Kevin Belben, Technical Applications Manager at Cistermiser and Keraflo, considers how the latest infrared ‘no-touch’ bathroom products are flying off stockists’ shelves as personal hygiene becomes an increasingly important feature of the Covid-19 landscape.
Infrared (IR) technology affects all of our lives on a daily basis when we pick up a TV remote control unit or turn on a heater. And when it comes to specifying, refurbishing and designing domestic bathrooms and commercial washrooms, occupancy-sensing product developments incorporating IR can deliver a lifestyle-enhancing added value solution that undoubtedly increases hygiene, but can also save water resources and improve the end-user experience.
Bathroom washbasin taps are firmly under the spotlight now that focus is being placed on regular hand washing to minimise the spread of the Covid-19 virus via cross-contamination. Deck-mounted IR taps providing hygienic, hands-free operation, which are typically supplied with either 3.5 or 5 litres per minute flow rate nozzle options.
For example, with Cistermiser’s curved-bodied Vectatap or modern-styled Novatap, water flow is turned on when the user presents their hands to the IR sensor located on the lower body. When the user’s hands are moved away, the flow of water stops after a 2-second delay.
Also suitable for situations where less-abled or elderly users may find it difficult to operate conventional taps, these taps can provide a practical solution for delivery of cold or temperature controlled hot water supplies. Water flow run-on time and the IR sensor range between the tap and the user’s hands are fully adjustable, however these mains or battery-powered touch-free washbasin taps will automatically switch off after 60 seconds continuous flow, to prevent water wastage.
Catering for both young and old
Bathroom design must continually evolve to meet the changing needs of our society and IR is entrenched in the heart of ongoing product development. A rise in multi-generational households means that not only do WCs need to be appropriate for toddlers and young children, they are also increasingly being called on to be suitable for an ageing population, possibly living with dementia and requiring help when using the toilet.
If a carer is assisting to perform multiple simultaneous tasks in the bathroom, the use of IR no-touch activation can definitely help to get everything done quickly, easily and hygienically.
Indeed, IR has started to consign traditional toilet flush handles to history, firstly in commercial washrooms and now in domestic bathroom settings.
Infrared sensor-activated WC flushing valves, such as the Easyflush combined flush and filling valve from Cistermiser, can be installed in either Walkaway or Wave options. With solutions for close-coupled or concealed cistern-fed installs, they’re programmable in a variety of ways, giving full control over the volume of water used and whether the toilet flushing is activated by ‘touchless’ operation (with a wave of the hand), or ‘occupancy sensing’ operation (by simply standing up and walking away from the WC).
Offering practical on-board advantages, intelligent IR-activated washbasin taps and toilet flushing valves are easy to operate, minimise water wastage and help to give peace of mind to family users across all age groups, regardless of their physical or mental capabilities.
Builders’ merchants need to be in a position to sell products that are ‘of their time’ and future proofed. As our sales during the Covid-19 demonstrate, this upward trend is going to continue as society places more focus on hygiene, ease of use and water saving.
For more information on Cistermiser’s range of ‘no touch’ solutions, head to: www.cistermiser.co.uk