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Touch-sensitive faucet

Furniture & Lighting
Touch-sensitive faucet

Does grabbing onto a grimy faucet to turn on the water to rinse your hands strike you as an odd contradiction in sanitation? Then a touch-sensitive faucet might just be the solution for you! Rather then turning a handle to start a flow of clean, refreshing water, you simply swipe your arm or back of your hand across the spigot.

This seems like kind of a neat idea, however I’m not sure if it is better than the distance sensor ones that grace most public bathrooms nowadays. It would be really neat if you could adjust the water temperature by swiping your hand across it, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Anyone have a better solution for this? [via core77]

36 thoughts on “Touch-sensitive faucet

  1. Flush Gordon says:

    Foot controls, I have seen them on many industrial sinks.

    1. Matt Mets says:

      I’m all for them, especially since most people seem to wear shoes while in public. I’d like to see foot controls for doors, too!

  2. Shadyman says:

    I think this is better than the distance sensor sinks. I always have to fight with the distance sensor sinks to turn the water on, and then they’ll turn it off right in the middle of handwashing.

    Especially for kitchens, this is the best, especially since you’ll be washing dishes, etc, and won’t want the water turned off on you.

    1. Matt Mets says:

      On the other hand, having a (well designed) system where the water shuts off automatically could be nice, because it wouldn’t allow you to leave the water on by mistake. I guess that is a different problem than the sanitation issue, though.

  3. alandove says:

    The standard single-lever faucet available at any hardware or home improvement store works fine for this. Delta makes a good one. Just bump the lever upward with your forearm to turn it on, and knock it side to side with the same forearm to adjust the temperature. I know it’s not as elegant-looking as this, or as technologically advanced as the distance-sensor units, but it also doesn’t cost anywhere near $547.

    Foot controls are nice on industrial and lab sinks, but I don’t think I’d want that setup in the kitchen. For one thing, I’m rather fond of the cabinet under my sink – where else would I put the trash and recycling bins? – and installing foot controls would pretty much wipe that space out. I also have a small person running around the house who would quite likely leave toys jammed under the foot controls or make a game of stomping on them.

    1. Matt Mets says:

      Yeah, a lever faucet does sound like a great compromise to this problem, I like it!

    2. Anonymous says:

      Don’t doctors use faucets with levers to wash up for surgery?

  4. Nick says:

    I’ve seen foot pedals beside port-a-johns and in a neonatal intensive care unit where you had to scrub up for a 3 minute minimum and use a pick to dig at your fingernails, then use sanatizer afterwards.

    Otherwise, they are a waste, and probably so is this faucet.

    Simple fix, been doing it for years.

    1. Use forearm to turn on faucet if you want, or not…
    2. Wash up
    3. Grab paper towel, dry hands
    4. Use paper towel to turn off faucet!
    5. (optional in public restrooms) use towel to grasp handle of exit door.

    Problem solved. Yeah the faucet is still contaminated but you won’t touch it after washing.

    1. Matt Mets says:

      Which is a reasonable solution, but then you have to let the faucet run while you dry, which wastes a reasonable amount of water. I’m not saying a high-tech solution is necessary, just that the current system seems like it needs some re-thinking.

  5. Maker Dino says:

    So what about when the power goes off and the battery backup dies?? I wonder if there is a bypass valve?

    As soon as you tie a thing to a remote power source, it’s in the loop of inevitable failure.

    I like the single levr faucet.

  6. Mike Read says:

    I’m sure most people reading this could just make one for quarter of the price. all you need is to touch sensitive lamp switch and a servo. (maybe some pulleys or something? power to the servo opens the valve wight and closes it?)

    1. alandove says:

      If you wanted to go that route, you wouldn’t even have to build the servo valve yourself. Just buy a lawn sprinkler valve ($15-$20 at any place that sells irrigation supplies), and plug everything together.

  7. Groxx says:

    I’ve personally wanted foot pedals for my sinks for years. I haven’t had a dishwasher, so the constant on/off to save water wastes a ridiculous amount of time, and throws sudsy water if I move quickly. It also gets the handle grimy.

    Touch is a nice idea, but holy cow, expensive… Unless they’re doing something horrifically wrong, the hardware is pretty simple to do this. It’s also not as fast / efficient for dishes as a foot pedal is, and will still need to be cleaned to prevent grime from collecting & dirtying your now-clean hands.

    As to the sensor systems in public restrooms: they’re ideal for restrooms. Really. But they have HUGE issues with detecting reflective surfaces, so are nearly useless for doing dishes.

  8. Ryan says:

    How about we all remember that sterile doesn’t equal healthy and wipe down the faucet and handles every couple of days. Makers seem to spend a lot of time trying to solve “problems” that don’t exist. If we focused on problems that did exist, what could we accomplish?

    1. alandove says:

      I don’t think “sterile” faucets were really the point of this discussion. We’re just kicking around ideas for novel faucet valves. And yes, there actually are problems here: adjusting the temperature quickly, conserving water, and keeping sticky, messy, and yes, even infectious goop off the faucet controls are all good goals. Sterility doesn’t equate to health, but avoiding known pathogens (such as the ones that nearly all raw meats and eggs carry these days) definitely does. When I’ve just dredged my raw chicken through an egg batter for frying, I prefer to turn the faucet on with my forearm, rather than smear it with a massive inoculum of Salmonella and wait a “couple of days” to swab it off.

      1. Brian says:

        Sure, this is a novel idea and may even be an entertaining toy for a while, but I have to agree with Ryan in that it doesn’t fix anything.

        And quoting his “couple of days” is missing the point. It’s all discretion. Washing large amounts of vegetables? Making dough (bread, pasta, or otherwise)? Mustard? No immediate need to bleach your faucet handle. Preparing things such as chicken or pork? Sure, sterilize.

        As with many things in life, most statements are “guidelines” and should be followed with a smidgen of discretion.

  9. Anonymous says:

    “rather THAN” instead of “rather then”.

  10. littleREDelf says:

    all i can think about is my Bengal Cat who can already open drawers, closets, cupboards, and doors.

    kitty could just rub up against the sink and get to drink & play in the free water all day? awesome for him, bad for the water bill.

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