How Does A Touchless Kitchen Faucet Work

Touchless kitchen faucets; simple, yet magical.

Surprisingly, the internet doesn’t seem to give you an in-depth elucidation of their mechanism. Even the Wikipedia page is filled with history, uses, and advantages of the amenity.

But, if you really wanna find out how a touchless kitchen faucet works, we have a very geeky piece for you here. Nevertheless, we also have a more humble version of the explanation in the beginning. Those who know the basics of the touchless magic can skip that part.

The Humble Explanation of The Touchless Faucet

Two significant components separate regular faucets from automated ones. They are-

  • Solenoid Valves
  • Sensors

A solenoid valve is a component that controls water discharge. And the sensors detect objects near the spout lip and send the signal to the valve to discharge. The sensor can be at the bottom of the spout or the lip of the spout. They might be infrared detectors, eco sensors, or motion detectors.

The faucet can be powered by direct wall outlets or by battery cells. This power source will keep the valve and sensor running all the time to give you a comfortable kitchen experience.

Short Note: Touch-tech Vs. Touchless

A lot of time google confuses these two and shows you the result of one when you were searching for the other. These two have some significant differences, and touchless is considerably superior to the touch-tec.
And this article is dedicated to explaining the mechanisms of a touchless kitchen faucet.

The Geeky Explanation

Read this if you really wanna dig deep into the details. Because we are gonna explain all the mechanisms of the touchless faucet to the root. Although you don’t have to have a Ph.D. to understand this, you need to be keen on the topic.
First of all, you need to know all the essential components of a touchless faucet. They are-

  • Faucet body
  • Spout
  • Handle (For manual discharge)
  • Solenoid valve
  • Sensor
  • Power source
  • Aerator
  • Mount

Here, almost all the components are similar to a regular faucet other than the solenoid valve and the sensor. These two are the parts that turn a regular faucet into an automated one. So, we are gonna have a deep look at them first.

Solenoid Valve

This is a brilliant mechanism that converts electric energy into mechanical energy. Components of a solenoid valve are-

  • Inlet port
  • Outlet port
  • Coil windings
  • Spring
  • Plunger

The upper portion of the body where the spring, plunger, and the coil resides is called the solenoid body. And the lower portion of the body where the water inflow and outflow pipes are attached and which contain part of the plunger is called the valve body. Lastly, the part of the outlet port, which is blocked by the plunger, is called orifice.

Now that we know the names of the components, we can move on to their functions.

The inlet port is connected to the main water sourced. So this is the pressurized pipe. This water is blocked by the plunger from flowing into the outlet port. On the other side of the plunger, there is a spring that gives the plunger the power to hold the water pressure by pushing against the solenoid body.

When you power the valve, electricity flows through the coil windings creating an electromagnetic field around it. This magnetic pull is strong enough to pull the plunger back, allowing the water to flow through the valve body and into the outlet port.

If you want to stop the water flow, you need to cut the power supply. With no magnetic power left, the spring will push the plunger back to its original position. This is how a solenoid valve works electronically to control the flow of a liquid.


Sensors read the presence of your hand or any other object under the faucet and send a signal to the solenoid to open the valve. You could have the following kinds of sensors in your faucet-

  • Infrared detectors
  • Eco sensors
  • Motion detectors

The power source should always be active to keep these sensors operational.

Infrared sensors look for heat signatures. While it works great with body parts, it isn’t that good with inanimate objects. On the other hand, it could also be triggered by a hot pan or water in the sink. Eco and motion sensors detect sound and motion changes in their field of view.

These sensors send signals to the solenoid to activate the electromagnet and pull the plunger.

Faucet body and spout

Generally, touchless faucets are a little bulky. The main reason for that is the storage of sensors. They can’t be placed out of sight as the solenoid valve. Thus, the body or spout is typically large.

Power source

Automated faucets can be powered by either batteries or wall outlets. Battery-powered outlets are always cheaper and safe than wall outlets.


The only instance where the aerator can be different than a regular one is when it houses the sensor. If the sensor is situated in the aerator, it will be a little larger or longer than the regular size. Before buying, you should make sure if they have replacements for that aerator or not.


This is the base of the faucet. The valve is generally placed in the mount or below it. The handle could also be attached to it. The mechanism of the manual discharge capability will also be placed in this place.

Safety of The Electronic Faucet

There is nothing to worry about as these faucets typically work with low electricity requirements making any breaker highly effective in handling irregular current supply. However, the manufacturers might request you to not to place certain chemicals under the sink that we naturally do. Other than that, it is entirely safe.


We tried to make the article both detailed and straightforward and avoid writing bullshit like other sites on this niche tend to prefer. You have facts and their importance. No filler is in the content. So, if you wanna know more about your touchless kitchen faucet; now you know where to go.


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4 years ago

This is the perfect site for anyone who hopes to find out about this topic.
You understand so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really will need
to…HaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a subject which has been written about for many years.
Excellent stuff, just excellent!

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3 years ago

This is pretty great post. I´ve been thinking of starting a blog on this topic myself.

King regards,
Lunding Zacho