Troubleshooting a Touchless Faucet

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Touchless faucets allow you to get water without ever having to touch anything.
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Touchless faucets conserve water, as the water does not run continuously while you're at the sink. When the faucet pauses for a lengthy period of time or no water flows from the faucet, then it may need an adjustment.

While the faucets are complicated, requiring professional installation because of the special plumbing requirements and need for electricity to power some models, troubleshooting some issues with the faucets is fairly simple.

Benefits of Touchless Faucets

Touchless faucets, available in kitchen and bathroom versions, enable you to wash your hands without having to come into contact with faucet handles. This cuts down on germ transmission, as you don't touch the faucet while your hands are dirty and you don't have to touch a dirty faucet with clean hands. The faucets are also convenient if your hands are full, for example if you need to wash a handful of fruit or vegetables.

Inspect the Sensor

Check the sensor eye if the faucet won't trigger. Remove the protective adhesive label covering the eye if it is still present and remove any debris present over the eye. Replace the sensor eye if it is scratched or damaged. Ensure that the "permanent off" function is not activated.

Make sure you are properly triggering the sensor that operates the faucet. Manually adjust the sensing zone or sensor range on the faucet. Surround sensors on more expensive models generally perform better than infrared sensors.

Power Supply Checkup

Check the power supply to your unit if the LED light flashes frequently, isn't flashing at all, or your faucet isn't providing water. Touchless faucets may operate off battery or A/C power and may have a battery backup, depending on the model. The batteries of some eco-friendly versions recharge when water passes through the faucet. Other faucets may require regular batteries or lithium batteries.

Replace the batteries to check whether doing so resolves the issue. Rechargable batteries may lose their ability to hold charge. According to , a low battery indicator on your unit may fail, leaving you without water with no warning.

In Sloan faucets, the solenoid may fail to make the sound associated with triggering of the faucet if your battery is low. Reset the electrical system by unplugging the unit for 10 seconds. Check the transformer, sensor, solenoid and power cables for proper function. Replace malfunctioning parts.

Faucet Function Failures

Check whether a special function was accidentally triggered, such as the "continuous run," "temporary off" or "permanent off" features, if you experience issues with water delivery. Reset the sensor range.

Your faucet may activate itself if the range setting is too long or if factors in the environment, including light sources such as sunlight and reflections, trigger it. Inspect the unit's filter, water stop strainer and aerator for clogs. Soak your aerator insert in a solution of equal parts water and vinegar if mineral buildup is at fault.

Ensure that your water supply lines are fully open. Examine the faucet's mounting to eliminate a pinched or damaged wire as the cause. If your unit won't stop running or drips, it may be defective or need a solenoid replacement, or you may need to clean or replace the diaphragm seal.

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Alice Moon

Alice Moon is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience. She was chosen as a Smithsonian Institute intern, working for the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., and has traveled throughout Asia. Moon holds a Bachelor of Science in political science from Ball State University.