on the hoses and push each into place. Pull lightly to make sure each hose is secure. Connect the hot- and cold-water supply lines.

Secure the connection with an adjustable wrench—it should be snug but not overtightened. Attach the cold side the same way. Make sure you’re connecting the correct water hoses to the right inlets. To differentiate between the two, note that the hot-water supply line has a white tag.

Install the Control Box

Install the control box by snapping it to the hose-guide nut. If you’re mounting the control box to the cabinet base, install it where the data cable and hoses can reach.

Attach the Spray Wand

Attach the spray wand to the pull-down hose by removing its protective cover and ensuring the rubber washer and screen are in place. Thread the spray wand onto the pull-down hose, and tighten with an adjustable wrench until the hose nut is flush with the wand. Be careful not to overtighten. Find the white mark on the pull-down hose and install a weight just below it.

Install the Battery Pack

Install the battery pack by making sure the wire can reach the bottom of the control box. Next, remove the cover, insert batteries, and then replace the lid. The battery pack can be attached to the wall with double-sided adhesive or mounted with a screw.

Plugin the Data Cable

Remove the protective cap and plug the data cable into the control box. Make sure the mini USB connection aligns appropriately with the data port. Use a zip tie to band hoses and cables together, except for the pull-down hose. Then insert the battery-pack wire into the control box. Make sure nothing is within 3 feet of the faucet’s sensors to ensure proper startup. A blue light will blink at the base of the faucet.

Turn the Water On

Turn the hot- and cold-water inlets back on. To ensure the pull-down hose works well, remove cleaning supplies or objects that inhibit movement under the sink.

Do touchless water faucets need batteries to work?

It depends on the brand and model. As discussed above, different touchless faucets use other power sources.

How long do touchless faucet batteries last?

Touchless faucets are powered by lithium batteries, which tend to have longer battery life. The average life of a lithium battery is two years.

Why isn’t my touchless faucet working?

Here are some reasons why your faucet is not working and possible fixes;

Faulty Sensor

Check the sensor eye if the faucet won’t trigger. Remove the protective adhesive label covering the eye if it is still present and remove any debris over the sensor eye. Replace the sensor eye if it is scratched or damaged.

And ensure that the “permanent off” function is not activated. If the pilot valve is making a clicking sound while testing it with the test cable, the sensor is faulty and needs to be replaced

Power Supply

Check the power supply to your unit if the LED light flashes frequently, isn’t flashing at all, or your faucet isn’t providing water. Touchless faucets may operate off battery or A/C power and have a battery backup, depending on the model.

The batteries of some eco-friendly versions recharge when water passes through the faucet. Other faucets may require regular batteries or lithium batteries. Replace the batteries to check whether doing so resolves the issue.

Rechargeable batteries may lose their ability to hold an electric charge. In addition, a low battery indicator on your unit may fail, leaving you without water with no warning. The solenoid may fail to make the sound associated with triggering the faucet if your battery is low. Reset the electrical system by unplugging the unit for 10 seconds. Check the transformer, sensor, solenoid, and power cables for damages and replace any malfunctioning parts.

Faucet Functions

Check whether any unwanted function was accidentally triggered, such as the “continuous run,” “temporary off” or “permanent off” features. If you still experience issues with water delivery, reset the sensor range.

How do you reset a touchless faucet?

This may vary from brand to brand. You can refer to your user manual for the exact steps for resetting your touchless faucet. That said, these are the most common reset steps to most touchless faucets;

  • Disconnect the power cable leading to the battery pack or the AC adapter. Then disconnect the data cable from the control box. Wait 60 seconds with both cords unplugged, and then plug them back in.
  • Locate the reset button, if any, on or near the battery compartment, after changing out batteries. Then push the red reset button to reset the faucet.
  • Disconnect your terminal from the batteries and make sure that your solenoid valve is connected correctly. Then disconnect the solenoid from the battery pack and wait for at least 30 seconds for the solenoid to be reset.

Are touchless faucets safe?

Yes, they are.

Can a touchless faucet work manually?

Yes. Most touchless faucets have a manual sensor override mode, which allows the faucet to function as a touch faucet. This is handy, especially if your faucet is hard-wired and you do not have power.

To activate the manual mode;

  • Find the valve box underneath your sink.
  • Turn the manual override feature clockwise on the solenoid valve to operate the faucet manually.
  • Turn the manual override feature counter-clockwise on the solenoid valve to operate the faucet automatically.

Why is my touchless faucet turning on by itself?

If your unit doesn’t stop running or dripping, it may have a damaged solenoid valve that may need to be replaced. You should also check the diaphragm seal to see if it is the cause of the leak. Alternatively, the sensor may be damaged, causing it to signal water supply even when not needed.

If the issue persists, reset the sensor range. For example, your faucet may activate itself if the motion range setting is too long. Other factors can also start it in the environment, such as light sources such as sunlight and reflections.

Touchless faucet maintenance and care guide

Below are some tips and tricks to keep your faucet working correctly. It will also help to extend its lifespan.

Flushing the faucet

Flushing your faucet helps to keep it dirt and debris free.

To Flush the Faucet;

  • Remove the aerator and black sealing gasket above it.
  • Turn hot and cold faucet handle(s) to the full-on position(s) and flush lines for two minutes before
  • turning off the water.
  • Replace aerator with black sealing gasket above it

For a pull-out faucet,

  • Unscrew the wand from the hose.
  • Aim the hose into the drain.
  • Turn the faucet handle to a full-on hot and cold mixed position and flush for two minutes to remove debris from the lines.
  • Tap the screen in the wand to remove debris
  • Screw the wand back onto the hose.

Cleaning the faucet

To clean the faucet, wipe it with a damp cloth and mild household cleanser. Then dry it with a soft cloth to retain its luster and shine. Avoid using corrosive cleaning products as these can cause damage to the faucet’s finish.

These include;

  • Products that state on the label that they remove tarnish and rust
  • Industrial cleaners
  • Abrasive cleaners
  • Toilet bowl cleaners
  • Bleach-based cleaners
  • Polish
  • Ammonia solutions
  • Heavy-duty scrub sponges
  • Products containing hydrofluoric, hydrochloric, or phosphoric acid
  • Products containing caustic agents

Removing lime deposits

Using a mild household cleaner should do the job. If this does not work, place a cloth soaked

in white vinegar over the deposits for several hours, then try the mild cleanser again.

How to remove mineral deposits from the aerator

• Unscrew the aerator.

• Remove it and the black sealing gasket above it.

• Rinse the gasket in clean water.

• Soak the aerator in a 50/50 vinegar and water solution for several hours.

• Flush the aerator with water.

• Rub stubborn deposits with a toothbrush.

How to remove mineral deposits a pull-out/pull-down wand faucet

• Wipe over the rubber-like spray holes on your Touch-Clean pull-out/pull-down

Wand then use your fingertips to loosen and break away residue and mineral deposits.

Check this too: Best kitchen faucets for hard water

Other troubleshooting questions

Why do the batteries run out too quickly?

The sensor is faulty, causing excessive power consumption and draining the battery. Replace the sensor to fix the issue.

Why does the sensor have a red blinking light?

The battery is flat and needs to be replaced.