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If you are reading this blog, then you are seeking the best and most practical solution for determining the proper placement of your soap dispenser reservoir in a commercial washroom.

At Dolphin Solutions, we understand the design challenges architects encounter when determining the optimal location for soap dispenser reservoirs. Drawing upon our expertise and extensive experience gained from working on thousands of commercial washroom projects, we are well equipped to provide valuable insights and suggestions to assist architects in finding unique placement solutions.

In this article, we showcase different placement options for a soap dispenser reservoir, providing practical examples and highlighting the benefits of each approach. Whether you are considering vanity units, behind mirror system options, or exploring alternative locations, we have some creative ideas to inspire you.

Ideas for soap reservoir and soap dispenser placement

The images showcased below serve to inspire and provide a glimpse into the possibilities that can be achieved. However, we know that each washroom project is unique, and we recommend consulting with our knowledgeable Washroom Specialists for additional examples and ideas tailored to finding the optimal placement for your commercial soap dispenser reservoir.

Soap dispenser reservoir positioned behind the waste bin in accessible washroom

Soap reservoir behind the waste bin

In this particular image, the soap dispenser reservoir is positioned behind the waste bin. The bin effectively conceals the wall hole where the soap reservoir is located. Therefore, the cleaner simply needs to lift the bin to easily access and refill the soap bottle.

While an option to have a door behind the bin for accessing the soap dispenser reservoir is available, based on our experience, one can simply lift the bin to reveal the wall hole containing the soap reservoir. This design cleverly utilises the depth of the wall cavity to discreetly hide the soap bottle.

Illustrated drawing of a soap reservoir behind a mirror system and an image of a manual soap dispenser

Soap reservoir behind the mirror

If you are looking for basic functionality, a classic behind mirror manual soap dispenser and soap bottle, offering the choice between liquid or foam soap options is a cost-effective and practical solution that includes a detachable soap bottle refill, designed to be conveniently placed behind a hinged mirror.

Typically, a commercial soap dispenser reservoir like this has a capacity of 1,200 ml, which may need frequent topping up depending on the washroom’s level of activity.

Foam soap cartridge reservoir behind mirror diagram

This image showcases a 2 litre foam soap cartridge reservoir in a behind mirror system, which conveniently feeds the soap down into the dispenser. An excellent example of a soap dispenser suitable for this arrangement is the Dolphin wall plate mounted infrared soap dispenser BCL636.

However, it is important to note that in order to access this soap dispenser reservoir, it must be positioned behind a hinged mirror rather than a fixed mirror.

Foam soap cartridge reservoir placed underneath the washbasin

A foam soap cartridge can also be placed underneath the washbasin in the vanity unit, which includes a cupboard. This setup is ideal for both touch free counter mounted and wall mounted soap dispensers.

A drawing of bulk-fill soap reservoir behind the mirror feeding two dispensers

If you prefer a bulk-fill soap reservoir with greater soap capacity to feed several dispensers, a viable alternative is to place a multifeed soap reservoir behind the hinged mirror.

For this setup, the ideal soap capacity containers come in a range of options. You can choose a 5 litre bulk-fill container, capable of supplying up to four soap dispensers simultaneously. Alternatively, you can opt for a 1 litre bulk-fill soap dispenser reservoir designed to feed each dispenser individually.

However, it is important to consider that refilling a 5 litre bulk-fill soap reservoir can be challenging due to its substantial weight, which makes lifting it a potential obstacle.

An image rendering of multifeed foam soap cartridge system

In washroom designs where multiple counter mounted or wall mounted soap dispensers are present, a multifeed foam soap cartridge system offers a convenient solution.

This system can supply soap directly into the dispensers from behind a hinged mirror above the vanity.

One notable example is the patented Dolphin foam soap cartridge multifeed system DS800, which is capable of feeding up to 8 foam soap dispensers from a single 3.5 litre cartridge. This system ensures a generous soap capacity to meet the needs of various washroom environments.

Soap dispenser reservoir inside cabinetry underneath the vanity

Soap reservoir in the vanity unit

If there is cabinetry underneath the vanity, the soap dispenser reservoir can be positioned inside it, with the soap feed extending up to the soap dispenser.

Where there are multiple soap dispensers fitted with a vanity trough and cabinets, a convenient and efficient option is to install a multifeed soap system to supply soap to all the dispensers from one bulk fill container.

The Dolphin BC6300 multifeed system is a prime example of this. It can supply up to six soap dispensers, whether they are counter mounted or wall mounted, from a 6 litre soap container. This soap dispenser reservoir system offers a comprehensive solution for ensuring an adequate supply of soap throughout the washstation.

Soap cartridge system installed underneath the washbasin for soap dispenser equipped for fixed mirrors

Now, let’s consider a scenario where your mirror is fixed and equipped with soap dispensers positioned behind it. What should you do in such a case?

An alternative approach is to install a soap cartridge system underneath the washbasin within the vanity unit, allowing all the soap dispensers to be supplied from a single cartridge.

A soap pipe is routed upwards and over inside the unit, forming a loop that descends into the soap dispenser. This design allows for convenient maintenance or servicing, as the soap dispenser can be easily unscrewed from below and dropped down for servicing.

The tubing connected to the dispenser provides ample length and flexibility, enabling easy removal for maintenance and subsequent reinstallation as needed.

Illustrated photo of a soap reservoir inside the access panel unit next to WC pan

Soap reservoir inside the access panel unit next to the WC

In a small superloo layout, for example, where the hand wash facilities are situated on the same wall as the WC, a clever idea is to install a soap bottle reservoir underneath the washbasin within the access panel. This arrangement allows the soap to feed up into the dispenser conveniently.

To provide a practical example of this setup, the wall mounted Dolphin soap dispenser BC1032 is equipped with a 2 metre long flexible tube that efficiently delivers soap to the dispenser from either a 1 litre bottle or a 5 litre BC1900-MA or BC1900-MB multifeed system.

A washroom using soap reservoir underneath the washbasin

Soap reservoir underneath the washbasin

In cases where a floating washbasin is installed with a counter mounted soap dispenser, the soap bottle can be positioned directly underneath it, allowing the soap to feed up into the dispenser.

Sometimes designers opt for a shallow floating basin, resulting in the bottom of the soap reservoir being partially visible when a user is seated on the WC.

To enhance the aesthetics, one solution is to colour the soap reservoir bottle black. This creates the illusion that the reservoir is concealed, seamlessly blending in with the shadow or darker space underneath the floating unit.

This approach not only provides an easy solution for cleaners, who can refill the soap from the top of the soap dispenser but also adds to the overall visual appeal.

Soap reservoir within the wall cavity behind a slim mirror

Soap reservoir within the wall cavity

Even if you have a slim mirror instead of a behind mirror system, it is still possible to position the soap dispenser reservoir behind the mirror.

This can be achieved by allocating space within the wall cavity for the soap reservoir. This approach not only facilitates access for the facilities teams but also ensures a seamless and unobtrusive appearance.

However, for this arrangement to work, the mirror would need to be hinged, enabling convenient access to the soap dispenser reservoir.

Soap dispenser washroom reservoir above the concealed cistern

Soap reservoir above the WC cistern

Have you ever considered placing the soap dispenser reservoir above the concealed cistern? In a design like this, the back of the wall is typically designed to be openable, with a hinged panel, to access the duct and piping and usually, there is ample space within that area that can be utilised.

The soap feed runs discreetly behind the wall and splashback, eliminating the need for an access panel for a wall mounted soap dispenser. This soap dispenser reservoir location can also accommodate a counter mounted soap dispenser if desired.

Dolphin foam soap cartridge multifeed system placed within the cleaner's cupboard

Soap reservoir within the cleaner’s cupboard

The Dolphin foam soap cartridge multifeed system offers exceptional flexibility, allowing it to adapt to various unique washroom designs.

This particular design example originates from the Dolphin Exchange House washroom project, where our client designed a vanity countertop with an exposed steel framework. However, our client wished to install the soap cartridge system in the cleaners’ cupboard, located within the wall cavity between two adjacent washrooms.

The solution involved securely placing the soap cartridge system within the cleaner’s cupboard.

Soap feed conduit pipe illustrated diagram

The soap feed, safely enclosed within a sturdy conduit pipe, was strategically routed via the raised access floor and extended upwards to connect with the soap dispensers. This setup enabled each soap cartridge to effectively supply soap to a series of wall mounted dispensers using gravity, ensuring optimal functionality and performance across the entire washstation.

Which is the best location to install a soap reservoir?

When deciding on the proper placement of your soap dispenser reservoir, you will first need to consider which commercial hand soap you prefer (commercial liquid soap or commercial foam soap), determine the ideal access location in the design (above, below, or horizontally), consider the distance the soap feed needs to cover, choose the appropriate commercial soap dispenser reservoir size, decide if complying with the WELL Standard is a priority, assess the level of expected activity in the location, and factor in whether the mirror is hinged or fixed.

The type of washroom you are designing, whether it’s an accessible washroom or standard commercial washroom cubicles, also plays a crucial role in determining the most suitable and creative placement for the soap dispenser reservoir.

Innovative approaches to soap reservoir placement in washroom design

These ideas are just the beginning; there is a vast array of possibilities and creative approaches to installing your soap dispenser reservoir that can seamlessly integrate into your design while allowing for easy maintenance and refilling.

Although there are numerous possibilities to explore, it is important to gather your criteria first and collaborate with a professional washroom company to assess your design and provide efficient, cost-effective, and practical solutions.

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