Type of works: Supply and installation of 62 Cistermiser Infra-Red (IRC) urinal flush-control valves.
The design of the ambitious JJB stadium included the provision of 62 Cistermiser Infra-Red (IRC) mains-powered urinal flush-control valves. Following the handover of the new stadium, a service visit from Cistermiser was requested as it was noted that some of the IRC valves were opening of their own volition. Rather than opening as a result of someone breaking the infra-red beam, the system was generating flushes unnecessarily and affecting the metered water and sewerage charges.
Cistermiser technical staff visited the stadium and conducted tests on each of the suspect units; all were found to be in full working order and no product fault could be identified. While in a corridor, adjacent to one of the Gents toilets, a Cistermiser engineer heard some electrical equipment switch on in a nearby plant room, immediately followed by the sound of an IRC in the toilet letting water into the auto-flush cistern. Further investigation revealed that the electrical equipment was refrigeration plant for the bars and serveries, and that each of the suspect IRCs was close to a similar set of electrical plant. It became apparent that the frequent switching of the refrigeration equipment was causing electrical spikes, which were triggering the IRC valves. No detailed drawings were available, and the electrical contractor who had installed the refrigeration equipment could not be contacted at that time.
While it was established that there was no problem with the IRC units, it was apparent that the loadings imposed on the electrical system by the refrigeration equipment were the root cause of the rogue activations, but this would involve time to resolve. It was decided that the IRCs should all be disconnected from the electrical supply, and reverted to battery power instead. This was a straightforward process, as the existing IRC units could remain in place due to the ability of the product to offer either mains or battery power.
All 62 IRCs were disconnected from mains power, and fitted with Duracell long-life alkaline batteries, and immediately proved to be in full and effective working order. Stadium management scheduled a routine battery change, during the football season, every three years; anticipated battery life being greater thah the usual 18 months, due to main periods of operation being restricted to home match days.