Home Plumbing A Plumbed Eyewash Station Can Be Portable

A Plumbed Eyewash Station Can Be Portable

by Michael Blount

Workplace safety is of paramount importance when dealing with hazardous chemicals. Having an emergency eyewash station readily available in case of an accident can help prevent serious eye injuries. There are two main types of eyewash stations – plumbed and portable. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of a plumbed eyewash station and how it can also be made portable.

What is a Plumbed Eyewash Station?

A plumbed eyewash station is a permanent fixture that is connected to a continuous source of potable water. The key advantage of a plumbed station is the constant water supply, ensuring a steady and uninterrupted flow of water in the event of an emergency.

Plumbed eyewash stations are available in three main configurations:

  • Wall-mounted – Mounted on a wall near the hazard. Takes up minimal floor space.
  • Pedestal – Floor-standing unit. Provides good visibility.
  • Countertop – Mounted on a counter or workbench near the hazard. Compact size.

These stations are highly durable, made of galvanized steel or ABS plastic. They are designed to comply with EN 15154-1, EN 15154-2, ANSI Z358.1 and other international standards. This ensures high quality and gives total peace of mind.

Installation is quick and easy, with pedestal, countertop and wall-mounted options available. The assembly consists of connecting to an existing potable water source and drainage. Once installed, plumbed eyewash stations provide reliable emergency response for many years.

How Can a Plumbed Eyewash Station Be Portable?

While plumbed stations are permanent fixtures, they can also be made portable by using a gravity-fed system. This makes the eyewash station completely independent of facility plumbing, while still providing a high flow rate of water.

A leading example is the GravityFlowTM portable gravity-operated eyewash station. This innovative product provides all the advantages of a plumbed station in a portable package.

Overview of the GravityFlowTM

The GravityFlowTM consists of a 9-gallon capacity tank which provides a run time certified to the ANSI Z358.1 standard of 15 minutes continuous water flow. This GravityFlowTM tank can sit on a counter, table or be mounted on a wall.

The unit has dual spray heads which provide a gentle stream of water to both eyes simultaneously. The flow rate meets the ANSI standard of 0.4 GPM (1.5 LPM) for 15 minutes.

With a full tank, the GravityFlowTM provides the flushing volume and flow rate required by ANSI in a portable, self-contained unit. Maintenance is easy – the tank just needs periodic refilling.

Benefits of a Plumbed Eyewash Station

There are many good reasons to choose a plumbed eyewash station for your workplace:

Continuous Water Supply

The key advantage of plumbed stations is the constant supply of potable water. This ensures a steady, uninterrupted flow of water in the event of an accident. Supply will never run out, providing water for as long as needed.

High Durability

Plumbed units are built tough to handle workplace conditions. Heavy duty galvanized steel or durable ABS plastic construction withstands chemical spills and impact. These stations are designed to provide many years of reliable service.

Meets Safety Standards

Leading plumbed stations meet ANSI and EN eyewash standards for flow rate, water quality and ease of activation. Employers can be confident these units provide effective, standards-compliant emergency response.

Range of Design Options

Wall, pedestal and countertop models are available. This range of designs allows plumbed units to be placed conveniently wherever hazards exist. The right model can be chosen for each location.

Easy to Install

Plumbed stations feature quick and easy installation. Once connected to existing facility plumbing and drainage, they are ready for immediate emergency use. Permanently installing units near hazards improves safety.

Using a Plumbed Eyewash Station

While plumbed stations are designed for quick and easy use, proper operation helps provide effective first aid. Here are some tips:

High Water Flow Rate

Per ANSI standards, plumbed eyewash units must deliver at least 0.4 GPM (1.5 LPM) of clean water to each eye. This high flow rate is critical for quick flushing.

Flush Both Eyes Simultaneously

The water streams must be positioned to wash both eyes at the same time. This ensures prompt first aid for both eyes. The streams should be at equal heights.

Hands-Free Operation

The eyelids must be held open with both hands during flushing for maximum effectiveness. This requires a hands-free station – no need to operate valves or other devices.

Protected Nozzles

Nozzle covers prevent contaminants from entering the unit when not in use. Covers should not require a separate action to open when activated, allowing immediate access.

Control Valve

The flow control valve should keep water flowing until intentionally shut off. This allows hands-free operation for continuous flushing as long as needed.

Accessible Eyewash Area

The area around the eyewash must allow the eyelids to be held open with both hands in the water flow. Sufficient clear space should be provided for this.

By following these steps, plumbed eyewash stations can provide fast, effective emergency response. Proper employee training is also key to ensure correct use.


In hazardous work environments, emergency eyewash stations play an invaluable safety role. Plumbed stations provide a constant supply of high-flow water – critical for properly flushing eyes.

While permanently installed, plumbed units can also be made portable when combined with an innovative solution like the GravityFlowTM. This portable, gravity-fed system delivers ANSI-compliant water flow in a self-contained unit.

So for reliable, high performance emergency response, a plumbed eyewash station is an excellent choice. And this vital safety protection can now be made portable as well. By installing eyewash stations wherever needed, employers can significantly improve workplace eye safety.

Summary of Main Points:

  • Plumbed eyewash stations provide a continuous water supply, ensuring constant flow when needed.
  • They come in wall, pedestal and counter-mounted models to suit varied worksites.
  • New gravity-fed systems like the GravityFlowTM make plumbed performance portable.
  • Plumbed units are durable and meet ANSI/EN eyewash standards for water flow.
  • Proper use of the station is key – both eyes must be flushed hands-free.
  • Well-placed, plumbed eyewash stations improve safety for workers in hazardous environments.


1. What is a plumbed eyewash station?

A plumbed eyewash station is a type of emergency eyewash device that is permanently connected to a source of potable water supply. It provides a steady stream of water to irrigate the eyes in the event of exposure to hazardous materials.

2. How does a plumbed eyewash station work?

Plumbed eyewash stations work by being connected directly to a facility’s plumbing system. This provides a constant flow of clean water that meets the required flow rate of 0.4 gallons per minute for 15 minutes or more. The water streams out of nozzles positioned over a basin so you can flush both eyes simultaneously.

3. What are the different types of plumbed eyewash stations?

Common types include wall-mounted units, pedestal stations, deck/counter-mounted eyewashes, and combination shower/eyewash units. Different models are designed to suit specific work environments.

4. What standards do plumbed eyewashes follow?

They are designed to comply with standards like ANSI Z358.1 and EN 15154 which cover water flow, quality, activation and other criteria. This ensures high performance and safety.

5. How do you operate a plumbed eyewash station?

Most feature stay-open valves and hand-free operation. You push the handle or lever to start water flow and it will run continuously without needing to hold it. Use both hands to hold eyes open in the water stream for flushing.

6. What maintenance is required?

Plumbed eyewashes need periodic flushing and testing to ensure water flow meets requirements. Nozzles should be inspected and cleaned as needed. Water lines may need additional purging if stagnant water is present.

7. What are the pros of plumbed eyewash stations?

Benefits include reliable water supply, high durability, hands-free operation, ability to meet safety standards, and easy installation. They provide effective emergency response.

8. What are the cons of plumbed eyewashes?

Downsides are higher cost than portable units, permanent installation, and potential for water to become stagnant if not flushed regularly. Supply issues if facility water is disrupted.

9. Can plumbed eyewashes be made portable?

Yes, using a gravity-fed water tank like the GravityFlow system allows plumbed performance in a portable, self-contained unit. It supplies compliant water flow without plumbing.

10. Where should plumbed eyewashes be installed?

They should be accessible within 10 seconds and located on the same level as the hazard. Wall or pedestal units placed strategically in workshops, labs, chemical handling areas provide convenient emergency access.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

About Us

We’re your go-to source for all things related to making your home better. Our blog is your one-stop destination for easy-to-understand home improvement ideas.

Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or just looking for simple ways to enhance your living space, we’ve got you covered.

Decor & Design

Editors' Picks