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Coming Clean with Sensor and Manual Faucets by John Fitzgerald All images courtesy Chicago Faucets IT IS TEMPTING TO WHITTLE COMMERCIAL FAUCET CHOICES DOWN TO TWO TYPES: SENSOR AND MANUAL. HOWEVER, THERE IS MORE TO CONSIDER. FOR ‘GREEN’ BUILDINGS, WHILE IT SEEMS OBVIOUS TO FIND FAUCETS THAT USE LESS WATER, THIS OVERSIMPLIFIES THE ISSUE. Beyond deciding between the hands-free convenience of sensor or more modestly priced manual models, commercial specifiers should look at less-obvious benefits of newer, better-engineered faucets. Examining various factors—such as where and how the faucets will be used, and maintenance requirements—helps ensure faucet choices meet end-user and facility management expectations. Faucets 101 Different types of technology work behind the scenes to enable sensor (i.e. electronically activated) faucets to flow automatically. The most common sensor type, infrared, emits light outward, which reflects off the user and bounces back to the receiver. The act of the user’s hands coming in and out of the sensor’s range (which is directed to the immediate sink area) starts and stops the water flow. The other option of manually operated faucets includes both push-button metering faucets— usually only providing water flow at a pre-set temperature and turning off after approximately 15 seconds—and models with handles. Faucets with blades, wings, levers, or other handle styles allow restroom visitors to choose a mix of hot and cold 52 the construction specifier | february 2013 CS_Feb2013.indd 52 1/17/13 11:09:59 AM