- Facilities Utility Specialist »
- Operating Engineer »
- Construction engineer, U.S. Dept. of State »
- Foreign Service Facility Manager »
Touch-Free Systems Help Keep up With High Restroom Traffic
October 20, 2014 - Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »
Touch-free systems offer big benefits to high-traffic restrooms. "Electronic flush is a big improvement, and no-touch faucets make everything faster," says one expert. Previously, "no one would flush, and if they did, they used their foot, and it would break the valves." Hand dryers also help the maintenance staff, because "it's impossible to keep up with the volume of towels people use."
Sensors can be battery-operated, which requires someone to check and replace them, or hard-wired, which would be a problem in case of power failure. Most facilities are choosing batteries and adding one more item to the maintenance crew's checklist.
The sensor at a sink must also allow the water to run long enough to get hot, although a recirculation line can solve that problem. Tepid water out of the hot tap is a bigger problem in small, little-used restrooms.
Discussions with the maintenance staff can help educate architects about the need to have restrooms that are easy to clean, with wall-mounted toilets or partitions hung from the ceiling. Toilet-paper dispensers that handle big rolls also mean less frequent changes.
Wall-mounted toilets, however, may pose a challenge with very heavy users. ADA-compliant stalls are also frequently designed to meet the needs of the bariatric population, often including floor-mounted toilets.