We recently were camping in Zion National
Park in southern
Utah. There are water faucets in various locations
throughout the campground. On each water faucet a
lever, which looks like an "old fashioned" pump
handle, is used to turn the water on and off.
The photo at left shows a
faucet with the lever in the down or OFF position.
To turn the water on, you simply
raise the lever up to the ON position. As long as
the lever remains in the ON position, the water flows
continuously. The photo at left shows the
lever in the up or ON position.
I saw several people who had obviously never
used a faucet like this and who didn't know how to operate it.
They pumped the lever rapidly up and down as if it were
the handle of an "old fashioned" water pump. At the top of
each stroke, the water would turn on and enough would
come out to make them think they were operating the
faucet correctly. Needless to say, it required a lot of
time and energy to fill their water container.
Even though the faucet looked like a
hand-operated pump, it didn't work like one. The
animation on the left shows
the lever being pumped rapidly up and down.
It is confusing to people when a faucet lever is
designed to look like a pump handle but operates in a
It would be less confusing to design the faucet
with the lever pointing straight up in the OFF position. On
the left is a sketch of the
faucet with an upward-pointing lever resembling a gear
shift lever in a car.
Moving the lever FORWARD in the direction of the
arrow would turn the