Covid-19 and Sensor Taps

Hands free taps installed throughout the North West

To improve hygiene and prevent the amount of cross-contamination when turning taps on and off in public or shared spaces, installing Hands Free taps is worthy of consideration.

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, we are being encouraged to use paper towels to open doors to toilets and shared spaces and then use another paper towel or tissue to turn taps on and off when washing hands. This creates a lot of waste paper and is an inconvenience for many. Being able to turn a tap on or off using your elbow, foot or via a Sensor would remove the need for this.

It could be that once the Covid Pandemic is over, we, as a society become more aware of the importance of regular hand-washing and will be glad not to have to touch surfaces which could be contaminated by germs from others. 

Holgates Engineers regularly install Hands-free taps in Commercial premises throughout the North West of England.

There are different Hands-free options to choose from, namely:

  • Infrared – Sensor taps
  • Foot operated taps
  • Elbow operated taps


What is an Infrared or Sensor Tap?

An automatic Infrared or Sensor Tap has an in-built sensor which detects when an object, such as a pair of hands, is in close proximity. The sensor has a mechanism which opens its’ Solenoid valve to allow water to flow, and automatically turns off when the hands are removed.

With an Infrared tap there are features which can be set at the time of installation:

  • Temperature – Can be set so that the water is always delivered at the same comfortable temperature.
  • Water flow – The output pressure can be preset to ensure the rate at which the water flows is the same every time.
  • How long water flows for – The water will flow for long enough to wet hands and can be turned on again if needed to rinse away a soapy lather.


Advantages of an Infrared or Sensor Tap

As the flow of water and the temperature are being controlled, the tap runs for a shorter length of time, resulting in less water and energy wastage. Not having to turn the tap on to wash hands can be really advantageous for young children and people living with a disability.

This results in a far more sustainable solution, saving many litres of water per annum. For those with a water meter fitted, it could also result in lower water bills.

Foot Operated Controls

In kitchens and bathrooms, with a gentle tap of your foot on the control button, the taps turn on or off. This is perfect in kitchens when your hands are dirty from preparing raw meat, baking, or when coming in from the garden with muddy hands. With some brands, the foot control mechanism can be retro-fitted months after the original kitchen or bathroom taps have been fitted.  This system can also be fitted at knee height on sinks and operated by a knee rather than a foot.                              

Elbow lever taps

These taps have a long lever which can be operated by using your elbow. Whilst these are often found in a hospital or medical setting, they are also ideal if someone finds their hands are uncomfortable to use or have a disability which makes turning a conventional tap on or off difficult.

 The advantage of Hands-free Taps

The installation of any of these hands-free systems would help improve hygiene in public places such restaurants, offices, supermarkets and in our homes.

For a qualified Holgates Plumber and Electrician, fitting a tap with a Sensor is straightforward and can be operated by means of a battery or can be hardwired.

Find out more about Holgates or to get in touch, please call 01704 880029 or email


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01704 88 00 29