As Readers of this blog know, I'm not in the habit of endorsing commercial products. I'm not affiliated with any company nor do I receive compensation other than personal satisfaction for this blog, but I felt I should pass on some information about a new tool that might benefit many arthritic or disabled gardeners out there. The pictured item is named a "Push Button Tap Adaptor" and it is available from Gardener's Supply Company in a "single tap" or "Y tap" configuration and both at a reasonable price (I thought). This is the link for the adaptors.
I normally place Y-pieces on most of the outside faucets so that I can fill a bucket at the faucet and keep a longer hose attached at the same time, and so that I don't have to turn and turn the handles each time I want the water on or off. I purchased these "Push Button Adaptors" for the novelty as I am not yet arthritic (as a surgeon, I don't want to jinx things up here), but I also thought this innovation might be somewhat easier on the delicate hands of Mrs. ProfessorRoush, and that it might thus miraculously even lead to a more willing garden helper. You all know how it is, there are a million quick-on tap adapters on the market (five pages of them at Amazon.com), but all involve turning some type of plastic or steel knob which is often very tight and requires some hand strength to turn. I once, in fact, had an all-metal Y-piece that required a pair of pliers to turn the knobs. It was a visit from a mildly arthritic friend, however, that alerted me that this simple push-button faucet might be very valuable to gardeners with disabilities or those who are aging less gracefully than others.
This tap adaptor is metal, but my initial impression was that it might not be too sturdy. The body seemed to be made of that light zinc-like alloy and I was worried about its durability. I also found out very quickly that I needed to throw away the plastic tap washer it came with and substitute a more supple rubber washer so to be able to tighten it to the point that it didn't leak. Then I learned the simple joy of it. Push.On. Push. Off. On. Off. OnOffOnOffOnOff... I've had it two weeks now, with pressure on it the whole time, and it hasn't leaked at all and the buttons push easily with a loud snap. The water from the hose shuts on and off very fast, just like I close an electrical switch rather than a water valve.
If you are in need of an easy access faucet, you might want to give this one a try. Be careful where you buy it because some sites sell the identical unit for up to $20.00 as I discovered during a Web search. Talk about gouging the unsuspecting! At the more common price of $7.95 or $11.95 for a one or two tap adaptor respectively, you can hardly go wrong. In fact, if mine lasts out at least the length of the summer, I'm happy enough with it to pay the $11.95 to replace it on a yearly basis. It's that handy!