BIOCLIP technology provides infection control and anti-scalding safety

DELABIE’s BIOCLIP mixers play an important role in infection control. They protect patients and staff from scalding where temperature control is the primary method of managing Legionella in water systems. However, they also offer estate teams flexibility when scheduling routine maintenance and long term facility planning.

Specifically designed for healthcare, BIOCLIP mixers can be removed from their base for cleaning or disinfection. The process is quick and simple. The water supply to the mechanism is isolated via stopcocks on the inlets (in front of any IPS panel or vanity unit) and unscrewing a retaining grub screw on the body releases the mixer.

The BIOCLIP system adapts to the multiple demands faced by estates. If a contamination episode occurs, the mixer can be changed immediately for disinfection without decommissioning the outlet. Planned maintenance and cleaning protocols can be scheduled to ensure minimal disruption by rotating mixer bodies to ensure the outlet remains in continual use. Moreover, if there is a change of designated purpose e.g. from patient care with a high scalding risk to staff area with a lower risk level, the mixer body can be switched from a BIOCLIP thermostatic mixer to an EP pressure-balancing mixer.

Infection control is fundamental to the design of both mixers. They share key features that reduce bacterial development: smooth interiors and low water volumes. The interiors of DELABIE’s BIOCLIP mixers are completely smooth. The lack of rough surfaces associated with traditional brass casting methods means fewer niches where bacteria can adhere and develop. Independent research shows that bacterial development is 14 times slower on smooth surfaces than on their rough equivalents.

The volume of standing water in the mixer has been reduced by design. Consequently the volume of water potentially in stagnation has been significantly reduced. There is a smaller internal surface area (potentially with biofilm) in contact with the water and, due to the reduced pipe size, the water velocity is increased, helping to break down any biofilm. 

Uniquely for thermostatic products, the BIOCLIP’s hot and cold water have separate seats, with the cold opening first and closing last – posing no risk of cross over in the closed position. In the fully open position water flows through the path of least resistance i.e. the open spout. Consequently there is no need for non-return valves on the inlets.

Hot water circulating at high temperatures increases the risk of scalding for patients and staff. Both the BIOCLIP thermostatic and EP mixers feature a pre-set maximum temperature limiter. Users cannot adjust the maximum temperature without removing the control lever, although maintenance teams can undertake thermal shocks. Similarly, both the thermostatic and the mechanical mixer mechanisms have SECURITOUCH insulation which maintains the mixer exterior at an ambient temperature, preventing burns if the user touches the mixer.

The fundamental difference between the two BIOCLIP technologies is temperature control. The thermostatic BIOCLIP has a thermo-reactive wax capsule which responds to any changes in the incoming hot and cold water temperatures instantly, adjusting the mixed water output to deliver a constant temperature. The mechanism will failsafe if the cold supply fails, shutting off the hot water immediately, and vice versa. The BIOCLIP thermostatic mixer is TMV3 approved, ideal for use where there is a high scalding risk e.g. the very young, the elderly or those with sensory loss or significantly mentally or physically disabled.

The BIOCLIP EP pressure-balancing mixer has a ceramic cartridge which is sensitive to pressure changes. An internal slide valve continually adjusts to the incoming hot and cold supply pressures, ensuring a constant temperature at the outlet. Since the mechanism is mechanical, there is no thermostatic failsafe. Instead, if there is a sudden pressure loss on the cold water supply, the slide valve reacts immediately to close the hot water supply to a trickle. Similarly, if the hot water pressure drops, the cold water is reduced to a trickle. Consequently the BIOCLIP EP is suitable for staff or public areas with an intermediate scalding risk.

The different BIOCLIP mechanisms have different lever controls. The BIOCLIP thermostatic mixer has sequential control which opens and closes with cold potable water. The BIOCLIP EP pressure-balancing mixer has a mechanical lever (available in different designs) which operates the ceramic cartridge to open the flow.

As remote thermostatic mixing valves are gradually being engineered out of healthcare facilities, the need is increasingly apparent for point-of-use thermostatic mixers and mechanical mixers that provide infection control and scalding safety appropriate to the level of risk.  DELABIE’s BIOCLIP mixers respond perfectly to that need.

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