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Pimp My Faucet: Foot Pedal Edition


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i've wanted foot pedal actuation for the kitchen sink (and every other sink, honestly) for a long time, and now it's set up!

 

why? it's very convenient to be able to get a quick splash of water without reaching over to the faucet valve. imagine repetitive tasks like doing dishes. also, if your hands are dirty, you don't have to touch anything to rinse them off.

 

after researching, i found that there are products available that can be used to retrofit existing fixtures. they work by placing remotely-actuated valves in series with the fixture supply shutoffs. i think i saw a few kinds of valve actuation: hydraulic (using tap water as the working fluid), solenoid, and tension cable. of these, hydraulic seems like the industry standard. it appears to be a tested technology that's been used in dental, medical, and other commercial applications for decades.

 

i found two promising hydraulic manufacturers:

 

https://www.tapmaster.ca/

http://autotap.net/

 

even though it was more expensive, i ended up going with tapmaster. seems to be of overall higher quality, and i like the design more (both of the foot pedal and the valves).

 

if you end up getting one of these (or another brand), be sure to get one that lets you lock it on for continuous flow. sometimes, you'll want to bypass it and use it like a normal faucet if you're filling up a big pot or whatever.

 

i got model 1750 which is the kick plate style (with locking mechanism for continuous flow):

 

2037639394_tapmaster1750kickplate.thumb.jpg.eaf32423aa64163cb425a5d3fd91c6fd.jpg

 

i chose that over the euro style because i think it's probably more ergonomic to use with repetitive tasks. with the kickplate, i don't even have to move my foot. i just have my toes resting against it, and i extend them forward a bit. with the euro style, i think you probably have to move your foot side to side a bit or pivot on your ankle. update: after looking at the euro's manual, it seems that you can actually actuate it by pushing the probe in any direction, including straight forward/inward assuming you have sufficient clearance so the probe doesn't bump the cabinet toekick. i thought it had to be to the side like they show in the vid i linked. if i had known that, i might have gotten it instead of the kickplate. oh well. i like solid, industrial things anyways. :) 

 

aside from looking way more conspicuous, a less obvious downside to tapmaster's kickplate style is it can be fiddly to tune the lock mechanism. mine wasn't right from the factory, and i had to adjust the clearance between actuator and the kickplate. if the gap's too small (or touching), the latch doesn't disengage. if it's too big, it won't stay latched. the manual suggests 0.02" of clearance. i tried to hit that spec using a feeler gauge (commonly used for adjusting valve clearance in an engine), but it was a waste of time. what worked for me was adjusting it bit by bit until it was perfect. in my case, i increased the clearance a half turn of the actuator's rear mounting nut at a time (take off the front nut and washers to make it easier). to make it easy to keep track of orientation, mark one corner of the rear nut with a sharpie. once i was in the ballpark, i found that repositioning by a quarter turn got me where i wanted. another quarter turn from there in either direction gave bad performance. i don't think the euro style needs this kind of fiddling. i felt it was a big waste of time, but whatever. all done now!

 

overall, i'm extremely satisfied with the product. i love using it.

 

here's my installation (control line fished under the cabinet):

 

722133950_tapmasterinstall.thumb.jpg.36b8753964b54a7a37ccb4559e37d90d.jpg

 

i'm also proud of that garbage disposal, lol. insinkerator evolution excel. 1 HP and very quiet!

 

i bought my tapmaster from conservastore.com ($344) because i couldn't find a better deal. their site said "in stock", but it took them about two weeks to ship it (missing a deadline they gave). however, to their credit, they did have excellent communication. i can recommend them if you don't mind waiting.

 

anyone else have a similar setup going?

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First, that is the neatest plumbing work I have ever seen ,  nice job.  Second, while I understand the general idea,  I find I am always adjusting the temp, and my assumption is the food pedal is only on off, correct?  

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8 hours ago, jaw said:

i've wanted foot pedal actuation for the kitchen sink (and every other sink, honestly) for a long time, and now it's set up!

 

why? it's very convenient to be able to get a quick splash of water without reaching over to the faucet valve. imagine repetitive tasks like doing dishes. also, if your hands are dirty, you don't have to touch anything to rinse them off.

 

after researching, i found that there are products available that can be used to retrofit existing fixtures. they work by placing remotely-actuated valves in series with the fixture supply shutoffs. i think i saw a few kinds of valve actuation: hydraulic (using tap water as the working fluid), solenoid, and tension cable. of these, hydraulic seems like the industry standard. it appears to be a tested technology that's been used in dental, medical, and other commercial applications for decades.

 

i found two promising hydraulic manufacturers:

 

https://www.tapmaster.ca/

http://autotap.net/

 

even though it was more expensive, i ended up going with tapmaster. seems to be of overall higher quality, and i like the design more (both of the foot pedal and the valves).

 

if you end up getting one of these (or another brand), be sure to get one that lets you lock it on for continuous flow. sometimes, you'll want to bypass it and use it like a normal faucet if you're filling up a big pot or whatever.

 

i got model 1750 which is the kick plate style (with locking mechanism for continuous flow):

 

2037639394_tapmaster1750kickplate.thumb.jpg.eaf32423aa64163cb425a5d3fd91c6fd.jpg

 

i chose that over the euro style because i think it's probably more ergonomic to use with repetitive tasks. with the kickplate, i don't even have to move my foot. i just have my toes resting against it, and i extend them forward a bit. with the euro style, i think you probably have to move your foot side to side a bit or pivot on your ankle. update: after looking at the euro's manual, it seems that you can actually actuate it by pushing the probe in any direction, including straight forward/inward assuming you have sufficient clearance so the probe doesn't bump the cabinet toekick. i thought it had to be to the side like they show in the vid i linked. if i had known that, i might have gotten it instead of the kickplate. oh well. i like solid, industrial things anyways. :) 

 

aside from looking way more conspicuous, a less obvious downside to tapmaster's kickplate style is it can be fiddly to tune the lock mechanism. mine wasn't right from the factory, and i had to adjust the clearance between actuator and the kickplate. if the gap's too small (or touching), the latch doesn't disengage. if it's too big, it won't stay latched. the manual suggests 0.02" of clearance. i tried to hit that spec using a feeler gauge (commonly used for adjusting valve clearance in an engine), but it was a waste of time. what worked for me was adjusting it bit by bit until it was perfect. in my case, i increased the clearance a half turn of the actuator's rear mounting nut at a time (take off the front nut and washers to make it easier). to make it easy to keep track of orientation, mark one corner of the rear nut with a sharpie. once i was in the ballpark, i found that repositioning by a quarter turn got me where i wanted. another quarter turn from there in either direction gave bad performance. i don't think the euro style needs this kind of fiddling. i felt it was a big waste of time, but whatever. all done now!

 

overall, i'm extremely satisfied with the product. i love using it.

 

here's my installation (control line fished under the cabinet):

 

722133950_tapmasterinstall.thumb.jpg.36b8753964b54a7a37ccb4559e37d90d.jpg

 

i'm also proud of that garbage disposal, lol. insinkerator evolution excel. 1 HP and very quiet!

 

i bought my tapmaster from conservastore.com ($344) because i couldn't find a better deal. their site said "in stock", but it took them about two weeks to ship it (missing a deadline they gave). however, to their credit, they did have excellent communication. i can recommend them if you don't mind waiting.

 

anyone else have a similar setup going?

So it looks like you have 2 solenoid valves - one on the hot and one on the cold, correct?  Basically, all you really need are 2 solenoid valves, a foot switch and a latching relay.  Hmm..... Now my contractor will really think I'm nuts!

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@jaw Yes pretty plumbing. "Somebody" would not wait for my Union guys and let his guy put in the Insta-Hot which I did not want anyway. Looked like a rattlesnake winter den under there.

@KennethT We did them frequently in hospital and lab settings. Poor architects would get a visible twitch on walk-throughs as some cabinetmakers were more artistic than others. Does wreck the clean line of the kickboard. Have you test driven the pedals like at your Dr. office? I would. 

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5 minutes ago, heidih said:

@jaw Yes pretty plumbing. "Somebody" would not wait for my Union guys and let his guy put in the Insta-Hot which I did not want anyway. Looked like a rattlesnake winter den under there.

@KennethT We did them frequently in hospital and lab settings. Poor architects would get a visible twitch on walk-throughs as some cabinetmakers were more artistic than others. Does wreck the clean line of the kickboard. Have you test driven the pedals like at your Dr. office? I would. 

Personally, I am not that concerned with aesthetics... I'm more function over form.  So I really don't care if I have a foot pedal on the floor in front of the sink.

 

Now that I think about it, you don't even really need a latching relay.  I can just get a maintained foot switch (capable of repeatedly passing 6A, so more than enough for 2 15W solenoid valves)... it can be attached to a flexible jacketed cable and float on the floor near the sink.

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18 hours ago, Barrytm said:

...while I understand the general idea,  I find I am always adjusting the temp, and my assumption is the food pedal is only on off, correct?  

 

yes, it's only on/off. you adjust the temp and flowrate from the faucet (and leave the faucet on). i had some small doubts, but after using it, i love it.

 

by default, i leave it warm-hot (but not scalding). it almost doesn't matter which temp anyways since i don't have a hot water recirculation system (is that the next project? lol), and i'm often not using the sink long enough for it to get up to temp.

 

when i'm doing dishes, i set it to scalding once, and when i'm done, i move it back to warm. etc.

 

i definitely touch the faucet way less.

 

16 hours ago, KennethT said:

So it looks like you have 2 solenoid valves - one on the hot and one on the cold, correct?  Basically, all you really need are 2 solenoid valves, a foot switch and a latching relay.  Hmm..... Now my contractor will really think I'm nuts!

 

yes, but they aren't solenoids. no electricity.

 

they're hydraulic valves, and the working fluid is tap water that automatically works its way into the control lines when you pump the pedal.

using mechanical advantage in the pedal design, it doesn't take much effort from your foot to put enough pressure in the control lines to close open the valves.

 

14 hours ago, KennethT said:

Personally, I am not that concerned with aesthetics... I'm more function over form.  So I really don't care if I have a foot pedal on the floor in front of the sink.

 

Now that I think about it, you don't even really need a latching relay.  I can just get a maintained foot switch (capable of repeatedly passing 6A, so more than enough for 2 15W solenoid valves)... it can be attached to a flexible jacketed cable and float on the floor near the sink.

 

:D things that work well ARE beautiful!

 

but there's also the euro (lever) style one i mention in the OP:

 

ME3eSNZ.jpg

Edited by jaw (log)
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1 hour ago, jaw said:

 

 

 

 

yes, but they aren't solenoids. no electricity.

 

they're hydraulic valves, and the working fluid is tap water that automatically works its way into the control lines when you pump the pedal.

using mechanical advantage in the pedal design, it doesn't take much effort from your foot to put enough pressure in the control lines to close the valves.

 

 

huh... so the grey cable with the 3 colored things aren't wires, but they're water tubes?

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13 hours ago, Barrytm said:

First, that is the neatest plumbing work I have ever seen ,  nice job.  Second, while I understand the general idea,  I find I am always adjusting the temp, and my assumption is the food pedal is only on off, correct?  

It's possible to  build a kitchen faucet that uses a standard two pedal mixing valve (what you see in medical settings, and some food service hand washing sinks) and leaves the regular handles or knobs intact and usable.  So you can turn it on and off and set the temperature with either control. 

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30 minutes ago, dscheidt said:

It's possible to  build a kitchen faucet that uses a standard two pedal mixing valve (what you see in medical settings, and some food service hand washing sinks) and leaves the regular handles or knobs intact and usable.  So you can turn it on and off and set the temperature with either control. 

 

Kinda have to for ADA - have fun - and I say that with sincerity

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4 hours ago, dscheidt said:

It's possible to  build a kitchen faucet that uses a standard two pedal mixing valve (what you see in medical settings, and some food service hand washing sinks) and leaves the regular handles or knobs intact and usable.  So you can turn it on and off and set the temperature with either control. 

 

i don't doubt that's possible, but have you seen this implemented before?

got any pics or links to specific parts?

 

not trying to grill you, just genuinely curious. i thought about doing that, but i couldn't find any off the shelf solution. it would have been a lot of hardware.

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On 11/16/2020 at 1:16 AM, jaw said:

 

i don't doubt that's possible, but have you seen this implemented before?

got any pics or links to specific parts?

 

not trying to grill you, just genuinely curious. i thought about doing that, but i couldn't find any off the shelf solution. it would have been a lot of hardware.

Yes, I've seen it done.  T&S brass sell a number of lavatory faucets that work like this (and parts to make others work, as well).  It's possible to put kitchen spouts on them.  I suspect most commercial faucet lines have the parts required to do this. 

 

I've also seen it done with with a check valve (probably a pair of them, but I didn't get under the sink to check it out), on a mainstream kitchen faucet.  The faucet's mixing valve fed the spout with a hose, the valve went there, allowing the spout to get water from either the regular handle or the foot pedals. 

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I made the mistake of mentioning this thread just now, and my wife said she wants one. 
 

We just got the countertops done and are waiting for the backsplash tile. I’m really not thrilled about another project. 
 

eGullet can be dangerous. And expensive. 

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