During June Plumbing Connection reached out to the Enware team to cover no touch tapware and the current health pandemic, a collation of responses from the team explained the impacts no touch tapware could have during the current health crisis and installation of the Electra Retrofit Sensor Tap.
How important would you say it is for people to consider electronic, touch-free tapware taking COVID-19 into account?
Maintaining good hand hygiene is now essential to ensuring a second covid wave which can only be enhanced through the use of electronic, touch-free tapware.
It is now evident that improving hygiene and viral security across the globe is of high importance. Touch points in public areas are unhygienic at the best of times.
Hand washing provides the opportunity to remove any bacteria and viruses helping to ensure they are not ingested or contaminate our health.
This makes handwashing essential for maintaining good hand hygiene and it should be contactless to reduce contamination risk when turning off taps. No touch solutions offer users a pleasant, clean and hygienic experience, and now is an important tool helping to prevent pandemics.
Are you aware of any research being done by the industry into COVID-19 and similar viruses in the plumbing industry?
There is lots going on at the moment - We are conducting basic material research testing looking to see how long bacteria survive on chromed surfaces compared to copper coated surfaces, copper and stainless steel. UOW can’t conduct viral testing but are looking into it.
There is already known medical knowledge on surface transmissions tracing as far back as the 1980’s. For instance, in 1982 the Journal of Infectious Diseases have found:
“Measurable quantities of influenza A virus were transferred from stainless steel surfaces to hands for 24 hr and from tissues to hands for up to 15 min. Virus survived on hands for up to 5 min after transfer from the environmental surfaces. These observations suggest that the transmission of virus from donors who are shedding large amounts could occur for 2–8 hr via stainless steel surfaces and for a few minutes via paper tissues”
More recent research from Occupational Medicine has indicated about the importance of hand washing and hand hygiene with relation to covid 19 which that has shown avoiding close proximity to others and regular cleaning of surfaces can reduce the likelihood of transmission, as the virus can stay on surfaces for several days and can also be spread through water droplets
In terms of research about mitigating viruses on the hands, Professor Palli Thordarson from the University of New South Wales has mentioned that the best options are to either use hand sanitizer or better yet, soap.
Has Zero Contact Solutions traditionally been used in healthcare facilities?
Zero contact tapware is regularly used in higher risk areas of a health facility such as theatre and Type A clinical hand washing areas. As the community gains a greater understanding of the risks of infectious diseases and the need for good Hand Hygiene this has now extended to all public spaces. The facility is only as safe as its most vulnerable area.
Have you noticed a surge in demand in Sensor Taps? Particularly in areas it hasn’t been demanded previously?
There is definitely a sizeable shift towards zero contact taps, especially in public areas where standard lever handle or push operated taps may have previously been seen as adequate. This shift has been noticeable over the past few years , but C19 has brought home to everyone the real impacts of poor hygiene, and just what can be achieved with good hygiene and handwashing practices.
What do specifiers and plumbers need to know when considering Sensor Tap technology?
Sensor taps do have some limitations, especially when used in very bright lighting, direct sunlight or around highly reflective surfaces. Good quality sensors with thoughtful positioning can overcome most issues. It should also be recognised that many people may not be familiar with sensor operated taps, and be unsure how they operate- signage and or intuitive operation of taps is quite important to improve the user experience and ensure the time is taken to effect a good handwash.
Is it much harder to install the Electra Sensor Tap?
The Electra Sensor Tap requires no power, less parts, less modification of walls and less pipework. Significantly reducing installation steps, and points of maintenance.
Ultimately all that is required is:
How easily can Enware’s touch-free range be retrofitted?
We have created easy-to-follow instructions for replacing traditional hot/cold spindles with a recess adaptor which is set using the supplied key handle.
This allows a sensor tap to be quickly retrofitted without need for power or modification of the wall or pipework. (Create graphic around this)
After water supply is set the recess adaptor spindle can be covered by the supplied dome cover.
Can you tell our readers a bit more about your work in hand hygiene post COVID-19?
We have always had a very strong focus on health and wellbeing, hand hygiene has always been at front of mind in research and development.
The zero touch concept has become stronger recently. A zero touch solution can be in the form of either a foot, knee, elbow, wrist or sensor operated valve or tap.
This gives specifiers and plumbers a great opportunity to present and execute exciting new ideas around zero touch and hand hygiene, regardless of the application or budget.