13th January 2020
Hand dryer Standards
As industries mature you see more industry standards against which products and procedures are measured. This blog investigates the hand dryer standards that have been around for a while.
IP is the abbreviation for Ingress Protection, and is outlined under the standard EN60529. This is an international classification system for the sealing effectiveness of enclosures of electrical equipment such as hand dryers, against entry of foreign bodies such as dust, tools, fingers and moisture. See what we wrote earlier about the meaning of IP rating concerning a hand dryer.
One standard is IEC 704-1, 1982, which has been superseded by IEC-60704-1 Household and similar electrical appliances - Test code for the determination of airborne acoustical noise - Part 1: General requirements published in 2010.
The amount of Noise is a subjective measure in the sense that everyone experiences noise differently. This is because noise is produced over a wide frequency range and we experience noise with different hearing abilities. Some people can’t stand high pitched noise while other don’t like low frequency noise.
There are tests done in soundproof rooms but some testers test at 1 meter distance from the source of the noise, the hand dryer, while others use for instance a 3 meter distance. On top of that the height from where the noise is being recorded in relation to the hand dryer can also make a big difference. There is also a big difference in noise when the hand dryer is just blowing air or when it is blowing on your hands. This is especially true for high velocity air hand dryers like blade hand dryers.
The result is a measurement in dB
The American company National Sanitation Foundation NSF has defined a protocol for hand dryers called “NSF P335 Hygienic Commercial Hand Dryers” with which you should be able to come up with a drying time after you have washed your hands.
The UK companies Dyson and Personnel Hygiene Services Ltd. are the only ones listed to have NFS P335 tested hand dryers.
Here at Intelligent Hand Dryers we have created our own standard to test the drying time. For every hand dryer we sell we have created a youtube movie showing the test including the result. Our test is accurate, gives a good indication of what you may expect and makes it easy to compare the different hand dryers we sell. Our inhouse test results and these done via the NFS method show a remarkable similar result.
Each country has safety measures that electrical products such as hand dryers need to adhere to. In Australia it is the Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM). Hand dryers should comply with the requirements described in Part 1 and the following parts of AS/NZS4417: Clause 2 - Electrical Safety and Clause 3 - Electromagnetic Compatibility. A RCM label which looks like a triangle and in it a tick surrounded by part of a circle should be on the hand dryer. The European safety mark CE is not valid in Australia.