Plumbing Guide: The 4 Different Types of Sink Faucets

A beautiful kitchen sink is vital for cooking food, cleaning dishes, and filling pots. No kitchen is complete without a sink, and a good faucet is as essential as a good sink.

Before beginning any repair, determine your faucet’s kind. The four most popular faucet kinds are ball, disc, cartridge, and compression.

The first three (ball, cartridge, and disc) are “washerless faucets” that don’t use neoprene or rubber washers to prevent the faucet from dripping. The latter, compression faucets, are standard washer faucets. Examine each category to learn how they function and how they vary. 

1. Ball Faucets

Ball faucets are the most typical faucets found in kitchen sinks. They were the first form of a washerless faucet, distinguished by a single handle that slides over a rounded ball-shaped top. Ball faucets are less robust than disc and cartridge faucets and leak more over time.

In a ball faucet, a lever ball assembly rotates a ball within the faucet. Springs and inlets just above the faucet’s aperture support the assembly. Its handle may revolve freely up and down, which impacts water temperature, pressure, and flow.

In addition, the ball faucet has slots and chambers and a body that houses the hot and cold inlet seats. You may regulate the water flow by moving the ball to line the slots with the intake seats.

2. Cartridge Faucets

Cartridge faucets, which resemble compression washer faucets, can have a single or double handle. When compared to other washerless faucets, the operation is smooth and steady, as well as sturdy.

Unlike other faucets on this list, cartridge faucets might have one or two handles. Unlike compression faucets, you don’t need to turn the knobs to change the flow. You turn the cartridge faucet handle to turn on the water in a single smooth, easy stroke. Single-handle variants rotate up and down to adjust water flow and temperature like disc faucets.

A hollow metal cartridge is inside a cartridge faucet. This hollow cartridge clogs the faucet, limiting hot and cold water flow. When the water is on, the cartridge advances. The forward position of the cartridge clears the water lines, enabling water to flow through the faucet. You spin the cartridge when changing the temperature, blocking the cold or hot water intakes.

3. Disc Faucets

Disc faucets are newer than compression or ball faucets and are more durable. They are of great quality, dependable, and represent the most recent advancement in contemporary faucet technology. A single lever distinguishes them atop a large cylindrical body.

A disc faucet’s body is wider than other faucet bodies and often cylindrical. Like ball faucets, disc faucet handles move up and down and side to side, but not as freely. The faucet’s enormous cylindrical housing is an upper and lower ceramic disc. The handle rotates the upper disc, while the lower disc is immovable. 

When pressed together, these two highly polished discs form a watertight seal. When the water is turned on, the upper and lower discs separate. The newly developed space fills with water until the faucet is closed.

4. Compression Faucets

Traditional compression faucets are the most common among the different sink types. They are the cheapest in value, most prone to leaks, and have separate hot and cold water handles. Their handles are spun to tighten and loosen to allow water to flow from the faucet. In addition, water is turned on and off by loosening and tightening the faucet handle like turning a screw.

Compression faucet handles link two stem assemblies with one for each handle. These components go above the faucet’s valve seat, where water enters. When the faucet is closed, the stem assembly touches the valve seat. Once the stem’s washer compresses over the valve seat, blocking water flow. Reopening the tap raises the washer and re-flows the water.


Understanding your faucets is the first step in figuring out how to fix them properly. Once you’ve determined which one you have, you can learn how to repair it. Do your homework before buying faucet repair tools since various faucet repairs require different instruments.

Candu Plumbing & Rooter provides the best plumbers in Woodland Hills, CA. Our team is  committed to the plumbing business by exemplifying 100 percent consumer happiness through our expertise. When it comes to your plumbing issues, we’ll solve them—contact us today!