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Old 05-08-2017, 06:02 AM   #1
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Default Plumbing for Everyone: Disability-Friendly Fixtures and Plumbing Tech

Advances in technology in the home plumbing industry have extended far beyond what people could have imagined in the home decades ago. The one aspect of disability-friendly design that’s often overlooked is functionality. Public bathrooms are designed to accommodate this portion of the population, but what about your clients who need bathrooms equipped for the disabled?

Any residential modifications for a disabled person must be considered carefully. Luckily, great innovations in both fixture design and technology are now available for customers who require disability-friendly kitchens and bathrooms.

Selling Safety and Functionality

Preparing or remodeling a home for a disabled family member can be a stressful and expensive undertaking. Educating yourself on the latest developments in fixtures and technological advances designed with the disabled in mind can be of great value to both your potential customers and your business. This not only lets them know you’re well-versed on the subject, but it can make great strides in improving customer satisfaction after the work is finished.

Walk-In Bath

Kohler’s walk-in bath features an extra-wide door, one of the lowest step-ins available (3 inches) and easy-grip interior and exterior handrails. The unit also includes hydrotherapy jets that target the front of the legs, behind the calves and along the spine. Additional adjustable air jets positioned around the tub provide a soothing bubble massage while bathing. It includes an extra-wide seat, heated back rest, easy-to-reach controls and a multi-functional hand shower that provides three spray options.

Touchless Faucet

The high-tech Dyson Airblade Tap features a built-in hand dryer, offering the best of both worlds in touchless faucets. The small, but powerful 1600 Watt motor provides enough high-pressure air to dry hands in less than 13 seconds and HEPA filters clean the air before blowing it onto the skin. The unit includes infrared sensors that control both features. This faucet can be installed in the kitchen and bath for ease of use in both areas.

Touchless Toilets

Touchless toilets have become commonplace in many commercial settings, but their usefulness and popularity has spread to residential installations.
• The ADA-compliant American Standard Studio round-front touchless toilet provides top-mounted dual-flush technology. The seat is 16.5 inches above the floor, which makes it easier to sit down and stand back up. The antimicrobial properties of the porcelain bowl inhibit the growth of mold, bacteria and mildew and the powerful 360-degree flush helps to completely clear the bowl, using only 1.0 gallons-per-flush for liquids and 1.6 gallons per flush for solids.

• The Kohler Cimarron elongated two-piece touchless toilet is also ADA-compliant, with a GPF of 1.28 and a seat height of 16.5 inches. The bowl itself is constructed of easily cleaned vitreous china. An electromagnetic sensor on top of the tank activates the flush action when a hand is passed over it and is powered by 4 AA batteries. Kohler’s “AquaPiston” jet system forces water into the bowl from all sides.
Transfer and Roll-In Showers

Very often a disability confines a person to a wheelchair, which makes it very difficult to access a tub or shower. There are several companies which manufacture different styles and models, most of which can be customized to fit specific needs in interior space or personal preference.

Aquatic Bath offers a wide range of ADA-compliant showers, from 36-inch transfer showers to 60-inch roll-in showers. Low threshold one-or two-piece shower units are also available, which can comfortably accommodate wheelchair users. The thresholds range from barrier free to three inches.

Many regular plumbing fixtures can be made more disability-friendly by adding a few modifications such as shower benches, lever faucets and grab bars. However, it's usually better in the long run for your customers to purchase fixtures that have been specifically designed for the needs of the disabled person. A fixture specifically designed for this purpose is usually easier to use than something that has been retrofitted.

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