Tricks Of The Trade: Battery Operated Faucets

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By B. Kevin Folsom, CEP
Published in the August 2012 issue of Today’s Facility Manager

Q I am in the planning stages for a new hotel in Texas. I have been considering putting electronic, battery operated faucets in all of the guestroom bathrooms as well as in public areas, both to help with water consumption as well as hygiene. However, after discussions with some facility managers of other establishments, I was warned about the headaches of battery life and associated maintenance. Is there a source of information that catalogs the actual battery life of the major brands as opposed to the manufacturers’ claims?

Mark Hauck
Mechanical Engineer
River Rock Resort
New Braunfels, TX

A I do not know of a resource that catalogs battery life, but I do have hands-on experience to pass along that might be helpful. The most important thing to remember is there is no way the length of battery life can be predicted because it’s all based on frequency of use. Every building is different.

We have installed battery powered auto lavs on our campus as a necessity. The auto feature is very beneficial, since it helps to prevent the transmission of disease causing germs, but we prefer to install them hardwired when building new or renovating. However, the benefits of the auto lav sometimes outweigh the trouble of changing batteries.

If you go the battery route, the best method is to replace them all at once before they begin running out of power. I would advise installing them and waiting until they begin running out of power the first time, but always be on standby to do a quick change out of them all at once when this happens. Then you will know the approximate time they will last and can plan ahead for the next time.

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