Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires all public accommodations constructed after 1990 be accessible to disabled citizens. In addition to barrier-free access to the building itself, fixtures such as faucets must be accessible. Many options are available for attractive and user-friendly ADA compliant faucets.
Clear Floor Space
The floor space approaching the faucet, whether mounted in a sink or on a wall, must be unobstructed. Generally, there must be 30 inches by 48 inches of unobstructed floor space approaching the faucet.
The faucet must be within 15 inches to 48 inches of forward reach. If side mounted, the reach must be between 9 inches and 54 inches.
The faucet must be controllable with one hand. Further, operation of the faucet must not require tight pinching, grasping or twisting of the wrist. The force to activate the faucet must be 5 lbs. or less. Hand-operated faucets must remain open for at least 10 seconds.
Lever operated controls are ADA compliant if they meet the 5 lb. or less force requirement. Lever controls are also easy to operate with one hand.
ADA compliant push-type faucets are economical because they allow water to run for a limited amount of time. Because it may take more time and effort for a disabled person to wash, however, push-type faucets may be inconvenient.
Infrared-controlled or capacitive-sensor faucets are ADA compliant, easy to use and especially sanitary for all users. Electronically controlled faucets are also energy efficient and reduce the chance of flooding.
- faucet image by Lynne Davis from Fotolia.com