Electronic plumbing

Scientific and technological progress is omnipresent. Every year, what is there – almost every month there are a lot of new products designed to make our life easier. We just got used to faxes, modems and other equipment like bam – a mobile phone. Only with a sin in half have learned to use whirlpool baths, like a clap – get a toilet with music or no cistern at all.

You used to go to the toilet in some office and you don’t even know how to drain the water, how to wash your hands: neither you our dear mixer with forever broken valves, nor the painfully familiar cistern. What to do? Do not ask the first person who came “out of need” how to use all this.

Electronic faucet: when hands fall into the infrared beam, water will flow

So let’s better prepare in advance. We already know a lot, but there is still a lot to learn. For example, let’s talk about plumbing electronics. True, I will make a reservation right away that this invention is more applicable in public places. But our magazine is designed for everyone who makes or is undergoing repairs. And who said that it is made only at home? However, electronics are also suitable for home..

Let’s start with the electronics for the sink faucet. The body of the faucet of such a mixer externally practically does not differ from a conventional single-lever. There is only … a lever that “turns on” or “turns off” the water, and there is a small screen on the body. An infrared sensor with constant radiation is installed behind the screen, which reacts to hand movement. And in the case there is also a “socket” for the battery that powers the electronic device.

Such a mixer works like this: as soon as we bring our hands to the tap, they fall into the range of the beam. The beam “gives” a signal to the device, the device “understands”: it’s time to turn on the water. And after a couple of seconds, the sensor, having reacted, opens the water. When we remove our hands, the sensor reacts again and the water stops flowing.

Electronic mixer device

But how to set the water temperature if there is no lever or valves? Very simple. There are three adjustment options. First, there are electronic faucets, on the body of which there is a special lever (so small that some sellers affectionately call it a bow). With it, you can adjust the temperature. Such a design, of course, is more suitable for the home, where everyone can “start up” the water at the temperature that is needed.

And there are mixers, in which a certain temperature is set inside the case immediately (either at the factory or during installation). As a rule, the most comfortable for a person is + 38 ° С. These mixers are commonly found in airport toilets or snack bars. Anyway, in such places, where the visitor only needs to wash their hands, it is quite possible to do with warm water..

There is one more model. However, it is not even a mixer, but a water tap equipped with an electronic device. Such a faucet can “give out” water of any temperature, because the water is heated by a thermostat mixer.

The thermostat is set at a certain temperature and maintains it all the time. However, if suddenly some water is cut off in the central water supply, it will not pour only cold or hot water, but simply turn off. However, this modification is also used mainly in public buildings. It is very convenient: for example, 10 such taps are installed and only one thermostat-mixer, which will “supply” warm water. By the way, such taps are significantly cheaper than mixers..

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However, there is one caveat: the temperature of the supplied water can vary depending on the temperature in the “hot” and “cold” pipelines. Pipes, of course, are laid in the ground and heat up differently, depending on the season. For example, if in summer cold water has a temperature of + 18–20 ° C, and in winter it is about + 5 ° C, then hot water is hotter in summer than in winter. And this means that the final temperature of our water can be different..

Electronic faucets are programmable: you can adjust the distance from which the electronic sensor will be triggered, as well as the time of “leakage” of water.

Some manufacturers use a remote control for this purpose. And for other companies, the control panel is universal: it can be used to adjust both mixers and urinal drains. The electronics of one of the firms is tuned with the help of … a hand. To do this, you need to bring your hand at a certain time and distance to the infrared window. For example, you need to wash your sink. You yourself understand that it will not be easy to do this, since water will flow with every movement. However, if you bring your hand to the window 2 cm and hold it for 3 seconds, the water will first flow, but then its flow will stop for 3 minutes. The secret is that the distance is only 2 cm – outside the box (no one will bring their hands so close to wash them). Therefore, in this case, the device is programmed to temporarily turn off the water. No, of course, there are special valves that shut off the water. However, they are under the sink. I think it is much more convenient to wave your hand in front of the “nose” of the sensor in a casual way than to crawl under the sink every time.

Agree, it happens that when we wash, say, the floors, we can throw a rag or a large sponge into the sink. They threw it. And what happens in this case? Will the sensor work? Yes, but the water will flow for just a few seconds. Then the flow will stop. Why? And because the mixer sensor is designed in such a way that it only reacts to movement. So if the “object” remains stationary (the rag is thrown and lies in the sink), the mixer will close. By the way, even if you bring your hands to the tap, but, as stated in the instructions, “do not take any action,” the water is turned off. On the other hand, it is unlikely that we will be able to wash our hands without “performing” these very “actions”.

And how to wash off not only soap?

It is very easy to replace the push drive of the drain device with an electronic one..
It is necessary to unscrew the “head” of the Drukspühler and put in its place another

In addition to electronic faucets, electronic devices have also been designed for the urinal. Moreover, both built-in (hidden behind a wall or partition) and external (that is, hanging on the wall). As with the faucet, the urinal itself remains standard. Only now an infrared sensor is installed on it. It works, however, differently from the mixer. In the sense that if water starts pouring out of the mixer immediately, then the urinal device starts working only after 7 seconds of a person’s stay in front of the urinal, and therefore in front of the sensor.

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This trick was programmed, I must say, on purpose. Firstly, so that a man can do all things “dry”, that is, so that, sorry, his causal places are not irrigated with water at the most inopportune moment. If a person has stood in the infrared beam for 7 seconds, the device “recognizes” him as a user and will only work after he has moved away from the plumbing device (experts call this the “principle of reverse action”).

True, the sensors of the so-called first generation were primitive “one-eyed”: such an electronic device had only one “peephole” from which the beam came. The sensitivity of this design was not high, since the reflectivity of clothing directly depends on its color. Dark clothing completely absorbs the rays and does not reflect them back to the receiving eye of the electronics. In other words, the device could simply not “identify” a person in dark clothes and not drain the water after him. However, last year the Swiss firm Geberit began producing improved, more sensitive sensors. They now have a multi-eyed emitter that looks like a honeycomb. So, despite the color of the clothes, such a device will work properly. By the way, the “multi-eye” sensor has one more advantage. The fact is that if a mirror hangs in front of the urinal, then earlier the rays reflected from the mirror would fall back on the drain device, and it would “go crazy.” To prevent this from happening, the distance from the emitting device to the mirror had to be at least two meters. The new electronics have reduced this distance to 90 cm, which is especially good for tight spaces..

If you do, infection, pull the toilet handle!

Finally, now it is possible to solve the eternal “headache” of our Russian public trials – we all, alas, know how, for some reason, our compatriots do not like to drain the water for themselves. So, an electronic device for toilet bowls has appeared on our market. True, it is intended only for built-in cisterns. Understandably, the principle of its operation is no different from electronics for urinals. This device is especially popular in public toilets. Because in such places, you must agree, you don’t want to touch anything with your hands. And besides, electronics will independently perform the work “to drain” for careless and forgetful citizens.

Electronic drain device for external (1) and built-in (2, 3) mounting

In fact, initially, electronic devices appeared when the need arose for the automation of public toilets. But this device is also convenient for a home toilet, especially if there are small children, disabled people or old people in the house who sometimes simply cannot cope with a water tap or a drain device. Moreover, imagine, for example, you got your hands very dirty. So, before you wash them, you will have time to dirty the faucet cool. This is especially true in the kitchen..

Electronic devices are also great in helping to save water. According to tests carried out, electronics are five times more economical than a single-lever mixer. This dignity will be especially noticeable in those houses where water meters are already installed..

By the way, about saving money. To be fair, it must be said that electronic devices are not cheap at all. And not everyone can immediately change conventional mixers and drain devices for electronic ones. Electronics manufacturers understand this. Therefore, a single mounting element is produced for urinals (both electronic and push-type) – a housing that is built into the wall. So both push drives (also called Drukspühlers) and electronic ones can be mounted in it. Thus, the pressure head of the Drukspühler can be easily replaced with an electronic one. True, as we found out, a single assembly element has not yet been invented for the toilet..

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How to fix them?

A fair question arises: do these devices break easily, and if so, can they be repaired? I hasten to rejoice: there is especially nothing to break in them. Firstly, because most of the electronic devices are made in such a way that even a sledgehammer cannot be broken. Of course, you can disassemble mixers or drain devices. And easily, with a screwdriver. But this is no longer a breakdown, but dismantling. Batteries, you know, fail over time. To do this, it is enough to open a special cover (as on any household remote control), remove the old one – and insert a new one. Everything, you can use it again.

The window of the infrared emitter is absolutely not “afraid” of water. In the showroom of one of the firms, it is specially kept in a jar of water. And nothing. The light does not go out, which means that the device is working. However, if you are still afraid to “wet” the device, for example, when washing the tap body, please, you can purchase a special panel that covers the window. True, not every company has it..

The only thing that can really affect not the best way, and not even on the infrared sensor, but on the tap itself, is the quality of our water. Therefore, it is better to install protective filters in advance so that rust and lime do not get inside. Without special protective filters, any device fails much faster – this is a fact.

What plumbers need to know?

Get ready: when you call the plumber from the housing office, it is quite possible that he will refuse to install “such a fancy faucet.” He will scratch his head and say, they say, the hostess, “I’m afraid to get involved with such an ingenious mechanism!” So, don’t believe it. And reason with the plumber. An electronic mixer is installed quite simply, like the most common one. Moreover, now it is not necessary to specially lead the electrical wiring to it..

1 – minimum response time at 230 V = = 4 sec; at 9 V = 10 sec;
2 – preliminary flush only when powered from a 230 V mains supply;
3 – main flush;
4 – sanitary flush 24 hours after last use

At one time, the models of the first generation worked only after the tap was “plugged into an electrical outlet”. Then German manufacturers offered us electronic devices powered by a 6-volt battery. And today it has become even easier: basically all mixers are “powered” by a 9-volt battery of the “Krona” or “Korund” type. Such a battery lasts for 200-300 thousand uses, or, more simply, for 2-3 years. And for the price it is quite inexpensive.

Electronic flush devices for urinal and toilet are operated mainly from a 220 volt network. But this is not dangerous, since a transformer is installed inside that converts the voltage into a safe one. However, urinal electronics can also be powered by 6 and 9 volt batteries. All electronic devices operate at a water pressure of 0.5 to 10 bar. For those who do not know, I will say: in our houses, even multi-storey ones, there is always a pressure of 1.5 bar.

You understand whether to buy electronic devices or not is a personal matter. One thing I can say in their favor: in the complete absence of shortcomings (no matter how hard I tried, I did not find them) they have a lot of advantages – convenient, hygienic, and even saves water.

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