Kitchen Faucets Basics
Kitchen faucets come in a wide variety of looks, but did you ever consider what else is different
about them besides the way that they look? Why should you care? Well, the most important
reason to care is functionality. Secondly, another reason to care is the frequency of repairing a
kitchen faucet may have something to do with the type of faucet that you purchase.

Repairing a kitchen faucet does depend in part on the fundamental type of faucet that it is.  Four
main types of faucets are the most commonly used on the market today, and they include ball,
disc, cartridge, and compression. Three of these faucets do not rely on neoprene or rubber
washers in order to work. This makes a difference when repairs are in order.

The compression faucet is the only one of the four that uses washers in its set up. This type of
faucet features separate handles for cold and hot water. The handles are loosened to release the
flow of water, and then they are tightened to restrict the flow of water. This movement also
changes the temperature of the water. If one handle is turned to a full open position, and the
other is only slightly turned, then the water temperature will be closer to that controlled by the
fully opened handle.

Typically, compression faucets are found in older homes. Updated versions of this type of faucet
are available in most home improvement stores today. Compression faucets often have problems
with leaking due to wear and tear on the parts used to operate them. However, they do have the
benefit of being inexpensive and convenient to install.

The ball type faucet is the forerunner of the washerless faucets. It is the first type developed
and marketed. Typically, this type of faucet features a single handle. The handle rotates over a
rounded ball shaped cap that is located directly above the base of the faucet spout. The ball is
usually composed of plastic or metal and contains chambers or open areas that help to control the
flow of water, as well as the mixing of the water temperatures. Unfortunately, this type of faucet
tends to have more leaking problems than the other types of washerless faucets due to its

The disc type faucet is one of the newer developments in kitchen faucets. It features a single
handle or lever for water flow. They have a wide base that holds two ceramic discs. The discs slide
over one another to control the water flow as well as the mixing of the water temperature. Disc
type faucets are very reliable, and therefore, they do not require repair often.

The cartridge type faucet is one that uses a movable stem cartridge to regulate water
temperature and flow. The stem moves up and down in order to control the flow of the water. The
stem moves in a left to right manner to control the temperature of the water.

A two handle cartridge faucet offers no noticeable difference to a compression faucet on the
outside. The action used to control the water is very consistent with a cartridge type faucet. No
additional pressure is required.  No variation in the feel of the faucet occurs.
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