Even before the arrival of the coronavirus, interest in sensor-operated faucets and fixtures was growing across industries. Since the pandemic, however, that interest has exploded.
Facilities of every kind - schools, hospitals, offices, restaurants, stadiums and more - are seeking ways to boost hygiene, often by reducing the number of touchpoints where users can come in contact with potentially disease-causing pathogens.
Restrooms present an obvious opportunity for improvement through the use of sensor-operated fixtures that prevent users from touching faucets, flush handles, and paper towel and soap dispensers. Research has shown, for example, that one hour of normal use can leave 500,000 bacterial cells per square inch on public bathroom surfaces.
But even as sensors show up in more and more locations, some may be wondering if it's worth it to make the switch. We explore some common objections to electronic sensor faucets and offer some pros and cons to weigh in your decision-making.
Objection #1: It's a fad
COVID-19 has created a spike in demand for sensor faucets. A survey conducted near the outset of the pandemic revealed 91% of Americans believe it's important for public restrooms to be outfitted with touchless fixtures.
But while the coronavirus was a catalyst for the surging demand, a growing interest in sensors existed prior to the pandemic and has been nudging more and more facilities toward sensors for the past several years.
Industry experts believe the increased value placed on hands-free fixtures by users is likely to be permanent. For example, 76% of restaurant consumers say cleanliness and food safety will always matter more to them now than it did before the pandemic.
Objection #2: It's expensive
It's true that traditional manual faucets come with a lower initial price tag than comparable quality sensor faucets. But the long-term costs in operation and public perception should be factored into any decision.
Manual faucets are increasingly falling out of favor with both users and facility operators. Sensor faucets not only serve a vital role in hygiene and infection control, but they also boost public confidence in the cleanliness of restrooms.
If guests don't feel comfortable and safe in restrooms, they're less likely to want to return.
Sensor faucets also often cost less to operate since they save water. By running water only when needed, sensor faucets can reduce water consumption by up to a gallon per effective handwash, saving money on the water, as well as associated sewer costs and energy expenses for tempered water.
Thanks to an automatic time-out feature, sensor faucets also can't be left to run attended - either maliciously or by accident - preventing more potential water waste or overflow damage.
Users can increase savings further by installing a hydrogenerator, which harnesses the flow of water to power the faucet, eliminating the need for batteries or wiring to building electricity.
Objection #3: It'll be a hassle
While there's certainly some level of effort required to remove old manual fixtures and replace them with sensor-operated ones, the process is probably easier than you think.
Sensor faucets are typically simple to install and operate. And T&S supports the transition with easy step-by-step guides. T&S offers simple video instructions for retrofitting with both above-deck and below-deck models of its ChekPoint sensor faucet line.
Once installed, sensor faucets require little in the way of regular maintenance, and high-quality commercial faucets can last for years, even in high-traffic environments.
Not sure how to get started? T&S offers a convenient guide to selecting the perfect sensor faucet for any application.