In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of commercial facility owners and managers worldwide are converting their restrooms from manual to touch-free operation. They know that reducing the number of surfaces users touch can inhibit the spread of disease—and building occupants have raised their expectations for commercial restroom hygiene.
If you’ve made the decision to upgrade from manual to touch-free faucets, your next question might be, “What’s the best way to power sensor-operated faucets?”
Sloan Technical Training Manager Andrew Warnes hears this question all the time—and, unfortunately, there’s no simple answer. “When people think about sensor faucets,” he says, “they think about how they operate but not how they’re powered. And it’s important that you determine the best solution for your facility before you get started.”
Good, Better, and Best Faucet Power Options
Warnes ranks power options for sensor-operated faucets along a spectrum of good, better, and best:
- Good: Battery-powered. These are the easiest faucets to install, but changing the batteries involves some extra maintenance. Fortunately, Sloan faucets typically use disposable, off-the-shelf, AA alkaline batteries.
- Better: Hybrid energy harvesting with battery back-up. To extend battery life, many Sloan faucets give you the option of solar or turbine energy harvesting, and each has its strengths. Solar harvesting faucets have no moving parts and provide steady power, while turbine harvesting faucets give you more power during usage surges when you may need it most.
- Best: Hardwired. Powering faucets directly from your building’s electric supply gives you the easiest maintenance and the highest sustainability—but this option depends on how your facility’s restrooms are constructed.
5 Site-specific Factors that Can Narrow Your Sensor Faucet Options
The specifics of your facility’s restrooms go a long way toward determining your ideal faucet power options. Warnes lists five questions you should ask before each installation project:
- Is there an existing power supply? If not, you’ll obviously need to opt for battery power or hybrid power with battery backup.
- Is there a behind-the-wall “chase”? Ample, easy-to-access space behind your restroom walls lets you power your faucets from hidden and more secure sources.
- Is the sink installed with an enclosure or shroud? An enclosure also lets you install better-secured power sources. Without a chase or enclosure, however, you can still power faucets with an adapter plug or a wall transformer.
- How frequently will the faucets be used? The more faucets are used, the faster their batteries will be drained. That’s why hardwired power, when it’s feasible, is often chosen for high-traffic restrooms.
- Is there a high potential for vandalism? If so, you won’t want an exposed adapter plug or a wall transformer. Without a chase or enclosure, hardwired won’t be your best option—you’ll be best served by battery or hybrid-powered faucets.
The Pioneers of Touch-free Restroom Hygiene
Sloan introduced the automatic sensor faucet in 1974 and remains the industry leader in this technology. Our faucet lineup is 100% touch-free to meet commercial restroom standards.
Once you’ve made the decision to upgrade your restrooms with touch-free components, we’ll work with you to help you choose the right faucets, soap dispensers, flushometers, and other products ideal for your facility.
The future is touch-free. Let’s make it happen together!
Let’s make 2021 all about improving the hygiene of our commercial restrooms. Need ideas? Talk to Sloan!
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