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Automatic Hand Dryers vs. Push Button Hand Dryers

Back in the days where technology wasn’t as it is right now, there weren’t much options. If you wanted a Automatic Hand Dryers, you got a push button, cast iron dryer, and it did the job. It was during the 1980s that hand dryers began appearing in automatic versions that had infrared sensors that detected the presence of hands under the dryer’s nozzle. 


There are big advantages of using Automatic Hand Dryers. The first one is that automatic hand dryers are more hygienic. When using one, you don’t have to press a button for the hand dryer to work - this reduces the possible spread of germs that could be left on the dryer.

Another advantage of an automatic dryer is that it has a low power or energy consumption and only have to use it as long as you need it. Many traditional push button hand dryers’ timers are set for 30 seconds, but the user may opt to leave after only 10 seconds of drying - wasting the energy used for the rest of the cycle. Another user might want to dry his hands for 35 seconds which is a waste of almost an entire second push of a button.

With these clear advantages, you would assume that all new hand dryers would be automatic. Yet, upon looking, a large portion of our sales are still push button.

Why are people remain purchasing push button hand dryers?

One reason is that many of the specifications out there are left over from years ago, when hand dryers came in only one type. Push buttons may also have worked for you in the past and you see no reason to change it now.

Another reason is that there is a perception that mechanical push button dryers are more durable and easier to fix than electronic sensors. Admittedly, when sensors were first introduced, they were less reliable than the tried and tested push-button timers because the eyes could be either too sensitive, going off simply by the reflection of light against the surface below, not sensitive enough, or not activating the dryer at all.

Also, the first generation of sensors had short life spans which resulted to it needing to be replaced too often.

However, as mentioned, technology now has advanced. The sensors and their circuit boards which were the problems before in a sensor working hand dryer is now some of the most reliable components in the dryer.

Of course, it is possible to still encounter some problems with sensors. Nonetheless, mechanical push button timers can also have problems with the timer or the push button itself. Whichever the case, a simple fix is usually available by replacing a couple parts.

Based on our experience, sensors that have fewer moving parts are more reliable. The sensor usually costs more than push button dryers.

One of the reasons why a lot of push button hand dryers are still purchased is because some people still think that they are not as easy to vandalize as motion-sensor hand dryers. It is because some vandals will try to damage the automatic sensor by scratching it or putting gum on it.

The sensor eye is designed to resist scratching; even a scratched or partly covered sensor will still work. However, it could affect its performance because no matter how durable a product is, it still possible to do some damage. Moreover, dryers are programmed to stop running after a period of time if the sensor is blocked.

Then again, a push button can be vandalized as well - but not as easily. It sometimes happens that you will see the button itself sprung out from the cover. This happens when the clip holding it in place pops out. This can be fixed by purchasing a new clip.

We believe that the hygiene and convenience that an automatic dryer can provide is what most of us want and need. We always recommend the automatic over push button because no one wants to touch anything in the restroom.

As new dryers are out, you will notice that they are the automatic versions. Sooner or later, there will be no more push button hand dryers. Though, at the present time they are still popular and you may find for whatever reason, that they are right for your preference.