Anyone in the bathroom?

Barbqranch

Senior Member
In our plant, there is a row of bathrooms that get a lot of use. It has been requested to have an "in use" light for each one, so people don't have to keep trying the doors.

They have motion detector lighting, but that stays on for several minutes after they leave. My thought is to get a motion detector w/ no delay off (if there is such a thing available) and power it from a door switch. Then have it latch a relay to light the light, until the door is again opened. If the door closes, no indicator light until motion latches the relay.

So, any suggestions for motion detectors, or is there an even better idea?
 

PaulMmn

Senior Member
I'm assuming these are one-person-only facilities...

Who is that concerned about bathroom occupancy??

Why not leave the doors open if they're unoccupied??
 

iceworm

Curmudgeon still using printed IEEE Color Books
What are the airlines using? They got in-use locks and remote indication. And they even turn on the interior light.
 

electrofelon

Senior Member
I love those in use lock sets. I can't believe how infrequently they are used. It's so awkward having to try the doors or be in there and have someone knock then have to say "it's going to be a while....." :lol:
 

PaulMmn

Senior Member
What are the airlines using? They got in-use locks and remote indication. And they even turn on the interior light.
IIRC, when you slide the locking lever into the doorjamb, it pushes against a switch in the strike plate. Lights/remote indication. Search for >doorjamb switch<. Same switches used for burglar alarms!

The 'in use' on the door is part of the sliding lever mechanism.
 

Cow

Senior Member
If the bathrooms are always being used at capacity, such that an "in-use" lockset isn't good enough for a visual, then I think your plant would be better served to add more bathrooms rather than indicator lights.

If the plant is worried about wasted time because employees would be constantly walking down the hallway looking for a "vacant" restroom, then the real problem is there aren't enough restrooms for the employees. Fixing the problem, and not the symptom, should be the priority, in my opinion.

If the plant is in this for the long haul, adding bathrooms would certainly pay for itself. I'm sure the employees would rather be using the bathroom immediately, then waiting for an indicator light to go "vacant."

I'm sure it's a money issue to add bathrooms though, but it's hard to put a price tag on employee morale.....
 

winnie

Senior Member
While I agree with the idea that there may need to be more bathrooms, it is possible that such added bathrooms would be widely separated, say on opposite sides of a large room. So back to the original question, here is a possibility:

https://www.pridebarco.com/led_option.html

Perhaps if you contact the above manufacturer they can provide locksets not with the built in LED, but rather with a dry contact that you could wire to something more visible from a distance.

-Jon
 

Barbqranch

Senior Member
Most of the time, there is a vacancy, but of course not always. The building is already quite crowded with work stations, and there is very little free space, none w/ access to water sewer. There are 8 bathrooms now, but the 4 in the hallway are the most convenient. Any new ones could only be in an out-of-the way location. The idea is, if the main row is occupied, then people may try the others.
 

PaulMmn

Senior Member
A Curiosity Question-- why did they build individual bathrooms, instead of the usual single bathroom with a row of thrones and a row (for men) of urinals? Plus the sinks!
 

Barbqranch

Senior Member
A Curiosity Question-- why did they build individual bathrooms, instead of the usual single bathroom with a row of thrones and a row (for men) of urinals? Plus the sinks!
When the building was built, it was split into 5 different suites, each w/ 2 bathrooms. We have taken over 4 of them, with the 5th in escrow for us to acquire and spread out over. The main hall has 4 bathrooms in a row, split by a wall that has been opened up to make a hallway.

It is not a super efficient layout, but it is what we have, and we have been expanding quite a bit over the last few years. Still not a huge company, 200 employees.
 

PaulMmn

Senior Member
I'm assuming (!) that you have 4 each of men's and women's bathrooms. Is the plan to have some sort of indicator showing "men's room open" and "women's room open?"
 

Barbqranch

Senior Member
I'm assuming (!) that you have 4 each of men's and women's bathrooms. Is the plan to have some sort of indicator showing "men's room open" and "women's room open?"
This is California. If it only has one toilet, you can't specify gender, since the state recognizes 20 or 30 varieties (or so it seems). Anyway, we could be sued if we specified. We do have one identified as "Men" which only has a urinal, put in when they wanted more bathrooms but the closet w/ plumbing was too small. Probably could be sued over that. :blink:
 

PaulMmn

Senior Member
Heinz 57... No luck finding occupancy sensors with dry contacts and zero delay so you can monitor for available seating? Room is empty, light goes on over the door.
 

Barbqranch

Senior Member
Heinz 57... No luck finding occupancy sensors with dry contacts and zero delay so you can monitor for available seating? Room is empty, light goes on over the door.
I haven't seen any w/ no delay. Many of the specs are not real detailed. I am going to try a burglar alarm type sensor w/ magnetic door switch and a relay. When door is closed, power goes to alarm contacts, and then to relay. Don't have the parts yet to try.
 

kwired

Electron manager
video cameras and displays in the common area....if you try to hide from the camera someone may break in on you. :D

Switches tied to door locks only work when user locks the door. Many will do so but some don't.

small enough space might be able to use a photo sensor or IR sensor.

Motion sensor with essentially no delay may switch state if user remains still enough.
 

winnie

Senior Member
How about going in the other direction. Rather than having a lock that somehow indicates its state, use an electromagnetic lock. Use a switch to detect the position of the door. When the door is opened, the light comes on. When the door is in the closed position, a switch in the room will _lock_ the door and also turn light on. When the user wants to exit, they flip the switch again which unlocks the door. When the door is open the light is again on. Add a short delay on the light turning off so that the user isn't in the dark before they lock the door or when they are exiting.

Finally your 'in use' indication is whenever the door is locked...if the user doesn't want to lock the door then they also have to sit in the dark....

-Jon
 

kwired

Electron manager
How about going in the other direction. Rather than having a lock that somehow indicates its state, use an electromagnetic lock. Use a switch to detect the position of the door. When the door is opened, the light comes on. When the door is in the closed position, a switch in the room will _lock_ the door and also turn light on. When the user wants to exit, they flip the switch again which unlocks the door. When the door is open the light is again on. Add a short delay on the light turning off so that the user isn't in the dark before they lock the door or when they are exiting.

Finally your 'in use' indication is whenever the door is locked...if the user doesn't want to lock the door then they also have to sit in the dark....

-Jon
Only problem is people possibly getting locked in if there is malfunctions or turning light on while door is open may cause malfunction or even lock everyone out if door can close (someone cleaning may want light on but door open). Not saying one can't work around these issues, just some things to consider when designing it.
 

romex jockey

Senior Member
In our plant, there is a row of bathrooms that get a lot of use. It has been requested to have an "in use" light for each one, so people don't have to keep trying the doors.

They have motion detector lighting, but that stays on for several minutes after they leave. My thought is to get a motion detector w/ no delay off (if there is such a thing available) and power it from a door switch. Then have it latch a relay to light the light, until the door is again opened. If the door closes, no indicator light until motion latches the relay.

So, any suggestions for motion detectors, or is there an even better idea?
I'm sorry, but the entire idea is just so ludicrous to me , that i'm at a loss to reply ......~RJ~
 
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