A nifty product that helps keep your faucets clean while saving water at the same time, the Tapmaster line of products lets you turn water on and off using your knees or foot, leaving your hands free to do other things. Tapmaster is in Calgary, and developed its product initially for the dental industry, but the products found their place in other areas, and is particularly popular with gardeners. This is also a great gadget for cooks because it gives you that third hand you’re always looking for, when you need to turn on the faucet but your hands are either full or dirty. You don’t need to touch the faucet to turn it on — simply move the lever using your foot. The water stops when you pull your foot away. It helps keep faucet tap handles clean while washing your hands.
It’s apparently easy to install and has no need for batteries or electricity. The Tapmaster people told me that this is a DIY project (as long as you own a drill and screwdriver). There are a variety of models available, each on suitable for different settings and uses.
Euro Foot Activator
The Euro Foot Activators are simple levers that are installed at the bottom of cabinets. Model 1770 operates solely when your foot touches the lever. The water stops only when you take your foot away. Water temperature is controlled using the faucet handle. (CDN $325)
Model 1775 has a continuous flow option where, if the lever is kicked all the way to a 90 degree angle, the water will stay on (CDN $345).
Temperature is controlled by the faucet.
Tapmaster Kickplate model
Kickplate models: Available in brushed stainless, black or white, one touch to turn on, and another to turn off. There are three models available:
1750: Two options for use: touching the vertical space will keep the water flowing until you release it. Pressing down on the top part will lock water flow in place. A light touch to the vertical part will unlock it and stop the water flow. This is a great product for the kitchen. ($345).
1751: A combination kickplate and cabinet door activated control. Either press the cabinet door to operate the tap, or touch the kickplate. (CDN $447).
1756: Allows complete control over water temperature from the kickplate itself. There are hot, warm and cold settings available. It is available in black, white or silver (CDN$550).
Cabinet door activator (hidden)
Cabinet door activator: Model 1720, installed inside a cabinet door, this model is ideal for bathrooms where only short bursts of water are needed for brushing teeth, washing hands or face. Once installed, it is activated when the cabinet door is pushed. Because it needs very little pressure to activate it, it is hardly noticeable when the doors are shut. It is also the most economical, at CDN$302. Note that this model is not suitable for bathrooms with pedestal sinks.
In floor activator: 1780 is installed directly into the floor. The water is turned on and off with a quick tap to the floor plate (CDN $370). A new model, 1786 also allows for temperature control. This model would work well with pedestal sinks. I wondered whether it would be a suitable product with cats and dogs in the home, however, Lynne Pubbin, Operations Manager at Tapmaster explained:
We have built this product specifically so that cats and dogs cannot possibly turn these on. We have actually tested this with large dogs (0ver 90 lbs) and had them walking on them and they cannot turn them on as it requires a specific force to activate the water. It may not seem like much to most adults or children, but there is an actual purposeful force which needs to be applied.
Installation seems straightforward: For the kickplate and Euro models, drill a hole in the kickplate of the cupboard and the floor of the cupboard close to the faucet’s plumbing and feed the Tapmaster lines through it. Connect it to the water feeds to the sink faucet and that’s it. See the full video here for more information on installation. Note that there is no need for electricity for any of the units a they work via pressure.
For more information on each of these models, as well as installation information and exactly how it works, please visit the Tapmaster website.
To purchase the Tapmaster, order online through the website or call 1-800-791-8117.