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Controlling Water Temperature Is Vital For Emergency Safety Showers


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During accidents involving hazardous substances emergency eye baths and safety showers provide essential first aid. In any case, simply installing the equipment does not guarantee effective decontamination. Water temperature plays a key role in effective decontamination as if the temperature is too low or too high the casualties will not be able to stay under the shower for the recommended 15 minutes for decontamination.

The ANSI Z 358.1 2009 standard states that emergency safety showers should deliver water that is between a temperature of 16C and 38C. The standard also recommends that a minimum flow of 75 litres a minute at 2.1 bar should be delivered for at least 15 minutes.

Where the ambient temperature is high such as in the desert, solar radiation will quickly raise the temperature of water in storage tanks and pipe work to an unbearable level and make the shower unusable. For mains fed showers self-draining models offer a simple solution by removing water from the standpipe if not in use and therefore avoiding the risk of it being heated by the sun.

Unreliable mains supplies will often result in tank showers being used. Tank showers are available in a wide range of capacities, and Hughes provides showers with a capacity of 350 litres all the way up to 2400 litres. The 1200 ltr tank shower provides sufficient water for 15 minutes, the 2400 ltr tank shower for up to 30 minutes if no mains water supply is available.

To maintain a safe and usable water temperature in tank showers there are a number of techniques available. Extra insulation, reflective sun shields and chillers are all effective in hot climates. Chillers are mounted onto the side of a tank and activate if the temperature rises, ensuring that the temperature remains in the usable range of 16C and 38C.

One of the great advantages of the Hughes chiller, apart from the low maintenance required, is that it can also be fitted to tank showers already in service.

If in cold climates, heating the tank shower is often required to maintain the ideal temperature.

Purpose designed temperature controlled showers such as those in the Hughes Temperature Controlled range are usually the most practical solution and the most cost-effective. Water is heated in a storage tank to about 60C, and mixed with a cold supply from the mains through a high flow rate thermostatically controlled valve. This provides water at the shower head between 25 and 35C.

Climatic conditions and site requirements can vary immensely so it is important to discuss requirements as early as possible with an experienced supplier such as Hughes who can guide you through the technical issues and help you achieve the most cost-effective solution.

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