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February 27, 2020

Commercial Restroom Reflections: Talking Flushometer Trends with Rolando Zambrano

Rolando Zambrano has seen all sides of Sloan over the last 12 years. Starting with the company developing specification sheets, he then moved on to Sloan’s technical support team as an Installation Engineer for 10 years. Now working as an Associate Product Line Manager for Flushometers and Fixtures alongside Mark Lawinger, he is at the forefront of some of Sloan’s most groundbreaking innovations.

How have you seen Sloan evolve over the last dozen years?

I think there’s been a mindset change. Specifically, I noticed a change around 2009 with the shift from what was then considered low consumption to high efficiency flushing. The trend to conserve water has taken off ever since, and so has Sloan’s product offering. With that in mind, we try to strike a balance between what we've been manufacturing for over 114 years and getting to a phase where we're launching several new water-efficient products per year.

What flushometer trends have you been noticing recently?

Less is more when it comes to water consumption. Yet, with the recent demand for 1.1, 1.0 and even 0.8 gallon per flush (gpf) fixtures, we are now reaching the limit of maximum water efficiency with the lowest gpf. Since we don’t want to risk ineffective water evacuation with lower flow fixtures, we’ve found that the threshold when it comes to balancing water efficiency and effective flushing is 1.28 gpf. With the demand for lower flow products, we are always staying ahead of the curve by assembling products that are not only feasible from a production standpoint, but also achieve a complete and clean flush. We’re committed to developing high quality products and doing our due diligence, all without cutting any corners along the way.

With Coronavirus on the public’s radar, how are Sloan fixtures working to combat the spread of disease?

We recently started a partnership with CuVerro® and are utilizing their EPA-verified bactericidal copper alloy surfaces on Sloan flushometers. The copper alloy material physically kills bacteria on contact and prevents the spread of infections.

Have you noticed certain flushometer models are specified more in specific environments with your work across a number of vertical markets?

Each specification comes with its own unique set of circumstances, but we do see some trends as far as vertical markets. For example, hardwired flushometers tend to be specified more in high-traffic environments to cut down maintenance time associated with battery replacement.  

Yet, other trends tend to span across a number of markets. Much like how I mentioned earlier that less is more from a water consumption aspect, that idea also holds true in design. From a high design perspective, the more of the flushometer you can conceal, the better. With this in mind, concealed flushometers are well-suited for hotels, high-end restaurants, casinos, and more.

How is Sloan’s new concealed CX Flushometer achieving both performance and design goals?

Sloan’s CX Flushometer features the smallest front access wall panel on the market with never-before-seen rough-in dimensions to maintain a low profile space within the restroom. When architects and designers are planning a building’s layout, more space equates to more money. Every inch becomes a critical design aspect, and the CX Flushometer helps to accommodate this.

With so many product offerings, how do you work to keep all of Sloan’s innovative technology top-of-mind?

With such a rich 114-year history of innovating commercial restroom products, it can be easy for certain Sloan products or technologies to get lost in the shuffle. I love it when I hear someone on our sales team mention that a competitor is now offering a specific flushometer and I’m able to bring up a drawing from the 60s or 70s to show that we’ve actually been manufacturing the same thing for over 40 years. As time passes and with such an expansive product offering, retention of one hundred percent of all information becomes a greater challenge. That’s why I’m here to help.

This is the 14th edition in a series of Q&A segments with Sloan subject matter experts for their take on where the commercial restroom has been, what it’s evolved to now, and where it’s headed. A previous edition on sustainability trends can be found here.

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