Smart Faucets in a Smart Home

A good reason for using hands-free water taps is convenience. Sometimes while cooking, you need both hands, and may not have the ability to shut the tap off right away. When we wash fruits and vegetables we often walk away to continue another task of meal preparation which also wastes water.

Smart Water sensors

Alfred M. Moen invented the water faucet more than eighty years ago, in 1937 to be exact. Over the years, many different designs have been manufactured, however, the basic concept of using your hand to turn a knob or handle didn’t change until the 1980s. During the 1950’s hands-free, or sensor faucets, were developed, but weren’t widely used until the early ’80s when they began showing up in airport restrooms, and medical facilities.

Hands-free taps with infrared sensors were rare to find in residences and didn’t become popular in homes until the mid-1990s. Homes of all types still use traditional faucets, but the insurgence of smart homes has driven the sales of hands-free faucets upward. The technological standards of hands-free taps have improved as well, but the costs of the hands-free fixtures are still quite expensive, and though they work well for some homes, some other homes may have challenges using them.

Alfred M. Moen

Alfred M. Moen

There are many good reasons for using water taps that are hands free, but the one reason that stand above the others is, conservation and saving money.

Many people are accustomed to drying their hands after washing them, then turning the tap off with the towel they just dried their hands on, leaving the water running during the drying process. This wastes several gallons of water and can increase your water bill by hundreds of dollars every year. If you have children the costs could even be higher because sometimes they forget to turn the tap off, which leaves the water running or still dripping. With the hands-free faucet these problems are solved saving you money and conserving water.

Another good reason for using hands-free water taps is convenience. Sometimes while cooking, you need both hands, and may not have the ability to shut the tap off right away. When we wash fruits and vegetables we often walk away to continue another task of meal preparation which also wastes water. Let’s not forget that we could be cross-contaminating the food that we’re preparing by using a tap with knobs or handles that can have built up germs and bacteria on them. A hands-free tap is ideal for promoting a healthy home for your family as well. Hands-free faucets promote more regular hand washing of your children because it is a unique and fun experience, especially if they’ve been accustomed to using knobs and handles. Once again, no one has to touch the faucet to turn it on or off possibly picking up germs from the knobs or handles.

With everything good, there comes some bad. There are some cons to having hands free taps, therefore we don’t believe that they are a good fit for everyone.


One disadvantage of the hands-free tap is that it needs a power source to operate, and many designs are tied into the electrical system of your home. The infrared sensor needs the power to detect motion and without it, could render your hands free faucet inoperable. However, this is a non-issue if your fixture has a battery back up or you have a backup generator installed in your home. Pets may also be another issue when it comes to hands-free taps, in particular, cats. Cats love to get up counters and some might even find the sink to be a cool spot to lay down and relax. Each time they pass in front of the infrared sensor they may trigger the faucet to run water.

Cost is another factor to consider regarding hands-free taps. You will find that prices for a hands-free tap with sensors are a little more expensive than the conventional faucet. However, we don’t actually consider this a true con because of the money the hands-free faucet will save you over the years. It may not be the right choice if you are on a budgeted income or are really limited on funds. Though it should be noted that hands free taps are very convenient for the elderly and handicap persons, and there are programs that help in providing assistance to those who need hands free taps and other automated home accessories.

We hope that this has in some way helped you make the decision of installing hands-free water taps in your home. For more smart home technology information, please respond to the blog or call us at (512) 775-6101.

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