There are four different types of valves for your home faucets. It is imperative to know which kind of faucet you have in case of future repairs. Plus, knowing the difference will also help you understand which option is the best fit for you when buying a new faucet.

The four types are:

  • Ball
  • Cartridge
  • Compression
  • Disc

Ball, cartridge, and disc are washerless valves, while the compression type valve utilizes washers to function.

Ball Faucets

Ball faucets are the first of the washerless valve types.  As you can see in the picture below, they are single-handled which sits atop of a rounded base. They use springs, rubber valves, o-rings, cams, and the internal ball, which controls the temperature and the flow of water from the faucet.

Description – Single Handle Kitchen Faucet – K-4170

  • Metal Loop Handle
  • Spout Swivel 360°
  • 7-15/16″ Reach, 4-3/4″ From Deck to Aerator
  • Stainless Steel Ball Operation
  • 3-Hole 8″ Installation
  • With 1.5 GPM Flow Rate

Cartridge Faucets

Cartridge faucets use fewer parts than a ball faucet, and because of this tends to have fewer issues with leaking. Like compression faucets, they use the turning motion of the handles to stop the flow of water. However, unlike compression type valves it only requires a half turn to open and close the water flow. They can be single-handled or two, giving you more style options.

Description – Two Handle Lavatory Faucet –  L-7270

  • Two Handle Lavatory Faucet
  • Lever Handles
  • 4-1/8″ Reach, 1-3/4″ From Deck to Aerator
  • Washerless Cartridge Operation
  • 3-Hole 4″ Installation
  • 50/50 Pop-Up Drain Assembly
  • With 1.2 GPM Flow Rate

Ceramic disc

Ceramic disc faucets are cutting edge faucet technology, and ours comes with a temperature limit stop. There are many style options to choose from and you have the added peace of mind knowing that these types of faucets generally need less in the way of repairs.

Description – Single Handle Pull-Down Pre-Rinse Kitchen Faucet – 2MT270

  • Single Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet
  • Metal Lever Handle
  • Pull-Down Head with 2 Spray Patterns Swivel 360°
  • 9″ Reach, 7″ from Deck to Aerator
  • 22-3/4” Overall Height
  • Ceramic Disc Cartridge with Temperature Limit Stop
  • 1-Hole Installation
  • Optional 3-Hole 8″ Deck Plate Available
  • Easy-Install 30” Flex Supply Lines With 3/8” Connections
  • With 1.8 GPM Flow Rate
  • Quick Connect Spray Head Hose and Weight, Easy-install mounting nut


An example of a compression style valve would be older two-handled faucets that require turning the handles completely to open and close the water flow. You can also find them in Garden/Lawn faucets. They are sometimes prone to leaks but are relatively easy to fix by changing out the rubber washer.

Description – Garden/Lawn Faucet – 0575-1/2

  • Lawn Faucet
  • Wheel Handle
  • Cast Brass Body, Hose Thread
  • 1/2-14 NPS Female Thread
  • Flange

With so many types and styles to choose from it can be confusing. Let Pioneer help make choosing the right faucet for your project the easiest part!