Add infrared controls to your arsenal
Infra red controls are coming to the fore, especially for commercial applications where hand hygiene is a real concern. Cistermiser’s Bob Blincowe explains the reasons behind the success of infrared and looks at how installers can integrate it into their business offering.
Hand hygiene has been highlighted as a serious issue that is responsible for the spread of infection, with bacterial control strongly linked to good hand sanitation. Touch-free solutions in washrooms have become popular as a result, with infrared flushing and tap controls providing a way for users to operate the facilities with minimal touching of surfaces.
More than this, an infrared sensor can be used to provide excellent control over water use, which is a real bonus for customers who want to keep water costs down. Much attention is drawn to the use and spiralling cost of energy, but as water becomes increasingly scarce, it seems only a matter of time before these rates start to hike too. It therefore makes good environmental sense to take a responsible view on water use, for the longer-term sustainability of its resource.
Washrooms present a big risk for water waste. Particularly in the commercial environment – not just in offices but for example in schools or even car parks and town centre public conveniences – because there are plenty of variables. A tap could be inadvertently left running, a blocked toilet may go unreported for some time and while faults can happen there is also the risk of deliberate vandalism. By employing the latest infrared technology to control not only water use, but also the delivery of water to the facility, these risks can be removed.
Infrared controls can be used with urinals and WCs. In fact an IRC valve can reduce urinal water consumption by up to 80%. The solenoid assemble is plumbed in on the water supply to the urinal cistern. The connection to the infrared sensor can be made either by directly mounting the sensor module onto the solenoid for an on the pipe installation (battery powered only) or by using the ‘floating socket’ supplied for a remote installation either wall mounted or ceiling mounted. The valve comes complete with two power options – a mains power unit and a battery pack. The power unit will require 1A fused spur and the battery pack will require four AA alkaline batteries.
The Novatap and Novaspout offer a hands free approach to water delivery while mitigating the risk of damage. They carry reassurance that a tap will never be left running: once the user has presented their hands the sensor triggers a solenoid valve which opens the tap, it closes just three seconds after the user’s hands have been removed from the sensor’s field.
Infrared provides a method of delivering water to the washroom when it is needed. This ensures that in periods of downtime, even in the case of damage or a fault, no water is wasted. Sensazone from Cistermiser provides this solution. A centrally located sensor – at the entrance to the washroom for example – detects user presence. It is easy to fit as the sensor is simply screwed into the ceiling and powered with a battery. It is linked to a solenoid valve on the pipework into the washroom. When a user enters the facility, the valve opens and water is delivered to the washroom.
As water and its use becomes an increasingly important environmental consideration, plumbers and installers are likely to be required to look to infrared technology. Understanding how infrared can benefit customers is key to its use. Opting for a manufacturer that can provide simple solutions, which are quick and simple to install, will ensure installers have access to support, troubleshooting and technical know-how whenever it is needed.