Symmons Blog

ADA-Compliant Faucets in Healthcare Settings

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is a civil rights law codified as Chapter 42, Section 12101 of the United States Code (USC). ADA covers a wide range of accessibility challenges and specifies guidelines and requirements to provide reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities.

Title III of the ADA addresses public accommodations and commercial facilities. It requires all public accommodations constructed after 1990 to allow barrier-free access to the building itself. In addition, plumbing fixtures such as faucets must also be accessible. ADA compliance is particularly important in healthcare facilities, where occupants are more likely to be disabled or have mobility challenges.

Since 1939, Symmons® has been a leader in high-quality, commercial-grade faucets, showers, and plumbing accessories specifically designed for healthcare, institutional, and commercial spaces that require ADA-compliant valves and fixtures.

ADA Accessibility Standards

The latest set of ADA Accessibility Standards was published in 2010 and went into effect on March 15, 2012. These standards provide detailed information on ADA requirements for accessibility building components, including plumbing fixtures such as faucets, bathtubs, showers, toilets, and grab bars.

ADA Faucet Standards

There are very specific ADA requirements regarding sink heights and clearances, yet the requirements for faucets are fairly straightforward; faucets must comply with ADA Section 309.4 – Operable Parts, which states:

Operable parts shall be operable with one hand and shall not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist. The force required to activate operable parts shall be 5 pounds (22.2 N) maximum.

A general rule of thumb is that faucets must be able to be controlled with minimal effort using a closed fist. Symmons offers dozens of commercial lavatory faucets in single-hole, centerset, and widespread layouts, with lever or wing handles available to meet these ADA requirements.

Metering Faucets

In addition to lever- and wing-handle faucets, Symmons has one of the most reliable metering faucets ever made—the SCOT Faucet. The SCOT Metering Faucet meets the criterion for force required to activate, and the additional ADA requirement for wash duration of a minimum of 10 seconds. The duration of SCOT faucets is adjustable from three seconds all the way up to 30 seconds.

Sensor Faucets

Sensor-type or motion-activated faucets are increasingly popular in healthcare facilities because of their hygienic touchless operation, which increases patient safety. Unlike metering faucets, these types of faucets do not have a minimum wash cycle duration.

The Symmons ActivSense™ line of commercial-grade touchless faucets were designed for high-use situations such as hospitals, clinics, and private-practice offices. Its duration time and sensitivity levels are adjustable by the user with a remote control. ActivSense offers a variety of design styles with durable finishes such as Chrome, Satin Nickel, and Matte Black.

Supplying power to sensor faucets can be a challenge in some facilities, so ActivSense offers three power options—battery, AC power, or a multi-unit transformer to power multiple faucets with one AC power source. ActivSense can be ordered with standard hot and cold supply lines, or with a single supply line for tempered water from a thermostatic mixing valve, such as the Symmons MaxLine TMV.

ADA and Symmons

To see the full line of Symmons ADA-compliant faucets, showers, and accessories for healthcare applications, just visit

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