How to Troubleshoot Automatic Faucets

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Things You'll Need

  • Owner's manual

  • Scrub brush

  • Replacement parts (as needed)

Automatic faucets use sensors to determine when to turn on and shut off water flow.

Automatic faucets reduce the spread of germs by eliminating the need to touch the handle before and after use. They also use less water than standard faucets because they turn off after a specified period of time. After repeated uses, the moving parts of the automatic faucet may break down or wear out. Many of these parts are easy to replace, however, eliminating the need for an expensive service call.

Step 1

Replace the batteries if the faucet will not turn on. Examine the sensor wire if replacing the batteries did not correct the problem. Ground the sensor wire according to the installation instructions in your owner's manual.

Step 2

Clean the aerator if the faucet's water pressure is low or the water sprays out to the sides of the faucet instead of down into the sink. Replace the aerator if any of the internal parts appear damaged or worn out. Use a larger aerator if needed to increase the water flow through the faucet.

Step 3

Inspect the plumbing connections if you notice leaking water under the sink. Turn off the water supply and replace any damaged water lines or washers. If you have a compression-style faucet that leaks from the spout, check the valve seat and seat washer. Replace these items if they are cracked or worn out. Other types of faucets have disks or cartridges that you must change periodically.

Step 4

Remove the batteries if your faucet fails to shut off. If the water continues to run, the solenoid is either dirty or broken. Replace the batteries and listen to the faucet as it attempts to shut off. If you see the light flash and the solenoid clicks, it may only need cleaning. If there is no click, replace the solenoid.


Denise Sullivan

Denise Sullivan has been writing professionally for more than five years after a long career in business. She has been published on Yahoo! Voices and other publications. Her areas of expertise are business, law, gaming, home renovations, gardening, sports and exercise.