The Four Types of Faucets
Faucets come in four basic designs. Knowing what kind of faucets you have will help when it comes time to replace a worn-out part. The most common faucet types are:
The first type of washerless faucet, ball faucets are commonly used in kitchens. They have a single handle attached to a rounded cap directly above the spout. The handle moves a plastic or metal ball inside the faucet body that controls the flow of water.
Cartridge Faucet (Two Handle)
Cartridge faucets utilize a movable stem cartridge that moves up and down to control the flow of water. You can identify a cartridge faucet by turning the knob and feeling it move with an up and down motion.
One of the newest faucet designs, ceramic disk faucets have a single lever on top of a wide cylindrical body. The disc faucet mixes hot and cold water inside a mixing chamber called a pressure balance cartridge. Ceramic disks at the bottom of the chamber will raise and lower to control the flow of water while the temperature is adjusted by a side-to-side rotation of the handle.
Compression Washer Faucet
One of the oldest faucet designs, compression washer faucets are commonly found in older homes, although many newer homes will have them installed along with utility sinks. While inexpensive, they are prone to leaks as the washers wear out and require replacement. You can identify a compression faucet by its two handles and a tight rotating motion that is needed to stop the flow of water.
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