Home » Home Improvement

A Kitchen Faucet Valve Guide

Jul 16, 2008
The valve is the heart of the faucet and controls the volume of water. There are four types of faucet valves:

Compression valves

Compression valve faucets have been in use the longest and are the least expensive type. They are identifiable by their separate hot and cold water handles and their action requiring you to tighten the handles down to close off the water flow.

Compression faucets work by using a compression stem which is a type of glorified screw with a washer at the end of it pressing against a valve seat.

When the handle is turned it raises or lowers a stem. At the base of the stem a washer or seal opens or closes the water's passageway. They always have two controls, hot and cold. The washers are most often rubber washers and are more prone to leaking and dripping but are fairly easy to fix.

Ball Valves

Ball faucets are very common in kitchen sinks and were the first type of washerless faucet. They are identifiable by their single handle which moves over a rounded ball shaped cap right above the base of the faucet spout.

The plastic or metal ball inside the faucet body and under the ball shaped cap has chambers or slots in it which control the flow and mixing temperature of the water coming from the faucet. The ball's slots line up with cold and hot water inlet seats in the faucet body to regulate the amount of incoming water allowed to reach the mixing spout.

Ball valves have no washer, require less maintenance and are inexpensive to replace but because of the number of parts which make up this type of faucet, ball faucets tend to leak more than other washerless faucets such as the cartridge or the ceramic disk type.

Cartridge

Cartridge faucets operate with a movable stem cartridge that moves up and down to regulate flow. They are identifiable more by how they feel when they operate than how they look. As opposed to a ball faucet that you push back to turn on, a single handle cartridge faucet operates in an up/down motion to adjust water volume and a left/right motion for temperature.

Similarly, a two handle stem cartridge faucet looks almost indistinguishable from a compression type washer faucet. However, again, you can tell the difference by how the handles feel when used.

A compression faucet requires you to tighten down (compress) the washer to close the water flow. With a cartridge faucet, the action is smooth and consistent. When the handle gets to the off position, the faucet turns off without added pressure being required as with a compression faucet.

Cartridge or washerless faucets use a hollow plastic and brass cartridge insert instead of a rubber disc, which doesn't wear out nearly as quickly. The cartridge seals against the inside of the faucet body with O-rings. These faucets are more reliable and provide better value than compression faucets.

The washerless cartridge faucet eliminates the leaks associated with washers. It also features a one piece, self contained assembly. Fewer parts mean that there are fewer things to go wrong. Replacement with the cartridge is easy... just take out the old and drop in the new without the hassles of many complicated components.

Ceramic Disk

This is the highest quality valve. They are identifiable by their single lever over a wide cylindrical body. These faucets have a wide cartridge housing two ceramic discs which slide over each other to control water flow and mixing temperature.

Ceramic disc valving utilizes two fire hardened ceramic discs: an upper disc that moves and a fixed lower disc. The two discs move against each other in a shearing action, blocking water or allowing it to pass through. The seal between the two discs is watertight because they are polished to near-perfect flatness.

Hardened ceramic is a durable material which is virtually indestructible and is guaranteed not to wear out but is obviously much more expensive than the ball valve or compression valve. Should you need to fix it, your cost will be higher, but the likelihood is slim to none. For the most durable faucet go with a solid brass base material and a ceramic disk valve.
About the Author
Rebecca Noel is a licensed real estate agent and real estate investor. Remodeling houses and home improvement diy are her area of interest. Find out insider information that will save you $1000's on materials and help you get your remodeling projects done weeks faster at Remodeling Recon.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 136
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources