The kitchen faucet is a widely used fixture in any kitchen. It has a long history of keeping water conveniently accessible for many homes.
On average, a family is estimated to press the tap more than 40 times per day, based on a report from the KWC firm. Given how often it is used, choosing a kitchen faucet that is right for your kitchen style and lifestyle will last through the years is vital.
Kitchen Faucet History
The kitchen faucet has come a long way since its humble beginnings and is an essential part of any kitchen today.
The kitchen faucet has undergone many changes since it was first invented. In 1000 BC, the Ancient Romans used silver faucets.
When the Minoan Place of Knossos was discovered in 1700 BC, a terra cotta piping that pumped water into fountains was found. Since the kitchen was the central part of the home in the Middle Ages, almost everything revolved around it. The first screw-down tap mechanism wasn’t invented until 1845 by Gust and Chimes.
In 1937, the first single-handed faucet that blended cold and hot water before it exited the “fixture” was invented by Alfred Moen. Many today get burns from a two-handle convectional faucet, one for cold and one for hot. Moen got the idea for his invention after burning his hands. He believed there needed to be a method to operate a faucet in the desired manner without using two different handles. From 1940 to 1945, Moen continued designing and refining his tap before selling his first in 1947. By 1959, all of Alfred Moen’s single-handed faucets were in almost every home.
Following Landis H. Perry’s creation of the first ball valve that combined the volume and blending for a simple seal in 1945, Alex Manoogian invented the Delta faucet in 1954. The Delta faucet was a hit; sales reached $1 million by 1958 because it included Moen and Perry’s combined ideas. Wolverine Brass created a ceramic disk in the 1970s that assisted in regulating the water flow. Since then, the disk has undergone a few changes to improve resistance and effectiveness.
The kitchen faucet has also changed and evolved to match the changing times. Today, we can pull out sprays and electronic faucets made by various groups of inventors. The kitchen faucet has advanced so far in such a short period, proving it will do so in the future. Who knows what functions the kitchen faucet of the end will have?
Kitchen Working Principle
The kitchen faucet is one of the most essential appliances in the kitchen. It is used to wash hands, cook food, and clean dishes. There are many different kitchen faucets, but they all use the same basic engineering principles.
Simple machines produce the force necessary to stop water from flowing. Fluid flow is used to regulate the water pressure. Turning the knob causes the screw to pull the rubber stopper out of the aperture’s path, creating a tiny opening through which water can enter. As water passes through the hole, the pipe’s internal pressure decreases. The screw operates in the opposite direction when the faucet is turned off, closing the aperture and halting the water flow.
The Role of Pressure
Water pressure in pipes is held at a higher pressure than the surrounding air pressure. This pressure difference causes water to come out of the faucet. Usually, this pressure is created due to the hydrostatic pressure gradient.
You can easily visualize hydrostatic pressure by thinking about swimming pools. Your ears usually hurt when you dive deep underwater due to the sudden increase in pressure. As you descend, your ears suffer more because of the increased pressure differential. We may all agree, I believe, that this relationship between depth and pressure is pretty accurate.
Here’s a quick refresher on the hydrostatic pressure equation:
P = ρgh
Here, you can see that P is the pressure, ρ is the density of the liquid (in our case, water), g is gravity, and h is the height of water above the point in question.
Let’s do a quick example calculation. The density of water is 999 kilograms per cubic meter, and gravity is about 9.81 meters per second squared on Earth. Suppose we have a cylinder of water that’s five meters tall. In that case, we can calculate the pressure at the bottom using the hydrostatic pressure equation:
999 kg/m3 × 9.81 m/s2 × 5 m = 49.0 kPa
Therefore, the pressure at the bottom of this water cylinder is 49 kilopascals or 1000 Newtons per square meter.
It’s important to realize that pressure can be measured in kilopascals or newtons. Still, the density of water and gravity is always constant. This means that pressure is dependent on height.
For example, let’s say we have two points, A and B, at the same height, h. Because the density of water and gravity is always constant, the pressure at points A and B is also ongoing. However, if we have a small hole at point B, the water will flow through this hole and create a pressure drop. The pressure differential between points A and B and the hole’s resistance affect how quickly the water flows through this hole.
In conclusion, the hydrostatic pressure gradient creates a pressure difference that causes water to flow out of a faucet. The size of the opening in the faucet determines the resistance flow, and the pressure difference determines the flow rate. If the pressure outside equals the pressure inside, the water will not flow. However, if the pressure outside exceeds the pressure inside, the water will flow out of the faucet.
I merely constructed it as follows.
PInside – POutside = (Rate of Flow)*(Resistance)
- How Much Force?
How much pressure is needed to hold back the water? You can easily calculate this by multiplying the water’s pressure by the area of the open stopper. This is referred to as the standard equation:
F denotes the water’s force on the stopper, P represents the pressure, and A represents the opening’s area. Since the stopper is stationary, the force of the water acting on it must be equal to that of the stopper working on it.
For example, suppose the water pressure in a pipe is 30 psi, and the opening area is 0.049 square inches (obtained by taking the radius of the opening squared and multiplying by pi). In that case, the force of the water on the rubber stopper is equal to 30 psi multiplied by 0.049 square inches, or 1.47 lb.
This equation may be used to calculate the required pressure for any size of aperture. Remember that the pressure units must be pounds per square inch (psi).
How is a Faucet a Machine?
Faucets use a screw to reduce the force needed to hold back water. Faucets convert a torque (a twisting force) into a linear power. This provides a mechanical advantage that transforms a small input force into a potentially large output force.
For example, the slope of a wedge’s angle can be used to calculate its mechanical advantage. If the hypotenuse of a wedge is five inches long and one inch tall, its slope is 1/5. This means that for every inch the wedge moves horizontally, it will lift the object one-fifth of an inch. In this way, a wedge can be used to reduce the amount of force needed to lift an object.
However, using a wedge also means moving the object farther. For example, if an object needs to be lifted one inch, the wedge must be driven five inches horizontally.
Therefore, when using a faucet, it is crucial to consider the required force and the distance the object needs to be moved. Doing so may determine how to maximize a faucet’s mechanical advantage.
For every type of home, there is a perfect faucet. Faucets now come in vast designs, colors, shapes, and sizes to suit nearly any taste. Despite the seemingly infinite number of options, most faucets are divided into four categories: ball, disc, cartridge, and compression.
Ball faucets have a single handle that moves up and down to control water pressure and side to side to regulate temperature. A ball inside the faucet holds a series of valves. As the handle is turned, the ball moves and aligns the valves to allow water flow. These faucets are relatively easy to maintain but may require more frequent repairs than other types due to their moving parts. Ball faucets are also susceptible to leaks.
Disc faucets are identifiable by their single-lever control and vast, cylindrical body. These faucets control water temperature with two ceramic discs at the bottom of the chamber. As the lever is turned, the discs mix hot and cold water. Disc faucets are generally low-maintenance and require infrequent repairs. However, it is best to trust a professional when they need to be repaired, as the process can be delicate.
Cartridge and compression faucets are often difficult to distinguish, but their inner workings differ significantly. Cartridge faucets have a single control handle and operate with a smooth, consistent feel. They require only a half-turn from the off position to fully on. Cartridge faucets are low-maintenance and more reliable than compression ones, but repairs can be tricky if problems arise.
As the name suggests, compression faucets use a screw to push against a rubber washer and form a seal that shuts off the water flow. These faucets have two handles, one for hot water and one for cold. Compression faucets are often less pressurized when turned on but become more so as they are closed. These faucets are the oldest on this list and can be found quickly and inexpensively. However, they wear out quickly and may leak soon after purchase. Compression faucets also require more frequent repairs.
Faucet Prices vary depending on the material, design, function, and mobility. The installation is also a factor to consider when determining the price. For example, “Low-flow aerators are frequently given out for free by water companies to their customers.
As per the Kitchen Model Guide, the single-hole kitchen faucet prices can range from the low cost of US$10 to the high cost of more than US$100.