This showed up in the men’s room at work recently, and I rejoiced aloud.
Yes, it’s a soap dispenser pump. It replaced an automatic dispenser. the kind that squirts soap into your palm when you stick your hand under it.
The concept is fine. Futuristic, even. Very House of Tomorrow.
Except that it was overactive. If your hand moved anywhere near it, soap immediately squirted onto the counter. What a mess! And after a while, its squirter grew weak and it took four or five squirts for one handwashing. The facilities guy tinkered with it and tinkered with it, and finally threw in the towel. He put in this old-fashioned pump, which provides endless trouble-free service.
Most automatic bathroom fixtures just don’t work right:
- At my last job, at one of the sinks the automatic faucet would randomly decide to run for five or ten minutes even though nobody stood before it to wash their hands. This went on for two years, despite frequent repairs trying to get it to behave.
- The towel dispensers where you wave your hand by a sensor to eject a towel seem only to sometimes recognize your wave. And the towel is tiny, meaning you need to wave six or eight times to get enough.
- Don’t even get me started on forced-air hand dryers. Well, except for the high-powered Xlerator and the Dyson Airblade; those both work incredibly well. But as for the rest, it’s just faster and better to wipe your wet hands on your pants.
- But most of all I hate automatic toilet flushers. So you’re sitting there, minding your own business, when you shift ever so slightly. The flusher thinks, “Aha! He’s gone!” and flushes – which sprays some of the toilet’s contents all over your naked butt.
Look, I understand the promise of automatic fixtures. Less wasted paper and water. Toilets that are always flushed for no unpleasant surprises when you approach. No need to touch anything so germs aren’t spread.
But they usually don’t work. Can’t we just go back to flush handles, faucet handles, and paper towels you pull out of the dispenser?
At least in my office, they finally got the soap dispenser right.