Ask the Plumber: 'Touchless' kitchen faucets add nice touch

Ed Del Grande

Dear Ed: I don't have a plumbing problem, but I do have a plumbing question. On a recent open-house tour with a friend, I noticed a kitchen sink with two faucets. One was a standard faucet with handles and a spray. The other appeared to be a gooseneck-style electronic "touchless" faucet, the kind you see in commercial applications. Why would a home have a second electronic faucet like that on a kitchen sink? Was I seeing things? -- Frank, Massachusetts

Dear Frank: More than likely, you saw see a touchless commercial faucet on a residential sink. This is not that uncommon in "trendy" working kitchens, and personally I think it's a good idea.

Here's how most of these second kitchen-sink faucets are being used. The primary faucet is still the standard type, with handles and a spray. But a cook handling raw foods can use the touchless faucet to wash hands without contaminating any faucet handles. Also, if vegetables need to be rinsed off, the water will run only when the food is underneath the faucet. This can save water, because the electronic "on-off" faucets will not run constantly, as a standard sink faucet would.

Bottom line: Adding a touchless faucet without any handles to your kitchen sink may help you "handle" conservation and cleanliness issues.

Master contractor/plumber Ed Del Grande is the author of "Ed Del Grande's House Call," a TV and Internet host and a LEED green associate. Visit or write Always consult local contractors and codes.