Automatic sinks

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by brother, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. brother

    brother New Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Washington
    Ok, I cannot think of any Code violation, (maybe its a Department of Health issue) or just a BAD design/engineering in my opinion to say the least. I have a friend that let me know about a situation where their power went out on the sinks in the bathroom at a public place and no one could wash their hands.

    I've seen these automatic sinks before and even when they had alot of them installed (at malls, resturants etc..) they always had the 1 manual sink in so that all the water would not be dependent on electric power.

    Is there a violation here from the Plumbing Code that Im not aware of?? In any case it just seems like common sense to me as far as designing. Please site code. Thanks for the help
  2. Artie

    Artie New Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Fl
    They had those put in here at work and there was no wiring going to them. I assume they're battery powered. Thing is, they all failed within a year, and were replaced, one by one, with manuals. (Maybe no one knew how to change the batteries.)
  3. brother

    brother New Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Washington
    maybe thats true. But I do think they were not powered by the battery. I think they were all just powered by the hard wire. Because the main breaker had tripped and could not be reset right away. So the sinks were off. People were a little upset after using the bathroom and not being able to wash their hands.
  4. Artie

    Artie New Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Fl
    Yup. Some things just shouldn't be "improved" upon. ;)
  5. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    These are widely used. Not much different than if the lights go out...you have to pee in the dark. Not very common. I don't think we have people keeling over from h1 because the power is out in bathrooms all over America! Now, a battery backup would be nice, but not code required that I am aware of.
  6. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

    Messages:
    2,780
    Location:
    USA
    I never have any problems with our solar powered Sloan faucets at work.

    Ever.
  7. brother

    brother New Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Washington
    I can not believe you just said that!! Im sorry but I have to disagree greatly!! The 'lights going out' is NOT the same as not being able to wash/sanitize your hands after you just got done taking a crap!! . And yes its to help stop the spread of diseases as well as the H1N1FLU.

    Maybe there is no code violation, but there should always be at least one manual sink in my opinion to keep this from happening, even for the battery powered ones.
  8. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    My point was.....how often in a year would the power go out to whatever circuit feeds those faucets? Once? Less? Things like alternate power, battery backup, manual faucet with maintenance.....all those are design choices......cost/benefit ratio , etc. Again, the total cost to the company vs. the total risk to the public...have to be balanced out.


    To be a little graphic....I try not to get crap on my hands! But I do wash well anyway. If I was in a rest room where the water didn't work, I would try to find a sink elsewhere to wash in. And of course my truck a cars are always loaded with wipes and sanitizer hand wash.
  9. brother

    brother New Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Washington
    I understand about cost benefit etc.. But its also my understanding that if you have 3 or 4 automatics and 1 manual, the water used or potentially wasted or maintenance on a manual is insignificant. The average person usually uses the autos (since there are more of them), and not to mention the ongoing costs of changing batteries etc on autos.

    Given that are more autos in the bathroom, the maintenance on the manual wouldnt even register as it would not be used as much, but its good to have it there just in case.

    As for 'trying not to get crap on your hands,' I'm sure most people do try to not let that happen, but hey in reality it does happen. I just know my buddy thought this was embarrassing and ridiculous to not have just one manual sink with all the auto's and the people have to leave the rest room to go wash their hands, (assuming they went somewhere else to do it which he doubts) when the sinks lost power. ;)

    Common sense should come into play here!
  10. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
  11. brother

    brother New Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Washington
    Thanks for the link, those are acutally good concepts/ideas. Im still the old fashion type though, keep it simple, 1 manual and rest automatics would be just fine. Just dont wanna get away from the manual ones. ;)
  12. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,824
    Location:
    New England
    Look at it this way...you have crap on your hands, you turn the manual faucet on, you get crap on the faucet handle, you wash your hands, you turn the manual faucet off, you get crap on your hands...now, which would you prefer, one you never touch, or the manual one?

    Now take this further...100 people before you got their crap on the handles...and you want a manual handle? they put them in for a reason.
  13. foot-operated valve ; foot-pedal "Faucet" --this would solve the problem you describe here.

    What's Automatic here is the Faucet not the sink. You are calling it an automatic "sink".

    Since you started this thread, it seems from the discussion so far that nobody has mentioned any Code requirements to have faucets that work all the time, independently of electrical sources like batteries or current. That would be faucets that only use water pressure to start and stop. There are several foot pedal activation systems that I am aware of, that DO NOT use batteries or electricity to operate. I'm confident there are dozens more.

    Why aren't there more of these installed everywhere? I don't get it.
    I'll start a thread on Foot Pedals to activate water flow. See you there.

    I don't like electronic eye faucets although I know they are hands-free and I appreciate this feature.


    I'll be glad to add to the pressure to amend Code to force commercial installations to have foot pedals to turn on faucets.
    The kind that work on pressure alone; no electricity needed.
  14. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    We could help with the down turned economy and require all public bathrooms to have a paid person available to turn faucets on and off for the patrons...that way there would be no one except them touching the faucet handles and the battery issue would become moot and another person out of work would be working...
  15. Shoe dirt, on soles, is "by definition" always present. We don't worry about their soles and keeping them clean or hygienic. Let's have more step on valves, along with knee-pad push valves and other valves.

    Multiple valves in parallel.
  16. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Come on now...you want to put someone out of work eh...:D
  17. elevator operators got trained, and then found there was no work for them, when the press-button retrofit got installed.... Same thing happening here with the tap-turning staff -- but before they even get their basic training. :D
  18. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,824
    Location:
    New England
    I know some of the toilet auto flush valves have a small turbine generator in them to charge their battery...don't know if this has been adapted to a faucet, though.

    You'll notice an ADA basin usually has a manual valve...someone in a wheelchair is unlikely to be able to operate a foot operated valve. Seems to me they'd be better off with the typical automatic valve.
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