How Everything Works
How Everything Works How Everything Works

Question 127

When you were showing us water faucets during class, each faucet had a corner immediately preceding the opening through which the water came out. Does that corner help slow the pressure of the water?
Most faucets do have a turn just before the water comes out and that turn is there to slow the water down. Unless the faucet is opened for maximum flow, the pressure of the water emerging from the valve part of the faucet is pretty close to atmospheric pressure, so there isn't any need to control that pressure. But the water emerging from the valve may be traveling very fast and it could easily spray across the room if there were nothing in its way. To prevent such sprays, most faucets are bent so that water spraying out of the valve will hit the bend and become turbulent. The turbulence will help it to convert its kinetic energy into thermal energy so that it will emerge from the faucet at low speed and atmospheric pressure. (Great question!—I'd never thought of this before).

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