Hand Dryers and ADA Standards: Are You in Compliance?

Posted by Excel Dryer on Feb 20th 2020

ADA Compliance with Excel Dryer

Anyone who owns or manages a commercial facility knows the importance of compliance. No one wants to be cited for a violation, and that means thinking beyond standard safety risks and potential health hazards. Responsible parties also must be aware of laws outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)—namely, the highly specific Standards for Accessible Design .

Established in 1990, the ADA includes these standards to help ensure that no part of a building prohibits access and use by persons with disabilities. They provide detailed technical requirements for various areas of a facility, and there are more than many might realize. For example, there are over a dozen compliance specs for a restroom alone; a single properly sized stall is just a start.

Hand drying matters

For the countless buildings that predate the ADA, application of these standards can be tricky. Are these buildings legally required to modify every detail that doesn’t meet specifications? The short answer is, unless the facility can prove that fixing a particular “architectural barrier” would not be “readily achievable” (and those definitions are not cut-and-dried), then yes—it’s time to make a change.

Getting back to the restroom, there is good news: installation of XLERATOR ® or another high-speed, energy-efficient, automatic hand dryer from Excel Dryer can contribute to ADA compliance—and is something virtually every facility can very readily achieve. Leading its industry, Excel Dryer was the first to develop an ADA compliant recess kit for this type of hand dryer, helping facilities implement a better hand-drying solution while meeting legal specifications. The manufacturer then introduced its XChanger ® Combo Kit for retrofitting paper towel dispensers to the XLERATOR. This offering includes the recess kit as well as a height exchanger, allowing for a convenient, fully ADA compliant switch with no damage to existing surfaces.

ThinAir: the “ADA hand dryer”

In addition to innovative solutions for ADA compliant installation of XLERATOR, Excel Dryer offers an exclusive restroom hand dryer that is ADA compliant in its very design: the ThinAir ® Hand Dryer, part of the manufacturer’s expanded and enhanced product line.

ThinAir is fully ADA compliant when installed at the recommended height of 37 inches above finished floor (AFF) and, in accordance with ADA guidelines for the visually impaired, protrudes less than four inches from the wall. Like all of Excel Dryer’s high-speed, energy-efficient dryers, ThinAir is equipped with automatic sensors for no touch operation , making it inherently accessible for both left-handed and right-handed users—another ADA requirement.

ThinAir truly represents a “package deal” in terms of hand-drying solutions, working efficiently (using 950 watts or less) to dry hands fast, saving facilities money, creating a cleaner restroom environment and, of course, providing the assurance of full ADA compliance. Further, ThinAir comes with enhanced standard features, including adjustable speed, heat and sound controls, multi-voltage options, an externally visible service LED and features a washable pre-filter to extend the life of the unit. Considered the sleekest of Excel Dryer’s signature hand dryers, ThinAir is available in a variety of cover finishes, including the original ABS polymer cover, along with painted covers, special image covers or a brushed stainless steel cover.

If you have a hand in commercial restroom management, it pays to know the standards for ADA compliant design—and make efforts to heed them. Remember: accessibility to all means thinking outside the stall.

Explore a wide selection of XLERATOR Hand Dryers and other top products from Excel Dryer on our website.