What are the Different Types of Faucet Parts?

Lori Kilchermann

No matter what type of plumbing is used, there are many common faucet parts that make up the typical water faucet. Components from handles, valves, diaphragms and much more comprise the water faucet. These faucet parts perform a very complicated duty in many structures worldwide. In their basic form, these parts allow water to flow freely when needed and keep it from dripping when it is not in use.

A single handle kitchen faucet.
A single handle kitchen faucet.

While using a faucet may seem as simple as turning a knob and filling a glass, there are many faucet parts working in concert that allow the water to flow. As the knob is turned, a valve is actuated, allowing the seat to rise from its resting place. The seat is a machined piece of brass that fits into a machined fitting, creating a block that keeps water from flowing. A diaphragm placed behind the seat and threaded onto the valve rod prevents the valve from dripping when not in use.

Several faucet parts work together to ensure proper operation.
Several faucet parts work together to ensure proper operation.

As the water flows through the faucet parts, the next destination is the transfer pipeā€”this pipe brings the water from the hot or cold side of the system to a merge at the faucet. The vacuum breaker assembly is the next in the progression through the faucet parts. This vacuum breaker allows the water to flow out of the water system when activated; however, this valve also stops the well or water system from siphoning when the valve is closed. Often on an older water system, a gurgling sound can be heard when the water valve is turned to the "on" position. This sound, when accompanied by a slight hesitation in the flow of water, is an indication of a weak vacuum breaker valve.

Aside from the knobs and the actual faucet, one of the most noticeable features of all the faucet parts is the escutcheon. The escutcheon is the decorative fixture that sits directly below the handle or knob. This item can be manufactured of chrome steel, polished silver or brass, ceramic or even wood. The designs of these faucet parts are limitless, and selection is typically based on personal choice and style preferences.

An essential component to most faucet systems is the sprayer. The sprayer allows the user to clean food residue off of dishes prior to washing them. It also proves very valuable when rinsing dishes that have been washed. Many sprayer designs also make it possible to wash and rinse hair and large objects which won't fit under the faucet.

A properly-installed faucet may help prevent water from being wasted.
A properly-installed faucet may help prevent water from being wasted.

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