The History and Evolution of the Kitchen Faucet

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Kitchen faucets date back to the ancient times and therefore have a long history of keeping water conveniently accessible for many homes.

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Kitchen faucet against blokeh backdrop.

The kitchen faucet is probably the most used feature in any kitchen. An average family is estimated to press the tap more than 40 times a day. That’s according to a report by KWC company. So it only makes sense that one should think of the kitchen faucet more thoughtfully, including how to choose the right one for your kitchen style, lifestyle and how to make it last through the years.

A typical faucet may last a decade or longer. The first to give out would be the finish while plastic and zinc give out in just five years. Make sure you make your kitchen faucet last longer by preserving the finish and by not using abrasives or ammonia.

History

Vintage kitchen faucet.

The Ancient Romans in the 1000 BC used silver faucets. In 1700 BC, the Minoan Place of Knossos, held a terra cotta piping that pumped water into fountains. In the Middle Ages, kitchens were the central part of the home and almost everything revolved around it. In 1845, the first screw down tap mechanism was made by Gust and Chimes.

In 1937, a man named Alfred Moen invented a single-handed faucet that blended cold and hot water before it exited the “fixture.” He came up with the idea after burning his hands with a two handle convectional faucet, one for cold and one for hot. He thought that there should be a way to get what you wanted out of a faucet. He came up with the theory of controlling the temperature and water mass at the same time into a single handle faucet. He continued to design the faucet from 1940 to 1945 and then sold his first single-handed faucet in 1947. By 1959, all of Alred Moen’s single-handed faucets were in almost every home.

In 1945, Landis H. Perry, created the first ball valve that combined the volume and blending for a simple seal. It made the faucet more effective. Perry sold his patent to Alex Manoogian who, in turn, invented the Delta faucet in 1954. This faucet included Moen and Perry’s combined ideas and the faucet was a hit. In 1958, the Delta faucet’s sales reached $1 million.

In the 1970s, a disk that was made of ceramic was invented by Wolvering Brass that helped control the water flow. Since then, the disk has changed a few times to increase the resistance and efficiency.

Today, we have the ability to pull out sprays and electronic faucets that were made by a various group of inventors. The fact that the kitchen faucet came this far in such a short time only shows it will continue to develop in the future.

Facts

Kitchen faucet with a flowing water.

  • According to Gale Research, “A faucet is a device for delivering water from a plumbing system. It can consist of the following components: spout, handle(s), lift rod, cartridge, aerator, mixing chamber, and water inlets. When the handle is turned on, the valve opens and controls the water flow adjustment under any water or temperature condition. The faucet body is usually made of brass, though die-cast zinc and chrome-plated plastic are also used.” and “faucets come in a wide range of styles, colors, and finishes. Ergonomic designs may involve a longer spout length and easier to operate handles. The shape of the faucet and its finish will affect the manufacturing process. Some designs will be more difficult to machine or forge than others. A different finishing process may be used to achieve a different look.”
  • Faucets are made to turn on and off the water, control the water temperature and provide a fast and efficient means to obtain water in the kitchen.
  • Faucets are made to save time and energy. The lower the water flow rate, the more energy the faucet can save.

Statistics

A kitchen faucet.

  • According to Will Ford and Kitchen Faucet Center,In a household full of 4 people, faucet water is about 18% of the water consumption which is a lot to say the least. Over the course of a year, the average household uses between 6,600-9,750 gallons of water per year.”
  • According to WaterSense, leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year. A home with WaterSense labeled toilets could use that water to flush for six months!
  • An average American household uses an average of 140 gallons of water per day.
  • According to plumbing supply, “low‐flow aerators that keep the flow rate at/below the federal standard of 2.2 gpm, most of your home’s faucets use very little water. But given their heavy use, they can still account for up to 20% of a home’s daily indoor water use. The typical household will draw anywhere from 18–27 gallons a day from their faucets, encompassing all faucet use from hand washing to cooking. Bear in mind that faucets without aerators — usually kitchen or laundry faucets — can have flow rates beyond 3 gpm, which wastes a lot of water.”
  • According to a 2014 Government Accountability Report, “40 out of 50 state water managers expect water shortages under average conditions in some portion of their states over the next decade.”
  • According to USA EPA, “Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth can save 8 gallons of water per day and, while shaving, can save 10 gallons of water per shave. Assuming you brush your teeth twice daily and shave 5 times per week, you could save nearly 5,700 gallons per year. Letting your faucet run for five minutes while washing dishes can waste 10 gallons of water and uses enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for 18 hours.”

Prices

Modern sink with kitchen faucet.

The prices on faucets vary. They can be determined through material, design, function, and mobility. It’s up to the consumer to decide which type would be the best fit for their home. Installation also comes into consideration when determining the price. Here is a brief example of how prices can vary:

“Many water providers give low-flow aerators out to their customers for free or you can purchase one at many home improvement stores for about $1-5.00 each.”

Below are sample price ranges by the Kitchen Model Guide:

“Single hole kitchen faucet prices:

  • Low cost: About $30
  • Average cost: $150 to $350
  • High cost: More than $2,000

Double hole kitchen faucet prices:

  • Low cost: About $25
  • Average cost: $125 to $300
  • High cost: More than $2,000

Pull down / pull out kitchen faucet prices:

  • Low cost: About $40
  • Average cost: $175 to $500
  • High cost: More than $3,000

Wall mount kitchen faucet prices:

  • Low cost: About $50
  • Average cost: $300 to $600
  • High cost: More than $1,500

Bridge kitchen faucet prices:

  • Low cost: About $50
  • Average cost: $400 to $700
  • High cost: More than $1,700

Waterfall kitchen faucet prices:

  • Low cost: About $50
  • Average cost: $150 to $300
  • High cost: More than $600

Vessel kitchen faucet prices:

  • Low cost: About $40
  • Average cost: $150 to $300
  • High cost: More than $500

Touchless and touch-on kitchen faucet prices:

  • Low cost: About $200
  • Average cost: $400 to $700
  • High cost: More than $2,500”

The national average cost of installing a faucet in the United States is around $243 USD, according to Home Advisor.

Key Information on Kitchen Faucets:

Kitchen sink and faucet.

  • Faucets have been around as early as 1000 BC.
  • Kitchen faucets come in a variety of styles that are also customizable.
  • There are many types of faucets, including and not limited to single-handle, electric, two-handle, and laser.
  • Kitchen faucets can last decades if properly taken care of and cleaned regularly.
  • Kitchen faucets link up to the home’s cold and hot water pipes.





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