Sensor Taps or Automatic taps as they are sometimes referred to have become increasingly popular in commercial bathroom settings. The importance of touchless operation has been highlighted during the global pandemic as building and facilities managers look to create safer, more hygienic places for their employees and customers. Environmental concerns have also led to an increase in the popularity of sensor taps, as organisations look to reduce water consumption. A sensor tap will save up to 85% of the water used while hand washing when compared with a manual-operated tap.
We have a huge range of automatic taps available including deck/countertop mounted and wall-mounted variations. We provide professional commercial sensor taps from Franke, Delabie, Dolphin, Aquazone, Dryflow, and Prestige. If you require expert advice, project, or bulk pricing on automatic taps, please get in touch on 0114 3540047
Sensor taps are predominately used in commercial bathrooms, in particular, high traffic locations like airports and service stations where water use is high. Increasingly they are also being found in the home, mainly in small bathrooms used for hand washing only.
Sensor taps are simple, electrically powered, mechanical devices with a solenoid valve that opens to allow the water to flow when the sensor detects an object. When the object (hands) is removed, the valve closes and stops the flow. The taps require either batteries or the mains electric power.
Most sensor taps are fitted with flow control to restrict the water pressure and prevent unnecessary waste, unlike a manual tap that allows the user to control the water flow and are therefore prone to waste.
Check out the infographic showing how sensor taps work.
The obvious benefit of sensor taps is the water and therefore cost and environmental savings. With push-button or manual taps, much of the water is wasted when hands are not being washed. On-demand water use that is carefully controlled leads to significant water savings. We did a test to see just how much water is wasted by manual taps in our office
You may not realise, but everything has a carbon footprint, even something that seems as abundant as water in the UK. Mike Berners-Lee the UK’s leading carbon accounting specialist calculated that water stated that turning off the water while soaping them saves 1ltr water each wash and about 2.7kg per annum for an individual, multiple this up in a commercial building and the numbers become significant.
Automatic taps reduce the risk associated with cross-contamination. A manual tap has to be stopped and started through touch, with means that there is a cross-contamination point before and after washing hands, don’t despair its unlikely to be a touch point that will harbour many germs as it is a smooth metallic surface with no crevices but all the same, it is a risk that is eliminated by using automatic taps
A sensor tap will cost between £80 and £1000, whereas a manual tap can be picked up for £20 so there is an initially higher outlay. There will also be the additional cost of batteries or mains electricity, this is a very small cost with most battery systems using 4 x AA which would cost about £2.40 for a good battery and last up to 300,000 cycles. Mains' power would be almost too low to calculate.
A battery-operated automatic tap will eventually run out and create battery waste unless using a rechargeable battery and of course, this will require some labour that would never be necessary with a manual tap. Manual taps have less serviceable parts in general and therefore placing slight additional demands on maintenance teams.
In all commercial buildings, particularly healthcare settings it is necessary to have a water risk management plan. With sensor taps, it is important to mitigate Legionella to ensure all components are maintained, cleaned, and disinfected regularly. Legionella poses little risk to healthy individuals but in environments where people have weakened immune systems, it can be deadly. There have been studies by Public Health England and John Hopkins University that suggest sensor taps pose an increased risk mainly due to the additional components and therefore system flushes and good maintenance are paramount when using sensor tap systems.
Read our comprehensive blog article for more detail on the advantages and disadvantages of sensor taps.
We have recently partnered with Delabie who set the standard in sensor taps. The quality of manufacturing, reliability, and innovation is excellent. They are a true specialist in this area and they are our number one recommendation if the quality is the decisive factor. Franke also produces excellent reliable sensor taps and Dolphin is a highly credible brand and the quality is comparable with the lesser-known but less expensive Aquazone brand. Prestige sensor taps offer decent quality at an extremely competitive price when contractors have a generalised specification to meet. Dryflow is part of a wider range of over-the-sink sensor taps, hand dryers, and soap dispensers when you are looking to create a complete solution.
1. Always check the sensors are clean – a build-up of dirt or residue from the soap can block the sensor from operating.
2. Check the water pressure leading to the taps. The Solenoid valves used in automatic taps require specific pressure ranges to work correctly.
3. Check Valves – The filter in the thermostatic mixer valve or the tap itself may be blocked. Do not dismantle the tap without a professional.
Intelligent provides full troubleshooting and customer support, should you have an issue with the sensor taps you purchase from us, we will be able to help you overcome the issue and in the event of a manufacturing fault, we provide industry-leading warranties.