Infographic: How Do Sensor Taps Work?

We have created an infographic to explain in just one minute how basin sensor taps work. It is crucial for us that our customers understand the basic operation of automatic faucets: this is a new bathroom fitting IFS are marketing due to the energy saving and hygiene improvement in public and commercial washrooms. 

Now that you know how sensor taps work, why not take a look at our detailed comparitive buying guide of WRAS approved sensor taps?

Infographic on how basin sensor taps work

To download this, you just need to right-click on the picture and choose Save image as... We are happy for you to share the chart, leaving our branding at the bottom and/or by crediting our authorship (with a link back to this blog post or our tap category). 

In case you cannot see the content of the infographic, the information included is the following: 

  1. The sensor tap system must have power, whether battery or a transformer.
  2. With electricity supply, the sensor can detect an object, like a hand opposite the basin tap.
  3. The solenoid valve opens when an obstruction is perceived.
  4. This way, water flows through the pipe and spout.
  5. When there is no object in front of the sensor, this device sends the correspondent signal.
  6. Then, the solenoid valve closes.
  7. And water stops running.

Several settings of the sensor tap can be adjusted with a remote control, such as the reaction time of the sensor or a time limit for the water stream (which is both a vandalproof and pro environmental measure). Consider that you have to shut off the water supply in order to connect the remote control to the tap and make the changes.

Now you know the basics, we invite you to read the pros and cons of sensor taps described in this blog post. If you are interested in visiting our automatic basin taps section, please click here. Among other washroom supplies, we have available energy efficient hand dryers and assorted grab rails to aid mobility. Do not hesitate to call us or write an email if you have a request or enquiry.

IFS Basin Sensor Taps 2017

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Author: Paula Martinez

Read more about Paula here


LeighPosted on February 25th, 2020 at 15:33

How do you change the battery please

James Marvin (Intelligent Hand Dryers)Posted on February 25th, 2020 at 16:36

Hi Leigh, this depends on which model you have? I shall email you direct to get some more information. Thanks for your question. James.

SamsonPosted on April 27th, 2020 at 12:24

Can I get the pictures of the entire system please

James Marvin (Intelligent Hand Dryers)Posted on April 29th, 2020 at 10:08

HI Samson, I have emailed you an image I hope is useful?

Kind regards,


Jeremiah Isah Posted on May 24th, 2020 at 12:55

Please i will like to know the cost of the sensor and the tap.

LillyPosted on June 14th, 2020 at 06:38

Hi I would like to find out how the solenoid gets filled up with water. Does the solenoid act as a form of tank storing the water?

James Marvin (Intelligent Hand Dryers)Posted on June 16th, 2020 at 10:41

Hi Lilly, thanks for your question. I have emailed you this also.

The solenoid is a valve that allows the water to pass or not depending upon the signal received from the sensor. It doesn’t fill up as such, the water is always in the pipe which leads to the tap.

When the sensor is triggered by the hands, the solenoid valve opens like a door and allows water to pass out the tap for the amount of time the tap is set for or until the hands are taken away from the sensor.

Once this has happened the solenoid valve instantly closes and makes sure no more water gets out of the tap from the water pipe.

Hope this helps?

sheniPosted on August 16th, 2020 at 21:16

how much energy doest it consume in a day? coz in my city electricity is toooo much expensive.

James Marvin (Intelligent Hand Dryers)Posted on August 21st, 2020 at 09:58

Hi Sheni. Good question and it would depend on the country you are in, but all in all they use very little electricity, and most can also be powered by batteries so you can regulate the cost further.

NicolaPosted on December 7th, 2020 at 10:04

Hi there,
Is it possible to have a separate wall mounted sensor so you could essentially programme any faucet to be sensor operated? Thanks!

Kind regards,

James Marvin (Intelligent Hand Dryers)Posted on December 8th, 2020 at 10:15

Hi Nicola, great question.

There are a few kits on the market that turn existing manual taps into sensor taps. These come in either an additional kit that goes onto the end of the faucet where the water comes out or a sensor conversion kit that includes the solenoid valve and sensor separately. As yet we do not supply these so couldn’t verify the quality or performance but the potential is certainly out there.

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