Where Are Sanitary Infrared Sensors Located and Why?


As we explained in this infographic, automatic taps work because, when an object such as the hands are detected, the infrared sensor opens the solenoid valve and the water flows until the object moves out of the detection range. This is just one way a sensor system can be used in sanitary appliances. Sensor showers do not require the constant presence of an object such as the hands, only one interaction and then another to be turned on and off. Automatic WCs need one single short approach or movement to activate the flush.

Therefore, given the diversity of purposes and designer preferences, sensor windows can be located in different parts of a system. This post will highlight where you may find sensors in automatic appliances and why they are put in these locations. Also, it will briefly highlight what options are available in products with regards sensor positions for you to consider when looking to purchase this type of appliance in your specific washroom.

Where Users May Find Bathroom Infrared Sensors

Where the sensor is in relation to the user or their hands, will be dependent upon the required use of the appliance. For example, an automatic basin tap has the sensor in the spout, close to the water aerator, so that when the hands are placed under towards the water outlet they activate the solenoid valve and the water flows freely until the hands are moved away.

Wall-mounted automatic tap for basin with spout sensor

In most automatic cisterns and showers (and some basin taps) the sensor window will face the user, which is known as a front-sensor.  This is good for detecting whole body movement such as in urinals, but also makes locating the sensor easier.

Wall-mounted automatic urinal with front sensor

Sensor Locations to Consider When Choosing an Automatic Bathroom Appliance

Some models have the infrared sensor built into their main body like the 2 examples above. This built-in sensor can be inserted in one of three different positions

  1. In the very mechanism
  2. In the surrounding case
  3. In an adjacent piece (this one located aside, as if it was a mixer lever).

Automatic shower with built-in sensor

Automatic cistern with in-case sensor

Although of course linked to the appliance within the concealed mechanism, sometimes sensors are located in separate pieces away from the sanitary appliance external body. The benefits of this include customisation of the sensor in relation to the shape and size of the washroom. This type of arrangement is also advantageous if there is ever a need to replace the infrared system as it makes it easier than in the built-in models.  A consideration you have to make though for this type of set up is that two holes in the wall are usually necessary, one for the appliance and one for the sensor.

Given the varied possibilities in this relatively new market, it seems interesting to consider where the infrared sensor could be when choosing an automatic sanitary appliance. 

We supply commercial basin taps with built-in sensors. Among other advantages, automatic taps save costs in the long run, are more sustainable and avoid cross-contamination in comparison with traditional faucets. Feel free to visit this category or any other within our washroom fittings, such as high speed hand dryersautomatic soap dispensers or bathroom grab rails. Our team will happily assist you in any enquiry or request, so, please, do not hesitate to give us a call, send us a message through social media or fill in this web form.

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