As many industries are seeing employees return to in-person work, public facilities in Toronto are being used more and more each day. As we begin to exit a global pandemic, hygiene is at top of mind and public washrooms rank high on the list of spaces that people expect improved systems to reduce the transmission of germs. Plumbing fixtures such as faucets, toilets, soap dispensers and hand dryers are all items in the washroom that can easily be made touchless in an effort to keep commonly used spaces clean, and a revolution of replacing these fixtures is on the rise.  

A company at the forefront of this reimagining of the workplace, especially in Toronto’s major office towers, is Dobbin Sales Ltd., which has been supplying commercial products to the Canadian plumbing industry since 1978. 

Dobbin is the exclusive distributor in Canada for Sloan, the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial plumbing systems. Sloan has developed touchless, sensor-operated products for hands-free activation of plumbing fixtures to improve the overall hygiene in restrooms and elsewhere, while also conserving water, and energy. Their products have ben installed in public washrooms all over the city, including Brookfield Place, Meridian Hall, the Toronto Zoo, and the CN Tower.

Installation at Toronto Zoo, image courtesy of Dobbin

In commercial facilities Dobbin’s work on upgrading manual washroom products includes replacing flush valves and all faucets with Sloan’s hands-free sensor products, the retrofit of manual soap dispensers with sensor models, adding touchless hand washing stations and replacing drinking fountains with touchless drinking bottle filling stations.

The most recent innovative Sloan fixture that Dobbin has been installing is the AER DEC, an integrated sink system that has hands-free dispensers for soap, faucet, and hand drying, all connected to a sink basin in one sleek unit. 

From left to right, AER DEC soap dispenser, faucet, and hand dryer over sink basin, image courtesy of Dobbin

The AER DEC's Sloan soap dispenser and BASYS faucet both overcome hygiene issues that arise from touching hand pumps and handles, with their hands-free designs. Its Sloan hand dryer overcomes the four issues with conventional hand dryers of being too noisy, having nowhere for the water to go, being unhygienic, and unappealing in terms of aesthetics. The hand dryer also solves the problems of slippery, wet floors from the walk across the washroom to access paper towels, and eliminates the need for users to wipe their hands on their pants.

AER DEC installation at Sherway Gardens, image courtesy of Dobbin

The shape of the AER DEC's AirBasin is one of its best features. It is designed to work with the faucet and dryer by redirecting and controlling water and airflow through its air dams, to eliminate backsplash and updrafts and to make sure that the water ends up back in the drain, rather than on the user. It can be customized in terms of size, configuration, mounting, and colour, and can be custom cut to fit the design of the washroom. 

Hands are much more likely to be washed correctly with a simple and straightforward hands-free system, promoting and ensuring higher levels of cleanliness in the workplace. With more sink systems like the AER DEC being installed and becoming the norm, public washrooms will become increasingly hygienic. 

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