September 26, 2023

New Webinar - IoT Connected Product Design for Engineers, Facility Owners, Maintenance & Regulator Compliance

This blog post is a snapshot from the webinar “IoT Connected Product Design of Grease Monitors for Engineers, Facility Owners, Maintenance & Regulator Compliance.” IoT and automation in the right tools can provide bottom line results for businesses. IoT has changed the world of plumbing to create efficiencies for those who maintain the plumbing systems and cost savings for building owners. Let’s look at three main ways business are impacted by IoT plumbing products. IoT in plumbing The first way businesses are impacted by IoT in plumbing is through automating repetitive tasks. Some businesses need to check and document line pressures. Other businesses need to clean out grease or oil separators on a regular basis. All businesses need to plan out preventive maintenance. When automated, all these tasks can significantly reduce required labor by using technology already available in the plumbing industry. The second way is IoT creating visibility into the health of building operations. For example, connected fixtures, such as connected faucets and connected flush valves, can show how much the system is getting used right down to the individual faucet. Connected plumbing can also notify maintenance teams when something needs to be addressed in a restroom, like when a flush valve stops working or when a battery needs to be replaced. Did you know a dead battery is one of the leading causes of emergency maintenance dispatch for a non-functioning commercial faucet? Do you think the head of maintenance would like to know of a failing battery before it is an emergency? What do you think it does to maintenance costs when changing batteries moves from an emergency service call to a preventive maintenance task? One can imagine how some facilities could save a significant amount of money when the plumbing fixtures keep building managers informed of what is going on instead of waiting for a client or employee to report a problem. The third way is the ability to assess priorities earlier than before. Jan-san teams can see how often fixtures are activated, informing them where bathrooms are getting used or ignored. Usage insights allow team leaders to right size cleaning crews in specific areas while limiting crews in unused areas of a building or campus. SmartPro & IoT Savings from IoT go beyond restrooms such as with the SmartPro grease interceptor monitor. The SmartPro measures how much grease and sediment are in an interceptor tank. Those results are automatically recorded for regulatory compliance, but the daily measurements also mean pumper trucks can be schedule based on demand, based on when an interceptor tank is actually nearing its maximum limits, not based on a blind schedule. Blind schedules or calendar-based schedules for pumper trucks mean the trucks come more often than necessary creating unnecessary costs. In some cases, the trucks do not come often enough, which means breaking the law with grease flowing into the sewer. One chain of convenience stores started installing SmartPro to find one location out-of-compliance with local regulations, but most of the stores were over-pumping. Once all the stores have a SmartPro installed to change from interval pumping to on-demand pumping, the company expects to see annualized savings of up to $720,000 per year with an estimated ROI of 12-15 months. One may debate whether it is better to turn off a light by hitting a switch or through an app on a phone, but a $720,000/year savings in operating costs means IoT in plumbing is not a fad. Instead, IoT is a potential big win for maintenance teams, jan-san teams, and building owners as well as the engineers who bring these opportunities to the attention of stake holders. For a deeper dive into how IoT in plumbing products, be sure to check out our recent webinar called “Internet of Things: IoT Connected Product Design for Engineers, Facility Owners, Maintenance, & Regulatory Compliance.”

December 5, 2022

Improving Compliance and Saving Money with Grease Interceptor Monitors

Grease interceptors are often pumped too often because pumping intervals are set using a best guess to ensure compliance. If the interceptor tank is pumped too often, clients could be paying thousands of dollars in unnecessary pumping costs. If an interceptor is not pumped often enough, there could be significant amounts of grease moving down into the sewer system creating a risk of clogs or government penalties. The SmartPro connected interceptor monitor ensures people know exactly when a tank needs to be pumped. Grease, Oil and Interceptors Zurn produces a range of grease interceptors specifically engineered for the removal and retention of grease from kitchen and restaurant wastewater. Zurn provides an assortment of grease interceptors tailored for the elimination of grease from kitchen and restaurant wastewater. When in the market for grease interceptors, it's crucial to take into account elements like design, size, installation, and upkeep. Here are some recommended products to explore: Z1165 Grease Interceptor Z1170 Grease Interceptor ZS1170 Grease Interceptor Z1174 Grease Interceptor GT2700 Grease Interceptor Z1170-UN Grease Interceptor with User Notification Z1171 Low Profile Grease Interceptor GT2701 Low-Profile Grease Interceptor Z1172 Large Capacity Grease Interceptor GT2701-20-3NH Low-Profile Grease Interceptor GT2701-20-3IP Low-Profile Grease Interceptor GT2701-35-4IP Low-Profile Grease Interceptor GT2701-50-4IP Low-Profile Grease Interceptor GT2701-50-4NH Low-Profile Grease Interceptor GT2701-50-3NH Low-Profile Grease Interceptor GT2701-35-3NH Low-Profile Grease Interceptor GT2701-35-4NH Low-Profile Grease Interceptor Z1199 Auto Draw-Off Grease Interceptor Proceptor GMC Gravity Grease Interceptor Proceptor GMC 50-300 CSA CSA Fiberglass Hydromechanical Grease Interceptor CSA Certified Z1172-UN Low-Profile Grease Interceptor Z1171-RD Low Profile Grease Interceptor with Rigid Pipe Draw Off Z1171-TD Low Profile Grease Interceptor with Accumulating Cone and Flow Control Tee Proceptor GMC UPC Proceptor GMC 100-500 Retroceptor RC35 and RC50 Retroceptor RC35LP GT2700-35-4NH GT2700-07-2NH GT2700-04-2NH GT2700-10-2NH Grease interceptor monitoring systems Grease interceptor monitoring systems offer cost savings and aid in complying with local sewer regulations for businesses. These systems can: Track and record FOG (Fat, Oil, Grease) buildup. Reduce unnecessary pump-outs. Simplify reporting to ensure compliance. Transmit data wirelessly to a display panel. Utilize ultrasonic monitoring technology. Notable grease interceptor monitoring solutions include: SmartPro: Employs ultrasonic monitoring technology. Additionally, proper installation, usage, and regular cleaning of grease interceptors contribute to time and cost savings. SmartPro stands out as a grease interceptor monitoring system that employs ultrasonic monitoring, eliminating the common issue of clog-prone direct contact alarms. It offers real-time data on crucial metrics like grease/oil level, solids/sediment level, total liquid level, temperature, and battery life, all transmitted wirelessly. This allows JPG to remotely monitor customer interceptors, enabling faster responses to problems within the interceptor or downstream. The result? Prevention of costly backups and catastrophic overflows. According to Geiling, "With frequent personnel changes, it's difficult to have consistent oversight of the interceptor. When interceptors overflow, it's a really costly problem. Now our customers know we are monitoring their interceptors with SmartPro, and they don't have to worry about overflow or compliance issues." How SmartPro help restaurants and contractors SmartPro empowers restaurants and contractors to replace estimates with real-time data, ensuring compliance with regulations and avoiding potential fines for illegal discharges into municipal wastewater systems. It offers multiple monitoring options, such as wireless radio, cell network, gateway cloud solutions, and building automation connectivity. Geiling further notes, "We're using SmartPro to improve the quality of every pump by knowing the actual levels in the tank. That helps customers stay in compliance and keeps haulers accountable. The data gives a good look at the tank from a quality assurance perspective. Restaurants can make sure they're getting what they pay for when they get pumped." SmartPro's real-time insights into interceptor performance empower restaurants to maintain high-quality operations while achieving cost savings. The shift to demand-based pumping reduces unnecessary cleaning and associated waste. For JPG, SmartPro has revolutionized interceptor pumping. Remote monitoring not only enhances service quality and cost savings for customers but also expands pumping service capacity. Additionally, it fosters responsible wastewater system management, minimizing resources and unnecessary pumps. Installation is a breeze, typically taking less than 60 minutes. Geiling acknowledges the value of technology-driven solutions, stating, "We're trying to do more with new technology, and Zurn is doing a lot of the things we want to deploy to our customers. Technology-driven solutions and monitoring allow us to help our customers understand their needs a little bit better." “One JPG customer went from pumping every month for compliance to pumping every quarter based on their actual need,” says John Geiling, President and CEO, JPG Plumbing & Mechanical. “The data presents itself through the SmartPro System. At $450 dollars per pump at 200 stores, this customer could save up to $720,000 a year.” You can learn more about SmartPro Grease Interceptor Monitors in a new case study.

November 18, 2022

Creating Smarter Maintenance Schedules with Smart Restroom Products

Labor shortages have hit university maintenance teams hard, causing delays and backlogs in their plumbing work. However, one southern university has found a solution. With Zurn Elkay smart restroom products, they’re able to send staff where they’re needed most. Gaining insights across campus At this 300+-acre campus, a team of eight plumbers manages nearly 200 buildings. The lean team was spread thin trying to keep up with routine and unanticipated maintenance tasks. The talent shortage created delays in responding to work orders. Now Zurn Elkay smart remote monitoring provides insights across campus down to the room level. The team checks solenoid and diaphragm life without leaving the department and can plan maintenance more efficiently and schedule preventive work before issues occur. The use of Zurn Elkay’s Hydro-X fixtures with smart sensor technology reduced battery changeouts by 1,197 annually, saved 4,788 batteries, and reduced the number of batteries going into landfills. Single-source standardization across all flush valves and faucets on campus simplifies the ordering of repair parts. With Zurn Elkay smart restroom products, the lean team has reduced truck rolls and maintenance visits by 50%. Smart Restroom Management System The workplace restroom is crucial, especially during flu season. Up to 50% of working individuals miss work due to illness, as per the CDC. Businesses must take precautions for employee health and productivity. Recent regulations focus on hand washing stations, proper restroom cleaning, and supplies. However, many companies still struggle with restroom cleanliness. Manual inspection is costly. Cleanliness challenges persist, driving the demand for smart washroom systems. IoT (Internet of Things) technology has revolutionized smart restroom management by connecting physical objects to the web. It monitors essentials like toilet paper levels, occupancy, and usage trends, reducing costs and enhancing janitorial efficiency. Smart restroom systems benefit both commercial and facility washrooms. Role of IoT in Turning Restrooms Smarter: IoT connects restroom devices to monitor and provide real-time data, enabling proactive issue resolution. Smart restroom management relies on accurate data for optimization. From soap dispensers to paper towels, smart systems eliminate guesswork and stockouts. IoT-connected dispensers transmit data through cloud, Wi-Fi, or cellular networks. Building managers access this data remotely, streamlining supply refills and orders. Smart restroom systems empower building owners to remotely manage cleaning routines and optimize janitorial expenses, focusing on high-traffic areas. Key Benefits: Enhanced Maintenance Schedules: Track restroom usage, cleaning frequency, products used, and time spent per task. Streamline cleaning schedules for efficiency. Consumable and Waste Control: IoT alerts prevent unnecessary device replacements, saving time and resources. Improved Occupant Experience: Prevent waste and stockouts with user reminders and low-supply alerts. Enhanced Facility Appearance: Clean restrooms significantly impact customer reviews, making smart restroom management systems essential for top-notch cleanliness. learn more about Plumbsmart to bringing work order chaos under control with campus-wide remote monitoring.
Replace Guesses With Data to Reduce Routine Maintenance

October 6, 2022

Replace Guesses With Data to Reduce Routine Maintenance

The restroom experience on campus has an effect on student satisfaction and a university’s reputation, and is an indicator of overall campus quality standards. At one central state university, maintenance teams routinely changed the battery in every faucet and flush valve on campus twice a year to prevent restroom downtime and reduce changeout work orders. With nearly 4,000 fixtures campus-wide, the effort required six plumbers working two shifts every six months. Facilities leaders realized that time could be better and more efficiently spent on other maintenance tasks. They found a solution to premature battery replacements with Zurn Elkay smart restroom products. Increasing maintenance efficiency with data The university’s maintenance team uses Zurn Elkay smart sensor low battery alerts and remote voltage monitoring to improve maintenance efficiency and reduce costs and hassle. Battery changeouts are now scheduled based on alerts for preventive maintenance closer to the battery’s end of life. As a result, the university saved 216 hours of labor and the cost of 30,400 premature battery replacements. Fewer battery replacements means fewer batteries going into landfills. The team also met its original goal of reducing battery changeout work orders. Empower Your Team with Real-Time Data: Prevent flooding, leaks, and costly repairs with instant alerts. Stay ahead with automated maintenance scheduling. Enhance performance management with advanced analytics. Utilize Metrics for Minimization and Optimization: Delve deeper into product trends and market insights to make informed decisions. Analyze user patterns and behaviors to tailor your strategies effectively. Streamline operations by reducing water usage, manual tasks, and overall costs. This revised version expands on the original points and provides more context for applying metrics to minimize and optimize various aspects of your operations. Ensure Seamless User Experiences Throughout Their Routine: Identify peak hours for scheduling to optimize service efficiency. Analyze demand usage patterns to inform future project planning and resource allocation. Sustain consistent product performance to meet user expectations on a daily basis." This revision provides a more detailed and explanatory version of the original text, emphasizing the importance of user flow and how data can support it. ZurnElkay Products ZurnElkay Products for water consumption metrics, and data for preventive maintenance. Zurn Connected Backflow Preventers Backflow preventers quietly safeguard our water supply, often out of sight and out of mind, until a failure or contamination incident strikes. That's when Zurn Connected Backflow Preventers step in. They diligently monitor performance, tracking everything from flow and pressure to valve discharge. With real-time insights, you and your team can take proactive measures before any real issues arise. You'll not only gain a deeper understanding but also increase predictability in your daily operations. When you're focused on your responsibilities, your backflow preventer is right there with you, silently doing its job. Zurn Connected Faucets Ever wished you could pinpoint the most consistently low-traffic times for restroom cleanups or precisely schedule faucet maintenance or part replacements? Perhaps you're eager for more precise water usage tracking. With Zurn Connected Faucets, you no longer need to guess – you can make informed decisions. Zurn Connected Flush Valves Tired of maintenance feeling like a guessing game? Put an end to unnecessary premature replacements and wasted water due to avoidable leaks and activations. With Zurn Connected Flush Valves, real-time insights empower you to take control of your restroom's cleanliness and performance. Find out more about Zurn Elkay Plumbsmart for improving work efficiency and reducing costs with smart restroom products.

September 2, 2022

Improve Water Conservation by Knowing Where, When and How Water is Being Used

You can’t save water if you don’t know how you are using it. That’s become a common starting point for water conservation at universities and colleges across the country. At one southeastern state university, administrators weren’t satisfied with after-the-fact water bill data or the option to install water meters in every building on campus. They wanted a deeper understanding of water usage to steer their water conservation initiative, and Zurn Elkay smart restroom products provided the solution. Most of the water consumed originates from toilets, showers, baths, faucets, and leaks. Improve Water Conservation and Water Usage Water conservation entails the efficient use of water to minimize unnecessary consumption. Its significance lies in the fact that clean, fresh water is both a finite and expensive resource. Furthermore, water conservation contributes to environmental preservation. Zurn and Water Conservation Zurn collaborates with a global clients to offer products and systems that elevate water quality, safety, hygiene, flow management, and conservation. With a legacy spanning over two centuries, Their products play a pivotal role in promoting well-being, facilitating healthy hydration, preserving precious natural resources, and ensuring safety. Zurn's diverse product line comprises: Smart connected solutions Finish plumbing products Building drainage systems Water control mechanisms PEX-Cross Linked Polyethylene solutions Fire protection equipment Repair parts Acid neutralization systems Creating remote visibility into water use Zurn Water Solutions is a company specializing in crafting water solutions for a wide range of sectors, including commercial, municipal, and industrial markets. Their product portfolio encompasses: Water management and safety solutions. Water distribution and drainage systems. Finish plumbing products. Hygienic, environmental, and site works solutions. Zurn Elkay smart restroom products create remote visibility into water use at the device level, and the baseline data the university needed to set conservation goals and identify actions, such as adjusting flow rates. Smart products also enable the maintenance team to verify that water bills match water use. With data from Zurn Elkay smart restroom products, the university can plan more efficient restrooms during renovations and builds with fewer fixtures and water-saving touchless sensor faucets and flush valves. With smart restroom data, the university has been able to reduce water use across campus, saving 917,172 gallons per year. To learn more about enhancing water conservation with smart restroom products, and Plumbsmart.

April 27, 2022

Should I Repair or Replace My Restroom Fixtures?

Learn the Basic Guidelines for When to Repair or Replace Your Restroom Faucets and Flush Valves. Are you wondering if you should repair or replace your restroom fixtures? Let’s cover some guidelines about when it is time to choose the repair or the replace option for your restroom faucets and flush valves. Ultimately, the decision revolves around time, money, and organizational priorities. You may have other factors that affect your repair or replace decision today, so take this input for what it is, guidelines that help you think through your own situation. In general, you want to ask yourself three questions: How old are the current fixtures? Do the current fixtures help to create a good restroom experience? Do the current fixtures help you comply with local laws and organizational sustainability initiatives? How Old is the Fixture? Fixtures in commercial restrooms work hard, and after ten years in a moderate to heavy use restroom, many fixtures are getting to the end of their life expectancy. In a busy restroom, some valves can easily see over half a million activations in ten years, so it is not hard to see why ten years is a good, long run for a commercial faucet, flush valve, or other fixture. In general, you will be better off replacing a faucet after the ten-year mark, because several of the parts are probably at or near the end of their life. You may replace one part to find another part breaks next week. Even with gentle use, eventually valves will start to leak, clog, or corrode. The age issue is especially true if you live in an area where the water is hard on the valve. Flush valves less than ten-years old are normally in the repair category, unless the valve has given you a lot of trouble over the last few years or it has been damaged due to an accident or vandalization. When you get to the fifteen-year range, generally you can repair it and get at least another five or more years of use from the fixture unless it is in an extreme environment. If your flush valve is over 20 years old in a moderate use restroom, it is a good time to change out the whole unit. Does the Faucet or Flush Valve Create a Positive Experience? Beyond ensuring the faucets and valves function properly, you need to ask about whether or not they create a good experience. It may sound like a silly idea, but after the pandemic, people feel uncomfortable with old, corroding valves, and people really do not like to touch the manual faucets and flush valves. When people feel you have a clean, hygienic restroom, customers spend more, and employee satisfaction is likely to be higher. If you don’t have the budget to completely redo the restroom, upgrading one valve at a time when they no longer work properly may be an acceptable alternative. When it comes to improving the restroom experience, you may also choose a flush valve retrofit kit over replacing the whole valve assembly that goes with the toilet. Kits are available that reduce the time and cost of going from a manual flush valve to an automatic flush valve making an upgrade worthwhile compared to a full fixture replacement. Do the current fixtures help you comply with local laws and organizational sustainability initiatives? Some states and municipalities require low flow fixtures, so replacing outdated fixtures is an obvious choice. Beyond local laws, many organizations have made sustainability an organizational initiative, which often includes a water conservation component. If water conservation is important to the organization, then an early upgrade to reduce water usage makes sense. With those guidelines, you should be well on your way in the decision to repair or replace your fixtures. Remember to consider your unique situation and include things such as expiring budgets, limited time government incentives, or labor availability. Find links below for long lasting replacement parts or water saving fixtures for whatever decision you make. Long Lasting Repair Parts New Products that Conserve Water Water Savings Calculator

March 10, 2022

Why Building Owners Want the Restroom of the Future Today

Plumbing continues to make technological advances including in today’s restrooms. Building owners want to give people what they want in a restroom, and they want to save money at the same time. Restrooms today can notify janitorial and maintenance staff of needs long before someone complains, create a feeling of safety, and lower ongoing costs compared to earlier designs. Newer designs and technology create higher satisfaction for both restroom users and building owners, making these restrooms an easy choice for both new buildings and remodeling projects. Building Users Want Better Restroom Experiences Technology has brought every industry into the future, and plumbing is no different. Modern restrooms can help people feel safer and be ecologically responsible, yet what people want goes beyond what was expected just a few short years ago. Stating the obvious, it is the minimum bar for today’s restroom to be clean and in good working condition. It is no surprise that post-pandemic, people have a heightened awareness of hygiene and germ transmission. More than half of the population (55%) now has concerns with touching sinks or sink fixtures in a public restroom, and almost the full population (94%) will avoid a business with a dirty restroom. People want a clean and functioning restroom where they feel safe. A restroom that is dirty isn’t just annoying or gross, it assaults the feeling of well-being of those using the restroom. A person starts questioning if their health is affected just by being in a restroom when the restroom is poorly cleaned or maintained. Since perception is as important as reality, even things such as lighting, color choices, and restroom features can affect how users feel about the restroom, and all the elements should be used together to create a feeling of a safe environment. Going Beyond the Minimum Bar in Today’s Restrooms Restroom users want as touch-free an experience as possible. Sensor-activated faucets, flush valves, and hand dryers are already standard for most public restrooms. Door free entryways remove a final touchpoint after people just finished washing and drying their hands. Eliminating touchpoints gives people confidence they are in a safer environment. Users want surfaces that are antimicrobial. You can now obtain handwashing systems and toilet partitions that discourage the transmission of germs. Similarly, hand dryers are available with HEPA filters. Make sure signs or labels clearly tell people how the bathroom surfaces protect them. Comfort from users increases knowing the restroom has layers of protection defending them from germs in every way possible. They want to feel there is room for their “personal space.” With increased sensitivity to the spread of disease, people no longer find it acceptable to use a public restroom shoulder to shoulder with strangers, especially if someone is coughing in the room. Creating a perceived sense of space allows people to feel comfortable in your restroom. Creating perceived space may be from adding physical space, but it may also be from the creative use of partitions, sinks, and other architectural features to create a feeling like someone’s personal space is kept. They want environmental responsibility that does not trample on their comfort. People would like to know your restroom uses less water and energy, but they don’t want to hear about how great your restroom is if it is at the expense of their experience. Water conservation is great, but the faucet must still give a good handwashing experience. People want a good restroom experience that is also ecologically responsible. Building Owners Want Less Maintenance and Lower Costs There has never been a time where a building owner has said, “I wish I had more expenses for my balance sheet,” and we can expect building owners will continue to look for the lowest total cost of ownership. What has changed with the tighter labor market is an increased wage rate for people who clean and maintain the restrooms, especially with skilled trades such as plumbers. The easy part of the equation is reducing water and paper consumables. Water-saving devices have a direct effect on costs and so does reducing the use of paper products. Today’s hand dryers use less energy to dry hands in less time than older models. New hand dryers often cost less than two to three years of paper towels in a moderate use restroom. We can add, with HEPA filters in today’s advanced hand dryers, users can again have confidence they are safe. Yet, today’s restrooms need to go beyond reducing water and paper products. Preventive maintenance needs to happen based on fixture use, not an estimated time based on estimated use. It should come as little surprise that some stalls and some sinks in a restroom get higher volume than others. If you scheduled maintenance assuming every fixture received even use, you are swapping parts on some units too early. Heavier use fixtures in the same restroom may fail before PM is scheduled because actual use of the fixture may exceed average or expected use. What if the restroom could go beyond these obvious savings? What if cleaning schedules were based on actual use of the restroom rather than a rotational schedule based on estimated use? What if the restroom could let you know when there is a fixture problem, while now maintenance staff only find out if there is a customer complaint? How Zurn Delivers the Restroom of the Future? It is no longer a zero-sum game choosing between costs or a better experience. Modern technologies allow building owners to supply a better experience AND save money. One of the largest airports in the United States recently completed a pilot project and is now installing “restrooms of the future” based on Zurn’s connected products platform. Since Zurn supplies every plumbing fixture needed, the fixtures gain cumulative knowledge feeding AI-powered insights giving early indicators something needs intervention. During the pilot project, the airport staff learned about 46 restroom problems over the 107-day trial period before anyone reported a problem to airport staff, which created a better user experience, and the maintenance and janitorial staff responded to real needs rather than blind schedules. Zurn’s connected restroom also supplies insights into which restrooms need to be cleaned when, as well as staffing insights from actual user data. Staffing can be matched to the actual day of week and hour of day use rather than treating every day the same. Scheduling to actual restroom use almost always creates a reduction in janitorial staffing hours because staff no longer clean low-use restrooms as often as higher use restrooms nor are they cleaning during lower use periods as if it is a higher use period. These insights can be real-time. As an example, janitorial staff at an airport won’t find out about every flight cancellation, but a flight cancellation can create a spike in use for what may normally be a low-use restroom. A connected restroom can inform janitorial staff when there is unexpectedly high use that creates a need for janitorial services earlier than expected. Zurn’s connected restroom How does Zurn’s connected restroom know when there is a problem? Connecting all devices together lets the system learn and understand restroom use at a deeper level than ever before. As an example, when the system sees the restroom is busy but one of the sinks is not getting used, a notification goes out to staff so staff can check on that sink and possibly find out the sink was filled with debris. Only when several devices in the restroom are connected into a single system can AI create the insights needed to accurately report problems. AI-powered restrooms also create new opportunities. Architects and engineers can get insights into how many restroom fixtures are needed in buildings so they can right-size future restrooms for similar buildings. Facility managers can provide hard numbers to justify staffing levels. Healthcare facilities can now measure the effectiveness of handwashing campaigns to show campaign efficacy. Building owners with dispersed locations can minimize travel time by planning out preventive maintenance schedules that concentrate work at nearby facilities or by doing preventive maintenance during a visit for a repair. In the end, the connected restroom creates a better user experience because you have a cleaning schedule that matches actual use, and all fixtures are likely to be in good working order. Building owners love it because they save money while giving a better user experience. And we find facilities maintenance and janitorial staff also appreciate it because they are doing the right work, not running around from one emergency to another nor are they working on something that doesn’t really need to be done, like replacing a perfectly good valve just because a calendar said it is time. We are pleased to provide building owners and users with the restroom of the future. To learn more about the restroom of the future, be sure to check out the Smart Restroom Innovations Whitepaper.

December 15, 2021

HEPA Filtration: Clean Air Takes Flight

Today, HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter technology can be found everywhere, from buildings spanning private, healthcare, and public spaces to product systems beyond air purification. Of course, in modern days, the demand for quality air supply has never been higher. While on the topic of higher, one of the most critical spaces in which HEPA filters help clean the air can be found inside an oversized steel tube that travels at a speed of 500+ miles an hour. Yup, travel continues to lead the way for innovation and sanitation. HEPA filters in flight Before you board your next flight, consider this. HEPA filters and efficient air circulation work together to ensure fresher air for passengers. In fact, the air is typically purer than what is breathed in at restaurants, bars, stores, or even at home. Now, you may be doubting that assertion since you can’t really open a window or door. But, it’s true. Let us explain with expert findings. National Geographic recently consulted air-purifying experts and found that around 40 percent of cabin air is filtered through a HEPA system, while the other 60 percent is brought in fresh from outside the plane. Cabin air completely changes over every three minutes, while the aircraft is cruising to someplace hopefully filled with umbrellas, sun rays and sound waves. The air is pumped from the ceiling into the cabin at a speed of about one yard per second and sucked out below window seats, raising the air quality level above that of a normal building. To sum it up, the air is filtered 20 times in one hour—now that’s a refreshing stat! Certified HEPA filters “block and capture 99.97 percent of airborne particles over 0.3 microns in size,” says Tony Julian, an air-purifying expert with RGF Environmental Group. With increased efficiency of HEPA filters for the smallest particles and added ventilation, the number of particles in the air is quite low — even comparable to a heavily sanitized room. According to Liam Bates, CEO and co-founder of air-quality monitor manufacturer, Kaiterra, “[Planes] are actually safer than virtually any other confined space.” This air-handling system design of a commercial aircraft makes it unlikely someone will breathe in air from anyone located more than a few rows away. A 2018 study examined the transmission of droplet-mediated respiratory illnesses during transcontinental flights and found that an infectious passenger with influenza or another droplet-transmitted respiratory infection was unlikely to infect passengers seated farther away than two seats on either side or one row in front or in back. A little dirt won’t hurt It is important to note, HEPA filters should be changed out frequently. However, even if an airline changes its filters less often than recommended, the International Air Transport Association states that although airflow through filters may be reduced, the filters’ particle-trapping capacity would not be. (Translation: dirtier filters can operate just as effectively as clean ones.) Filtration alone isn’t foolproof The good news? Most viruses and germs don’t spread easily on flights because of how quickly and efficiently air circulates and is filtered. The meh news? Air travel also involves spending time in shuttle buses, taxis and rental cars, busy security lines and airport terminals, which can put people in close contact with one another and frequently touched surfaces. In addition, social distancing can be difficult on crowded flights, which means passengers may have to sit in close proximity of one another (less than 6 feet) for hours at a time. That’s why consistent mask-wearing, wiping down high-touch surfaces and regular handwashing are all also vital with any kind of air travel today. Flying to hand drying Back on the ground and in a public restroom, what to do after washing your hands? Sensor hand dryers remove the “touch factor” (the grabbing, shared touching, watershed, more waste) and added costs that come with a paper towel dispenser. HEPA-filtered hand dryers take it a step further by purifying the air before it reaches hands. Beyond HEPA filtration, look for solutions with fast dry times, energy efficiency and antimicrobial technology. According to the CDC, completely drying hands can reduce germs up to 1000 times. An energy-efficient hand dryer speeds up the process while using less power and leaving zero paper trail. Look for models that dry hands in 12 seconds or less to meet user expectations. Finally, antimicrobial technology protects the treated surfaces on the dryer by inhibiting the growth of bacteria, mold and fungus that can cause stains, odors or deterioration. From flying to hand drying, HEPA filtration leads in sanitation. Learn more at
George Karoubalis: From Kitchen Expertise to Plumbing Mastery at Genitek

November 24, 2021

Plumbing Pro Spotlight: George Karoubalis, Genitek

George Karoubalis can handle the heat, whether it’s in the kitchen or solving a plumbing problem. Seven years ago, he traded his kitchen utensils for pipe wrenches and faucet keys. Meet George Karoubalis, a seasoned professional at Genitek, excelling in both kitchen and plumbing arenas. With seven years of expertise, George seamlessly transitioned from wielding kitchen utensils to mastering the intricacies of pipe wrenches. His versatility and commitment shine in every challenge he tackles, making George an invaluable asset to the Genitek team. Explore the depth of his skills and experience in our exclusive Plumbing Pro Spotlight. "Discover George Karoubalis' journey from the culinary world to becoming a skilled plumber at Genitek. With seven years of plumbing experience, George thrives on quick thinking and handling challenges under pressure. Learn how Genitek, serving Montreal for two decades, provides expert plumbing solutions, from new construction to emergencies, with 24/7 coverage. Thank you, George and Genitek, for your community support and plumbing excellence." “Prior to Genitek my work revolved around the restaurant industry,” Karoubalis explains. “I’ve been a plumber for about seven years now, and I’ve never looked back. The career change may seem like a leap, but both require quick thinking under pressure. I work hard and can handle challenges steadily. Above all, I love helping people. Plumbing is a trade many don’t know, and I can step in to fix their problems.” Genitek has served the Montreal area for two decades, from new construction projects and restroom renovations to plumbing maintenance and emergencies. Not only does the company retain certified plumbing professionals; it offers 24/7 coverage. Customers know they’re getting competent assistance when they need it most. Thanks, George and Genitek, for your community support and plumbing expertise. A heartfelt appreciation to George and the entire Genitek team for their unwavering support within the community and their exceptional plumbing expertise. Your commitment not only ensures the smooth functioning of plumbing systems but also contributes significantly to the well-being of the community you serve.
Rain, Snow or Shine, Keep Customers Coming Outside, Comfortably

October 21, 2021

Rain, Snow or Shine, Keep Customers Coming Outside, Comfortably

Tips on how to expand your outdoor space and keep it open during off-seasons The Upside Of Outside Connected yoga practice in the park. Cozy wool sweaters purchased at a sidewalk sale. A lovely dinner for two in an alley outlined by twinkling lights and a prismatic brick gallery. Commercial and small businesses’ outdoor spaces continue to be a cool trend in spring, fall, and even some tolerable winter days. A few years ago, shops, gyms, and even offices began to extend their everyday operations outdoors. And now more than ever before, opening your doors to the outside allows customers and employees a breath of fresh air and a sigh of relief. “Outdoor living has become the fastest-growing segment within the landscape industry for quite a few years,” shares Paul D. Wait, National Irrigation Sales Manager at Zurn Engineered Water Solutions. “Right now, we’re seeing requests for outdoor upgrades and new builds in commercial spaces and small businesses taking off. The growth has been incredible and critical.” Businesses are adapting in part because they must. Yet, many are seeing this change as a positive for businesses, employees, and customers. These businesses are cultivating unique, mood-boosting experiences through their outdoor setups and sanctuaries. And you can too! A Fresh (Air) Way Of Thinking As social distancing guidelines and mandates pervade the new normal, businesses see outdoor spaces as their opportunity to follow recommendations and keep customers coming back. A trend likely to have staying power. From restaurants, farmer's markets, and coffee shops to gyms, garden centers, offices, and boutiques, businesses are setting up shop alongside their brick and mortar buildings and finding ways to sell goods and services. All of this means getting creative and innovative. By expanding your businesses’ existing footprint on the patios, decks, lawns, sidewalks, and even the streets around you, customers can dine, exercise, sip, shop, or relax where fresh air is abundant and free for all to enjoy. Besides providing open air and a lot more spaciousness, this shift outdoors can greatly lessen consumer fears around crowded stores and interior ventilation. “Right now, commercial demand is so large, and local governments are developing business codes that allow for quick outdoor expansion. However, if you’re thinking about an outside build, take a pause and remember to expand wisely by choosing low-maintenance, cost-effective water solutions that will complement your own design plan,” explains Wait. Think Sustainable Water Solutions Any landscape architect or contractor can help you find a variety of product(s) to suit your unique build or upgrade needs. Here are three essential water solutions that can make your outdoor expansion an all-around success. Install Irrigation Solutions Exterior irrigation solutions offer many reliable water safety and water control features for outdoor landscaping, water fountains, and planters. These irrigation solutions will protect your non-potable water supply, manage water pressures and prevent backflow to promote water conservation. Look for backflow preventers and pressure-reducing valves that offer control and extend the life of your system for low lifecycle costs and easy system winterization. Consider Linear Trench Drains Worried about possible runoff pooling or looking to outline a fountain? Trench drains help ensure proper water management, prevent mud, and lower the risk of flooding or customers slipping. Trench drains can withstand years of heavy foot traffic and outdoor elements, like rain and snow. Plus, they filter debris, meet ADA compliant, feature heel-safe grates, and are easy to install. If you care about long-lasting performance, high-density polyethylene material is likely your best choice. Try PEX for Radiant Heating Never worry about salting again. Radiant heating under concrete pavers low-cost, low-maintenance solution for preventing ice or snow accumulation. Shoveling and sanding driveways, walkways, and patios is so early 2000s. Here’s how it’s melting magic. PEX is filled with water or a mix of water and antifreeze. As heat transfers, fluid in a closed-loop circulates between the floor and the boiler. This construction is environmentally sound (recyclable), highly flexible, and resistant to high temps. Plus, it doesn’t require post-curing, which reduces energy during the manufacturing process. Now Think About The Details No matter what exterior design or functionality you choose, you want it to hold up over time. Your other concern comes down to the details. When your outdoor environment has the right finishing touches (furniture, fabrics, pots, planters, décor, and accessories), it will set the tone and create those experiences customers desire now more than ever. Here are a few ideas: If you’re part of a farmers’ market, be strategic with your heat lamp placement to keep customers warm on chilly days. Own an eatery? Entice guests to linger outdoors a little longer by adding some benches, low walls for seating, or even a lounge area with a firepit or lawn games. Salons, barbershops, and studios can install big planters with bountiful greenery to offer more privacy to their customers and employees. Setting up an outdoor sound system lets you set the mood and adds value without having to overspend. (Music hits the right note for practically any type of business!) Set Up Smart As you finalize design features for your outdoor space and finish up your project, make sure your permits are in order and set up hand sanitizer stations. Then, once your space is open to the public, establish social distancing practices, do routine cleaning as you would indoors, use contactless payment methods and train your employees. You want this outdoor space to be a continued success down the road without any second-guessing. Even if some requirements and concerns fade away, customers will always appreciate outdoor spaces and sanitary best practices. Communicate to Your Customers Of course, remember to spread the word and let new and existing customers know that you’re moving outside using a consistent message across multiple channels. Post it on your website, social media platforms, and customer email/snail mail distribution lists. Reach out to local media for some free press and community engagement. As you take it outside for greater ROI, consider these tips. Visit to find wide-ranging product options for your next project.