Can A Touchless Faucet Work Manually

Can A Touchless Faucet Work Manually featured photo

Touchless faucets have been becoming more popular in residential homes whether to be a touchless kitchen faucet or a touchless bathroom faucet. These kinds of faucets definitely have their advantages as they don’t require physical touch to turn on and off. However, devices like these can break and you might need to use it manually if the sensor suddenly stops working.

Touchless faucets can definitely work manually and you can bypass the faucet’s touchless features. Bypassing the faucet’s touchless features will depend on the brand or model. Some touchless faucets have a switch on the valve that you can flip to manually override the touchless feature. On the other hand, you may also need to remove the faucet’s battery pack or solenoid valve to switch to manual mode.

In this article, we will talk about how to disable a touchless faucet’s sensor and touchless feature. If you are still thinking about buying a touchless faucet, we will also talk about the differences between touch and touchless faucets. We will also give you the pros and cons of having a touchless faucet so make sure to read until the end.

What Is The Difference Between Touch and Touchless Faucets

What Is The Difference Between Touch and Touchless Faucets

Touch and touchless faucets’ primary function is the same – they both deliver water from the pumping system. One major difference between these two kinds of faucet is one requires you to touch the faucet to turn it on and off while the other has a sensor that detects movement.

Unlike traditional faucets that use handles, knobs, or valves, touch faucets have a touch sensor that responds to physical touch. With a touch faucet, you do not have to use the handle. You can just tap the sensor with the back of your hand and it will work as intended. Touch faucets can also have additional features that traditional faucets don’t, such as automatic shut-off.

Touchless faucets, as the name implies, do not require physical touch to turn it on and off. The sensor on touchless faucets can detect your hands or even objects. This makes the faucet easier to operate even if you are holding something big like a pan or pot.

How Do Touchless Faucets Work

How Do Touchless Faucets Work

Touchless faucets typically have infrared sensors that detect your hand movements or other objects. When the sensor detects movement, it sends a signal to the solenoid valve to open to start the flow of water. The valve also closes off to stop the flow of water. Some touchless faucet sensors are located at the base of the faucet but other sensors are located on the lip of the faucet.

Touchless faucets are typically found in commercial kitchens or public bathrooms but they have been becoming popular in residential homes as well. Since touchless faucets have sensors, they can either be battery-powered or by connecting it to an electric power source.

Can A Touchless Faucet Work Manually?

Can A Touchless Faucet Work Manually

Yes, most touchless faucets still have handles so you can still use them manually. You might wonder “How do I make my touchless faucet work manually?”

Well, the answer will depend on the model of your faucet. Touchless faucet brands like Kohler, Moen, and Delta have different ways of bypassing their faucet’s touch features. If you want to disable your touchless faucet’s sensor, you can do one of these solutions:

Remove The Battery

If your touchless faucet is battery-operated, you can simply remove the battery to bypass its sensors. Some models need the water to be flowing when removing the battery pack, so you might want to refer to your faucet’s instruction manual.

Unplug The Faucet

If your touchless faucet is connected to an electric wall outlet or other electric power supply, you can unplug the socket to disable the faucet’s touch features.

Remove The Solenoid Valve

This process is a little bit more complicated and some Delta models use this process to bypass their faucet’s touchless features. Disabling the sensor on a Delta touchless faucet can also depend on the model.

To remove the solenoid valve on Delta touchless faucets, you need to remove the battery pack and disconnect the sensor hooks from the valve and light cable. After that, you need to remove the hose clips from the solenoid valve and reconnect the hose clips to have a manual touchless faucet.

Of course, the removal of the solenoid valve varies depending on the faucet’s brand. It is best to refer to the faucet’s manual as it will contain the exact instructions on how to remove the solenoid valve.

​​Use The Switch On The Valve

Another way to disable the sensor is by switching it off via the valve box. Some touchless faucets have a manual override option making it easy to disable the touchless feature. This can be a switch, knob, or slit switch depending on the model.

Other Ways To Bypass Touchless Faucet Sensor

If you have a Moen faucet, it can be easy to disable its sensor. If you have Moen touchless faucets, it is easy to disable its sensor. To disable the front sensor of a MotionSense Moen touchless faucet, you need to pull the handle away from the faucet and place both of your hands in front of the two sensors for about 5 seconds. Once you see a blue light blink on the lower front sensor for 5 seconds, it means that the sensor is now disabled. If you want to disable both sensors, you need to wait for the blue light to blink again for 5 seconds.

Pros And Cons Of Having A Touchless Faucet

Pros And Cons Of Having A Touchless Faucet

Touchless faucets are being used in both commercial and residential for different reasons and there are pros and cons to having touchless faucets.


Touchless faucets have a lot of features that traditional faucets do not have.

One great feature of touchless faucets is the automatic shut-off feature. With this feature, you do not have to worry about wasting water. Touchless faucets typically turn off automatically after a couple of minutes of continuous water flow or right after you’ve finished using the faucet. This feature can help you conserve large amounts of water and save money in the long run.

Another big advantage of having a touchless faucet is avoiding cross-contamination. If you have a touchless kitchen faucet, you don’t have to worry about bacteria and germs spreading to the faucet’s handle and when you are preparing your food. Touchless faucets are also easy to turn on and off even if you are holding a pan or pot in your hands.


Touchless faucets also have their disadvantages. Touchless faucets tend to be more expensive than traditional faucets because of their features and parts. You also need to change the batteries every couple of years depending on the battery quality and the touchless feature will also not work if you suddenly have a power outage in your area. It could also be hard to find touchless faucet parts if they break, like the Moen faucet cartridge.

Since touchless faucets use infrared sensors, there can be issues with the infrared sensor not working properly. This could be because of battery issues or because the sensor’s surface is blocked by dirt or debris. If you have pets (cats) that like to climb on counters, their movement can also trigger the sensor causing the faucet to turn on. If you have curious cats, they might learn how to activate the sensor and keep doing it, especially if they love running water.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why Would A Touchless Faucet Stop Working?

There could be several reasons why a touchless faucet stops working. Touchless faucets either have to be battery-powered or connected to a power supply. If your touchless faucet’s battery dies, the touchless feature will stop working unless you’ve changed the batteries. Power outages can also cause your touchless faucet to stop working. Aside from battery and electric issues, a faulty solenoid valve or sensor can also cause the faucet to stop working. Faulty touchless faucets can also be caused by the valve being clogged by dirt and debris.

How Long Do Touchless Faucets Last?

Touchless faucets can last for a long time if maintained properly. A touchless faucet’s lithium battery can last for 3 to 5 years. But, you can replace the batteries yearly if your touchless faucets are being used regularly. You will know once the batteries need to be changed as some sensors blink red indicating a low or dead battery. Cleaning the sensors and making sure that the valve is free from dirt and debris will keep the touchless faucet from getting damaged.


Bypassing a touchless faucet’s sensors is possible and you can use it manually. The way to disable the touchless feature will depend on the brand or model of your touchless faucet. The best way to know how to bypass the faucet’s sensor is by reading the instruction manual.

In this article, we talked about how to disable the touchless feature of a touchless faucet. We also talked about the pros and cons of touchless faucets if you are just thinking of buying one for your home. If you have any other questions, let us know via the contact form on our website!