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Commercial washrooms come under intense pressure with constant use, and when cisterns are used in this setting, facilities managers can be faced with frequent maintenance and repairs. Delabie tells PHAM News how specifying a direct flush alternative can reduce these problems while also offering a hygienic solution that delivers on sustainability.
Toilets are an obvious source of harmful germs. Cisterns pose a hygiene risk since water is stored in conditions ideal for bacterial development. These bacteria are released in an aerosol plume during flushing, but they can also spread back through the pipes and colonise the system.
The alternative to a cistern-flush mechanism is a direct flush system which connects directly to the water supply. A self-closing valve discharges a pre-determined flush volume without the need to store water. By employing system pressure to rinse the pan, there is no stagnation, scale deposition or build-up of impurities upstream of the flush mechanism.
Water Supply Regulations require the pan content to be ‘cleared effectively by a single flush of water’. Gravity-fed cistern-flush mechanisms may not have sufficient dynamic pressure to ensure an effective rinse with a single flush, whereas direct flush systems are more hygienic and save water.
The mechanism harnesses the system’s dynamic pressure and there is no refill time, so the flush is instantly available for successive users. Delabie’s direct flush with dual flush is pre-set to 3L/6L and can be adjusted to 2L/4L for ecological or smaller children’s WC pans. This also prevents unhygienic splashing, removing the risk of slipping on wet floors.
For optimum hygiene, Delabie’s Tempomatic Dual Control direct flush valve activates via a push-button or automatically if the user forgets. An intelligent rinsing system identifies the duration of use and flushes accordingly. There are three programme options, including an ecological setting for maximum accreditation with environmental schemes. The ecological setting ensures a reduced flush length for a lower flush volume. This guarantees that the bowl is always rinsed, and a hygienic duty flush every 12 or 24 hours prevents stagnation in the pipework. Furthermore, no manual contact is required, so the toilet is accessible to any user, regardless of age or mobility level.
Robust and simple
Cistern-flush mechanisms are not suitable for intensive use. Heavy-handed users can easily break their fragile mechanisms or cause deliberate flooding. Scale build-up in the cistern can also damage the seal, resulting in leaks which often go undetected as water seeps silently into the bowl. Thames Water estimate that a leaking toilet can waste up t0 400 litres per day. Even if the leak is detected rapidly, maintaining large numbers of toilets is time consuming. Mechanisms can be difficult to access and parts wear out quickly with intensive use, requiring frequent repairs.
Direct flush mechanisms designed for public washrooms are more robust. The Tempomatic Dual Control’s actuator plate withstands high levels of demand, and the solenoid valve’s lifespan extends beyond 350,000 cycles. An anti-blocking system means the valve cannot be activated inadvertently or blocked to flush continuously – the flush takes place once the button is released. Thanks to the push-button, the flush also still activates even if the power fails.
Designed for intensive use in commercial washrooms, direct flush systems provide a sustainable solution that manages water consumption. Breaking the habit of specifying domestic style cisterns will therefore deliver long term dividends in terms of sustainability, improved hygiene and low maintenance.
Many cistern flush mechanisms typically installed in commercial washrooms have been designed for domestic use and are not suited to public washroom facilities. They are usually installed through habit and because the initial investment appears lower, but they can prove more costly over time.
Delabie’s direct flush valves, such as the Tempoflux 3, are specifically designed for highly frequented toilets. The stainless steel actuator plate will withstand extreme levels of demand. The mechanism is isolated via an integrated stopcock, allowing direct access to replace the cartridge without removing the flush valve.
As said, although more expensive than domestic flush valves, over time they are more cost effective thanks to lower maintenance costs and their longer lifespan.
Commercial washrooms can experience high levels of misuse and vandalism. Direct flush valves have vandal-resistant features that prevent abuse. Aside from the hard-wearing mechanisms (designed to withstand over 500,000 operations) the Tempoflux 3 also features an anti-blocking mechanism which only flushes once the push-button is released.
Similarly, the Tempomatic Dual Control is activated via user presence and only flushes when they leave. The controls are slimline and cannot be easily removed, and cross wall models are also available for installation in service ducts where users cannot access the mechanism.
Direct flush systems offer a sustainable solution for toilet facilities in commercial washrooms. Designed for intensive use in public environments, they provide a hygienic solution that manages water consumption, adapts to the usage demands of public places, and they are easy to maintain.
Choosing direct flush over domestic style cisterns will deliver long term dividends in terms of sustainability, better hygiene and reduced maintenance.