Four Types of Faucets and How to Tell Them Apart

Four Types of Faucets

The more we think about it, the more we realize faucets are a big deal. When it comes to plumbing, most appliance models work the exact same way. No matter what a toilet looks like, it still flushes. The same can be said for sinks, everything drains in the same way. This concept is derailed when it comes to faucets. Oftentimes, homeowners have at least three, if not four different types of faucets in their home. While this doesn’t pose a problem in most homes, when it comes to repairing or replacing a faucet, many of our homeowners are left with more questions than answers. Because of this, we’re sharing the four most common types of faucets and how to tell them apart.

Compression Water Faucet

We’ll start with the oldest of type of faucet. The compression faucet has been on the scene since plumbing was first available in private residences. This type of faucet has two handles, one hot and one cold. To get water, you manually rotate the handles to control the flow and temperature of the water. This type of faucet got its name because they are supported by a compression stem, which is basically a large screw with a washer at the end. When you open the faucet to turn on water, the washer at the end rises and allows water to flow. When you turn off water, the washer lowers itself until it seals and cuts off the flow of water.

Though these faucets used to be all the rage, they’re now mostly found in utility sinks. The compression water faucet is very affordable compared to other faucets, but it is prone to leaks and lost of maintenance. Which is why most homeowners relegate them to the utility sink.

Ball Faucet

Next, we have the ball faucet. The ball faucet was created to be the first washer-less faucet on the market. Ball faucets are commonly seen in kitchens and they only have one handle. You can identify them based on their base. A ball faucet’s base will be a little wider because the faucet handle moves over a ball. This ball has chambers and spring loaded rubber seals to control how much water is distributed and the temperature of said water. When you rotate the handle, the ball moves from slot to slot depending on where you want it.

Cartridge Faucet

Cartridge faucets are interesting because they have either one or two handles. The two-handled version can look very similar to a compression water faucet. The best way to tell them apart is how the faucet feels while being used. Cartridge faucets are easy to twist and turn, they don’t require any pressure. On the flipside, compression water faucets require pressure to turn the handles. These faucets get their name from the hollow metal cartridge inside the faucet itself. This cartridge can seal the faucet, and block water from both the hot and cold water lines. When you turn on both the hot and cold water, the cartridge moves fully forward, uncovering both lines. When adjusting water temperature, the cartridge moves from side to side depending on which one you want more, hot or cold.

Disc Faucet

We’re ending this list with the newest faucet design: the disc faucet. It’s easy to confuse a disc faucet with a ball faucet, but have a single handle, but they work in different ways. Disc faucets are much wider than the other faucets on this list and they are considered to be one of the most durable faucets. The disc faucet handle moves up and down and side to side like a ball faucet, but disc faucets have less movement. Inside the wide body, there are two discs that open and close to let water in and out. The wider the discs move apart, the more water you have. The temperature is controlled by the side to side rotation of the handle.

Interested in a New Faucet for Your Home? Call Bell Brothers!

Now that you know the difference between the four most common types of faucets, are you interested in replacing any of the faucets in your home? If so, give the experts at Bell Brothers a call. Our faucets are under unbeatable warranties and we have a wide variety to choose from. We’ll make sure to match your style and taste. If you’re in our Sacramento, Stockton, or Vacaville communities, call the number at the top of the screen to schedule an appointment.