Easy2 Technologies - Faucet Basics Product Demo

Faucet Basics Instructions

  • Faucet Basics

    Faucets are available in an enormous variety of styles for both kitchen and bath. Each of these styles falls into one of four types, however. Aside from the standard chrome faucet with compression-type valves, faucets are developed with ball valves, cartridges and ceramic discs, and are available in stainless steel, brass, and even colored enamel finishes.

  • Faucet Considerations

    Choosing the right faucet for your kitchen or bath really comes down to just three considerations, size, finish, and function. Size refers to how the holes are configured on your sink as well as if the handles will have enough room to move adequately on your sink. As far as finish is concerned, you should not only consider the style you want, but also the guarantee offered. Finally, function refers to the method in which the faucet operates; one or two valves, or a levered operation. Before you tackle a faucet replacement project also be sure that you have the proper tools to complete the project.

  • The Basic Parts

    The basic parts of any faucet are: the tail piece (a), The distance between tail pieces (b), the mounting nut, which holds the faucet to the sink (c), the supply tube for supplying the water to the faucet (d), the shutoff valve where the supply of water to the faucet can be turned off (e), the aerator mixes the water coming out of the spout with air to prevent splashing (f), and finally the control valve, which is detailed next (g).

  • Compression-type Valves

    Faucets with compression valves are nearly always made with separate hot and cold valves. What distinguishes a compression valve from other types is that it has a rubber washer that compresses against a valve seat to shut off the water. To repair a compression-type valve you most likely will have to replace the rubber parts or replace or resurface the valve seat. Compression valves are typically found in less expensive styles that have a separate controls for hot and cold water.

  • Ball-type Valves

    Single-handle faucets are typically equipped with Ball-type valves. If you have a problem with this type of faucet, any repair involves replacing the rubber parts, which are usually sold in kits specific to your manufacturer. Keep in mind that the Ball is not usually included in these kits, so you will have to purchase this separately. Ball types are more and more commonly found in lesser priced faucets, and can be identified as those that operate as a car stick-shift. Moving side to side for hot & cold water, or front and back to control the flow.

  • Cartridge Type Valves

    Faucets with cartridge-type valves are available in both single and double handle styles. Repair of these valves involves replacing the entire cartridge. This is convenient as the cartridge often contains all the parts subject to wear. However, it should be noted that the cartridge can also be expensive, so keep this in mind when purchasing this type of faucet if the warranty is not very long. Single-handled units are different from ball-type valves in that you need to push them in and out to control the flow of the water. Double-handed valves are similar to compression valves except that you need not apply significant pressure to turn them off completely.

  • Ceramic Discs

    Faucets with ceramic discs are a relatively recent development and their operation is nearly indistinguishable from cartridge-type valves. However, because of the durable materials used, if there are problems you should only have to take them apart and clean the parts to repair leaks. More than likely, however, you will not have problems with these long-lasting faucets, which is the reason for their relatively high cost.

  • Size Configurations

    There are three basic hole configurations for mounting faucets on sinks. When you purchase a new faucet, be certain that the one you buy is compatible with the hole configuration in your sink. The most popular configuration is two holes that are four inches apart on center, with a center hole between them - therefore three holes total. Another similar configuration is two holes eight inches apart on center with a center hole between them, often called a spread set configuration, and more typical in kitchen sinks. Finally, there might be just one single hole, a common configuration for newer sinks and faucets that require a single-handled faucet.

  • Faucet Tools

    Working on faucets requires some specialized tools. Aside from the usual wrenches and pliers that you probably already have, you should also have a basin wrench (a) for turning faucet mounting nuts from under a sink, a set of deep sockets (b) for removing shower/bath valves, a seat wrench (c) for unscrewing valve seats, a seat-dressing tool (d) for resurfacing non removable seats, and a handle puller (e) to safely remove handles that are stuck.


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