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You have come across them every time you wash after visiting the rest room. Perhaps you have turned them on countless times in your hotel room while on holiday. They are the everyday accessories in your bathroom or kitchen. Are you wondering what the suspense is all about? You are right! We are talking about faucets.
You must have come across a bathroom sink faucet, a chrome kitchen sink faucet, or industrial kitchen taps in their daily use. How about the bathtub faucet when taking a hot bath after a stressful day at work? Faucets add an aura of beauty to our kitchens and bath room spaces with their elegant designs and finishes. Join us as we explore these wonderful accessories and dig deeper into their history, construction, types, and where you can buy faucets at affordable prices.
Faucets came from somewhere
Faucets have been around for centuries and they were even more stylish during the Roman and Greek empires. The accessories were made of expensive materials such as silver, marble, and gold. Despite their aesthetic display, ancient days faucets were designed to jet both cold and hot water on demand. They still function the same way today, but a lot has changed. For instance, the standard two-handle faucets have since been replaced with single-handle faucets. Moreover, the evolution in technology has enhanced their functionality equipping the once simple faucets with smart capabilities.
Construction of Faucets
The manufacturing process of faucets has also evolved a great deal over the years. Today, manufacturers rely on two main manufacturing methods namely the machining process and the hot forging process.
The machining process utilizes advanced mechanics and technology to construct faucets. It involves cutting or bars that will be shaped and put together to form a faucet. The bars are fed into machines that are programmed to cut, turn, mill, and drill the metal bars into shape to produce the necessary components and then combined to complete faucet.
The hot forging is the earliest method of manufacturing faucets, and it has several advantages over the machining process. It involves pouring molten metal into a faucet-shaped cast. The molten metal takes the shape of the cast and acquires near-perfect net shape. The process is also quick as it takes seconds. However, it is not a stand-alone process as some components of the faucet must be formed through machining.
Faucets are not just plain taps
The manufacturing process does not end with forming the faucet into its proper shape. Added measures are included to give the faucet its sleek texture and shiny appearance. In addition, faucets are treated to remove traces of lead, which is a growing concern in tap water, and has been cited as having carcinogenic properties. Finally, a desired finish is applied to give the faucet an appealing appearance, with most faucets featuring a chrome finish because chrome is sleek, shiny, and easy to maintain. Brass is also a choice, but it has to be treated and coated with a polymer to give it a polished texture.
Types of Faucets
Faucets may all look the same and appear to work in the same way, but they come in different types and designed for different uses. For instance, there are faucets that are designed for use in the kitchen while others are used in bathrooms. Be it a kitchen faucet or bathroom faucet, they are all characterized into four types depending on their manufacturing design.
The ball Faucet is the most common type of faucet found in kitchen and other basic sinks. It is characterized by a single handle that controls a ball located above the base of its spout. The ball can be made of plastic or metal. The ball faucet features several chambers throughout its surface, and inside these chambers are O-rings made of rubber as well as rubber seals for support.
The chambers and O-rings in the ball are used to control the amount of water flowing out of the faucet as well as the temperature of the flowing water. The ball faucet is effective, but its efficacy falls gradually as the ball’s complex design results causes leakages through wear and tear.
Disk faucets are among the latest innovations in faucets. The disk inside the faucet is made of ceramic, and it is much more effective and long lasting compared to the ball faucet.
The ceramic disk faucet is characterized by a wide cylindrical body with a single lever on top. The ceramic disk is designed to perform two tasks: regulating flow of water and controlling temperature. To control flow of water, the two ceramic disks will either raise or lower depending on the degree to which the handle is turned. To control temperature, on the other hand, the disks will move side to side letting through varying volumes of cold and/or hot water.
There are two types of cartridge faucets: single-handle faucets and double-handle faucets. The single-handle faucet looks like a ball faucet but works differently. The user pushes the handle up or down to regulate the volume of water flow. Additionally, temperature is regulated by turning the handle left or right.
A double-handle faucet looks much like a compressor faucet but operates in a different manner. This faucet does not require the user to exert a lot of pressure to turn the water on or off – a simple 1800 turn will bring about the desired effect and let you enjoy the luxury of the running water. The cartridge faucet is mostly used as a bathroom faucet, but it is flexible and will look good and work well in any setting.
Compressor faucets operate using a compression stem that is fitted with a washer at one end and pressed against a valve seat.
This is the only type of faucet with a washer. It is also one of the oldest types of faucets – it is a common fixture in old homes, and new homes are also adopting modern versions. It is characterized by two handles that are designed for hot and cold water. In addition to controlling temperature, the handles also control the volume of water depending on the degree to which they are turned.
Faucets may be everyday accessories that we hardly ever take note of, but their importance cannot be emphasized enough. Their long history makes one appreciate their origin, and their complex design demands more appreciation. Take some time to learn more about your faucets, and use this knowledge to make better informed decisions next time you go shopping for stylish faucets for your home.