!-- Global site tag (gtag.js) - Google Analytics -->

An Emergency eyewash station is an essential safety element in many work environments. If your company deals with any type of hazardous materials, chances are you need an eyewash station. But which one do you need, portable or plumbed? We break it down for you.

Portable vs. Plumbed Eyewash Station?

You’ve determined that you need an emergency eyewash unit for your facility. The next step is to define whether portable or plumbed eyewash unit is more appropriate for your needs. Here are the differences between portable and plumbed eyewash units.

Portable Emergency Eyewash Station

Portable emergency eyewash stations provide added flexibility that benefits today’s dynamic work settings. You can use this self-contained ANSI-compliant emergency response product in locations without water access. Their portability enables them to meet the rapidly evolving needs of a chemical, manufacturing, or construction environment.

Types of portable units include gravity-fed, air-pressurized, and personal squeeze bottles.

Plumbed Emergency Eyewash Station

A plumbed emergency eyewash station is a permanent emergency response solution in a fixed location. It’s connected to a continuous source of potable water with sufficient flow and pressure for ANSI compliance and victim comfort.

In addition to a water source, ask these questions to determine if you need a portable or plumbed emergency eyewash station.

  1. Does the potential hazard stay int he same location within the facility or is it mobile?
  2. Does the location need tempered water (60-100°F/16-38°C)?

The differences don’t stop there. They also require different methods of maintenance.

Maintenance Differences

Maintenance of portable and plumbed units differ.

  • A portable emergency eyewash station requires less frequent maintenance. However, you still have to clean and disinfect them every 3-6 months. Also, ANSI requires visual inspection to ensure the unit is full and clean.
  • Plumbed stations require the most maintenance. You must activate them weekly to get rid of particle buildup in the pipes. OSHA requires a weekly activation “long enough to verify operation and ensure that flushing fluid is available.”

Federal (OSHA) and Local Requirements

OSHA requirements state that “where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use.”

In addition to federal regulations, you also need to consider the laws in your area. Talk to a local representative for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to learn about guidelines you will need to follow. The requirements will dictate the type of eyewash station you get, where you must place it in your building, and how easy it is to access. The local regulations should align with federal laws.

Whether you need a commercial water heater, six showers/eyewash stations, or 200 solar-powered, sensor-operated urinal flush valves, we can help. For new plumbing installations or plumbing repair parts, Wallingford Sales is the place to go.