Have you ever had the experience of being in a public bathroom and having to flush the toilet twice? Or worse, not being able to flush the toilet at all? If so, you may have experienced the frustration of not having an automatic toilet flusher.
But what is an automatic toilet flusher, and how does it work? An automatic toilet flusher or a touchless flusher is a device that automatically flushes a toilet after every use. It consists of a sensor and a flush valve. The sensor is usually located on a metal or plastic plate and is activated when someone crosses it or waves their hand over it. While the valve is located behind the toilet; connected to the water supply. Once the person leaves, it flushes the toilet automatically.
Now, do you know what type of sensor is used in these automatic toilets, and how does the whole system work in automation?
Let’s explore the parts of this automation system first.
Parts of an Automatic Toilet Flusher
In any automatic toilet flushing system, you will mostly find these four parts, an IR sensor, a solenoid valve, a power source, and waterproof electrical cables. Let’s explore what purpose each thing serves in the automatic flusher.
1- IR Sensor
The basic thing you might notice in any automatic system is a sensor. In this case, since we need to detect the movement of people, infrared (IR) has been employed. This sensor is linked to a programmed circuit, which flushes the toilet based on the input of this sensor. In other words, it informs when to open or close the water supply valve based on the presence/absence of users.
IR sensor further has two LEDs, one for emitting the infrared beams and the other one for receiving them. This sensor is placed on a metal plate or housed within the flush valve.
2- Solenoid Flush Valve
Unlike mechanical valves, this is an electronic valve that opens and closes based on the input of the IR sensor. Like the digital circuits, it receives positive or negative signals. And the polarity of the signal dictates it to open or close the water flow.
Inside the valve, a rubber-like disc controls the water flow. When there is no signal, the valve closes, preventing water from passing through. The presence of body movement will provide a positive signal to the solenoid, which will then open the valve to allow the water to flow.
3- Power Source
Another important of this digital system is a power source. You can power this system either through a DC battery, an AC power supply, or a combined source.
In case, it’s DC operated, you will find 4 AA alkaline batteries (6V). That is an easy to replace option.
Another option is an AC Adapter. With a mini-transformer inside, it controls the AC and supplies power to the logic circuit of the toilet. Most adapters can take an input of 110V-380V, and provide an output of 6V-9V.
4- Water Proof Cables
To connect all the components of automatic flushing, some cables connect IR to the valve and the power adapter. Since the toilet environment is humid and watery, so to prevent any short circuit, water-resistant cables are used. This makes the whole system stable and durable.
How does an Automatic Toilet Flusher Work?
Since you have known the main components of an automatic toilet flusher, let’s explore how these parts work in conjunction. First, the IR sensor detects the person using two LEDs. Then, it generates a pulse and sends it to the electric valve, which lets the water into the flush. The whole of this system is programmed to flush water in multiple modes. A very calculated amount of water is flushed every time a person uses a toilet. Hence, this system uses less amount of water compared to conventional toilets.
Types of an Automatic Toilet Flusher
You will find two types of automatic toilet flushers in the market, concealed and disclosed automatic toilet flushers.
1- Concealed Toilet Flusher
This type of flusher is buried within the wall; just the panel is visible from the outside. It contains the control panel and control box. The control panel houses a solenoid valve and battery compartment within the wall. The infrared sensor is included in the panel, which is typically made of stainless steel or plastic.
Some products also feature a push button; in case the touchless function is not operational, they can still flush using the push button.
You may find this type of flusher in luxury hotels, resorts, and apartments.
2- Disclosed Toilet Flusher
A disclosed toilet flusher is completely visible from the outside. It lies adjacent to the toilet. It is typically made up of brass. Simple to install and repair.
The disclosed flusher also features a manual button, in case the electronic sensor fails to function. This type of flusher is commonly utilized in commercial public bathrooms.
Benefits of using an Automatic Toilet Flusher
Now, let’s talk about several benefits of using an automatic toilet flusher:
- Improve Sanitation: Since public bathrooms receive a huge volume of traffic each day, this automation system ensures that the toilet remains clean after every use.
- Clean Environment: A regular flushing ensures the spread of germs and bacteria, and helps in maintaining a clean environment.
- Conserve water: Since the flush valve is controlled by programmed systems, they ensure an appropriate amount of water is flushed each time. The sensor makes sure that flushing is only done, when necessary.
- Easy-to-use: Unlike traditional toilets, you don’t need to press the button to flush the toilet. All the cleaning takes automatically without your input. So no more incomplete flushing!
Drawbacks of Automatic Toilet Flusher
Apart from advantages, there are a few disadvantages to using an automatic toilet flusher/
- They can be expensive to install.
- They may not work properly if the sensors are not properly calibrated.
- They may require more maintenance than a traditional toilet.
Things to Consider Before Buying an Automatic Toilet
If you are considering getting an automatic toilet flusher, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, you will need to determine the size of the unit that will best fit your needs.
Second, you will need to decide whether you want a battery-operated model or one that is hardwired into your home’s electrical system.
Finally, you will need to consider the cost of the unit and installation.
With so many benefits, an automatic toilet flusher is a great addition to any home or office. If you are looking for a way to save water and keep your bathroom clean, an automatic toilet flusher is a perfect solution.
Amos Christen graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from Drexel University — Philadelphia, PA. Since 2003, Amos has worked with top interior design professionals in this area, including architects and interior/graphic/lighting designers. As a skilled interior designer, Amos Christen is highly versed in fine arts and crafts and uses that to supplement his main area of expertise. He often publishes articles related to home décor on several websites, including Sprucetoilets.com, Sprucebathroom.com, and Mybesuitedhome.com. He also contributes to leading interior design magazines.