The surface of any typical sink faucet can harbor germs like the common cold, E-coli, influenza, salmonella, streptococcus, and typhus.
Any time the news is filled with reports of viruses spreading globally, people everywhere become hyper-aware of the possibility of disease transfer through manual faucets. The public is also aware of threats from various bacteria and fungi. For example, reports of MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and black mold are common on social media.
What can facility managers do to promote the health and safety of their occupants and visitors?
Consider the following ideas that represent good, better, and best options for faucet hygiene.
Faucet handles are the greatest source of germs on any manual faucet. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide very thorough guidelines on handwashing to prevent the spread of germs and disease. They also offer materials you can share to help inform people in your building of the benefits of handwashing.
In “When and How to Wash Your Hands,” the CDC suggests scrubbing hands with soap for at least 20 seconds.
If a person touches the same handle to turn the faucet on and off, they risk contaminating their hands again. They may transfer germs back to their hands or pick up germs left by other patrons. Washing for 20 seconds won’t protect them from recontamination.
Chicago Faucets offers a line of antimicrobial faucet handles to decrease the spread of germs resulting from contact with handles.
Antimicrobial handles are practical and budget-friendly. Because Chicago Faucets components are almost universally interchangeable, you can replace the handles on your installed manual faucets: you don’t have to buy and install new faucets.
Chicago Faucets makes antimicrobial handles with innovative Sureshield®-coated surfaces. Sureshield® uses the latest technology to inhibit the growth of microorganisms on surfaces and particularly effective at stopping fungal growth.
Sureshield® also lowers the porous nature of surfaces. Germs have less to stick to, fingerprints don’t show, and Sureshield®-coated faucet handles are easier to clean than typical faucet handles.
Metering faucets and scrub sinks
Metering faucets run for an amount of time programmed by you. After that time, they shut off. Patrons can restart them, but they don’t run indefinitely.
You can use metering faucets to lengthen the time people spend washing their hands.
If water runs for 20 seconds or more, it encourages people to wash their hands for that amount of time. You can use signage near faucets to educate users in critical public safety roles about the settings on metered faucets. Let them know they need to keep washing until the faucet turns off.
In hospitals, scrub sinks can include metered faucets that are set to run for the amount of time appropriate to the hospital staff’s tasks. For instance, in surgical areas, water can run for longer periods. These periods can match mandatory scrubbing requirements.
Scrub sinks with metered run-times make managing scrub time simple. Hospital staff won’t need to count, sing songs, or watch clocks to measure scrubbing time.
Metered faucets also offer water-saving benefits. Facility managers determine how long they are on or choose from predetermined settings. They encourage efficient use. Metered faucets shut off automatically, making it impossible for a user to walk away and leave the faucet running for hours at a time.
Touchless faucets with an electronic sensor eliminate the need to touch the faucet to operate it. A no-touch faucet prevents users from leaving behind and picking up germs on faucet handles.
Chicago Faucets offers a wide range of style and cost options across our touchless faucet lines.
Source: Chicago Faucets Electronic Faucets Brochure
Our Alpina Series features a refined designer look in both wall- and deck-mounted styles. If your site has a cutting-edge aesthetic, share Alpina with your building’s designer.
Facility managers favor our E-Tronic® 80 touchless faucets. They address many typical challenges facility managers face with budget-friendly solutions.
Ease of installation and adjustment
The E-Tronic 80 spout holds all the main functional components above the deck. Once you install water lines, you may make needed adjustments to the E-Tronic 80 above the counter or sink level, so there’s no need to crawl under the sink or turn off the water to service the faucet.
The E-Tronic 80 Series includes faucets installed on sinks with a single-hole, 4-inch, or 8-inch rough-in.
Temperature control options
A dual-supply E-Tronic 80 faucets include an option for user-adjustable temperature control. For the ultimate in touchless convenience and safety, however, select a single-supply E-Tronic 80 that dispenses water from the building’s pre-tempered water supply.
E-Tronic 80 faucets offer optional built-in thermostatic mixing valves to protect users against scalding. Use these models where local codes and regulations (e.g., ASSE 1070) require scald protection.
Hand-held control with Commander™
E-Tronic 80 faucets are compatible with our optional Commander™ hand-held programming unit. With Commander, touchless adjustments are possible too. Use Commander to adjust your faucet controls from up to a foot away.
Commander adjusts flow times, operating modes, and sensor ranges. Use the available Commander desktop software to track water usage and create maintenance reports.
Touchless faucets with pre-set water temperatures and scald protection are ideal for ADA compliance. Users don’t have to manipulate any handles or controls to wash their hands.
The Chicago Faucets team is happy to help you select the right low-touch or no-touch faucet for every sink in your facility. Contact us today.