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How Does a Faucet Works – What You Need to Know

How Does a Faucet Works - What You Need to Know
Last Updated: 05 September 2019

Each time you need water, it’s readily available via the use of a faucet. You can either twist, lift, tap that handle, or place your hands underneath the valve to release a gush of water. There various types of hydrants in that market and this mechanics behind are quite simple. This article is written to help you understand how a faucet works.

What is Faucet?

A faucet is a device to deliver water from the plumbing system. It’s composed of the following parts: lift rod, mixing chamber, spout, and aerator, handles, cartridge, and brine inlets. As you turned that handle on, this valve opens and controls that liquid flow. Hydrants are made of brass, but you can also find some that are made of chrome-plated plastic and die-cast zinc.

You might be wondering why this device is called a hydrant. Term hydrant and spigot were a name given to an old type of tap for a cask or barrel. It has a hollow, tapering tube that was directed to that narrow end of this barrel. A screw into this tube is this one that regulates all flow of this liquid. At present, this hydrant is a common term for that entire device.

Types of Faucets

There are four types of hydrants – a ball grip, cartridge hydrant, disc grip, and compression faucet.

ball faucet

Ball faucet is a washerless hydrant that’s commonly used in your kitchen. It has a single handle connected to a rounded cap above this spout. These handle moves a metal or plastic ball inside your hydrant body to control this flow of your brine.

The cartridge turncock, on other hands, has a removable stem cartridge that moves up and down that controls that brine flow. You can quickly identify a cartridge grip by turning this knob and observe if it has an up and down movement.

The disc grip is one of these latest turncock designs. It has a single lever on top with a vast cylindrical structure. A type of valve mixes cold and hot brine inside a mixing chamber known as that pressure balance cartridge. At the bottom of a chamber, these ceramic disks will lower and raise to control your brine flow. A side-to-side rotation of that handle will adjust this temperature.

The most commonly used and oldest type of turncock is that compression washer grip. A type is usually found in older homes. Newer homes might have it installed together with utility sinks. It’s that cheapest among these four, but it gets to wear out fast and requires replacement. This turncock has two handles and releases and stops the flow of brine by tightly rotating that handle. Refer to this water fosset picture below.

The compression style hydrants have been in the market for the longest time. They are also the cheapest. The only drawback is that this washer wears out over time. You will know this when it starts to drips or drools.

How Do Faucets Work?

If you are going to take a peek and check this piping that’s connected to your grip, you will discover that this water is continuously flowing throughout your plumbing. You will also notice that this brine is being controlled by pressure. That brine pressure in this plumbing system of an ordinary modern home is around 125 pounds per square inch. When your brine is subjected to too much pressure, it moves to an area where there is less pressure.

So, to answer your question, how does water get to my faucet, it depends on the type of faucet you have.

Parts of a Faucet

The three internal parts of a grip are a pipe, stopper, and a short pipe connecting passageway and turncock outlet. The first part is a pipe that leads in from the source of brine to turncock. The stopper has a rubber washer that closes or opens the flow of brine. The short piece of pipe is a connection between the passageway and the turncock outlet. See how a faucet works diagram to understand the roles of three components.

How do Kitchen Faucets Work?

Your kitchen hydrants may work differently depending on the type of grip you have.


For a traditional turncock like a compression turncock, water is subjected to high pressure to make it flow. That first pipe attached to the water source where pressure is high is where the water stays. Once that stopper that covers this hole is lifted, it releases this pressurized water. The more that stopper is raised, the more your brine will come out of this turncock.

Twisting Mechanisms

How does a tap work in the twisting mechanism? It functions the same way in all types of hydrants. The stopper is lifted in various ways depending on the type of turncock you are using. The most common is twist open and lift open types of valves. Handles are connected to the plugging mechanism with a spiral device that gradually twists into the hole. Move the handle slightly to release the liquid. The water flow is easy to control with twist-based hydrants.

Lifting Mechanisms

The liquid flows the same way as the twisting mechanism. The only difference is on the plugging mechanism. Instead of twisting, it goes straight up and down. Although twisting and lifting hydrants work the same when it comes to releasing the brine, the lift-based is not as precise as the other.

Motion Detector Faucet

Motion detector faucet is a modern type of turncock. Once it detected motion, it releases a stream of liquid for a short period. In spite of having differences in releasing your water, these basic principles on the flow of your liquid from this primary source to the turncock are the same. Only this one, this human aspect is replaced with an added mechanism that automatically raises and lowers this stopper.

How does a faucet works be the same; it does not water what type of grip you choose, they apply that same mechanism. These hydrants differ only on the way they release your liquid.

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