At first look, it appears that all faucets function in the same way: turn one or two handles, and water comes out. But faucets’ internal mechanisms differ significantly from model to model. The sections inside faucets where hot and cold water are mixed and the flow rate is controlled have four main types of valves.
Each type of faucet valve accomplishes water distribution at a desired rate and temperature differently. Below are more details about these valve types and what you need to know about their upkeep and operation.
Compression valves, the earliest type of faucet valve still in use, are straightforward and affordable. A compression valve has a bottom-mounted rubber compression washer and a screw stem that raises and lowers in response to turning it.
The stem is raised, and the rubber washer is lifted out of the concave water entrance when the valve handle is twisted counterclockwise. Water may now enter the faucet body as a result. The washer is forced into a concave intake as the stem is lowered, stopping the water flow.
Compression valves’ main benefit is their low cost, which makes fixtures with these valves less expensive than those with other types. However, compression valves are more likely to leak compared to other types of valves. After prolonged use, the rubber washer may deform and even split and disintegrate.
When the washer loses its ability to seal the intake, leaks will therefore start to appear. To restore the watertight integrity of the valve, the washer will need to be replaced. Fortunately, faucets with compression valves are a practical alternative for most households due to the inexpensive cost of parts and the generally simple maintenance process.
Widespread in faucets, cartridge valves provide outstanding performance at an affordable price. A little metal or plastic cylinder serves as the main structural element of a cartridge faucet. A system of channels inside the cylinder directs water flow and regulates temperature.
An O-ring seals the cartridge’s bottom to stop leaking from the edges.
When compared to ball valve faucets, cartridge valve faucets provide several advantages. For instance, cartridge valves can be paired inside of two-handled faucets or used in single-handle configurations similar to ball valve faucets.
Furthermore, because they have fewer parts than other types of faucets, cartridge valve faucets are easy to replace. In reality, a leaky faucet can be fixed by simply replacing the worn-out cartridge.
Ceramic Disc Valves
The ceramic disc valve is the newest style of faucet valve. Two revolving discs are incorporated into this innovative valve design. The grooves line up when they are turned, allowing water to flow. Ceramic disc valves are built to be durable, dependable, and rarely require maintenance.
The high cost associated with the technology and precise production of ceramic disc valve faucets is a drawback. However, ceramic disc valve faucets are virtually leak-proof and typically pay for themselves during their lengthy lifespans.
Ball valves are used in single-handle faucets. Ball valves are used in single-handle faucets. The primary component of a ball valve is a steel ball that contains grooves and holes. Then, adjusting the ball with the faucet handle controls water temperature and flow rate.
Ball valves are relative complexity. They contain numerous small parts, including springs, O-rings, and washers. Leaks will develop as these parts wear out.
Do You Have Questions?
Do not hesitate to contact Top Tier Plumbing and Rooter with questions regarding faucet valves. Our service specialists are ready to help with new fixture installs and plumbing repairs.