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Electronic faucets that work every time

Faucet scene

Through thoughtful design and rigorous testing, Moen’s M-Power sensor faucets work properly out of the box with minimal modifications needed by the installer. Moen’s newest M-Power electronic faucets will launch July 2014

Everyone knows the feeling. That moment when you stick your hands under an electronic faucet, and—not a drop. You wave your hands, or plead your case, but the faucet refuses to cooperate.

A malfunctioning or improperly calibrated sensor faucet can be one of the most frustrating user experiences in the bathroom. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Moen Commercial’s M-Power sensor faucets are designed and rigorously tested to ensure faucet users are never hung out to dry. And by understanding the way these electronic sensor faucets work, plumbing engineers, installers and facility managers can help keep it that way.

Three primary factors contribute to M-Power’s reliability, says Conrad Haller, project manager for Moen Commercial: rigorous attention to design and assembly, the use of world-class component suppliers, and exhaustive testing throughout all phases of design development. The result is a product that meets the goals of hands-free operation—improved hygiene and water conservation—without the frustration that comes with other sensor faucets.

M-Power uses infrared sensor technology because it provides the most repeatable results, Haller says. “The technology has become an industry standard because it gives the best results over a number of years in the field. It can sense different types of skin color in different kinds of light, which eliminates false readings or no readings. Other technologies don’t always trigger the faucet, so infrared is preferred.” Another advantage of this technology is that it functions properly straight out of the box. Installers simply hookup the water supply and connect the power source (batteries or an AC adapter). The installer does not need to program a distance for the sensors to function; the faucet will work immediately upon installation.

The faucet works by emitting a continuous infrared beam from the sensor. When the user’s hands enter the beam’s range, the beam is reflected into the receiver circuitry, activating the faucet. The faucet will continue to run as long as the beam is being reflected by the user’s hands. When the hands are removed, the sensor sends a signal to the solenoid for closure, and the sensor resets and is ready for the next user.

If the installer chooses to modify the distance setting, the process is simple. The installer places his or her hand in front of the sensor for a set number of seconds, until the sensor blinks to indicate it’s ready. The installer then sets the activation range by moving his hand away from the sensor. The activation range can be set as soon as the power source is connected, and once it’s set, it doesn’t need to be calibrated or fine-tuned over time.

M-Power faucets require no special maintenance. The battery-powered version requires battery changes when indicated by a low-battery light. The installer can also activate a sentinel flush feature, which activates the faucet if it’s been idle for a number of hours. That feature can help reduce the chance of bacterial growth due to stagnant water.

By specifying a faucet that functions properly the first time, and every time, engineers and designers can ensure that both maintenance staff and users avoid repeated frustration at the bathroom’s sinks.