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The Ultimate Handicap Push Button Guide (Part 2)

Updated: Jul 5

When it's time to choose a push button for your facility it is important to consider all of the available options. There are a few types of handicap buttons that can be integrated with an automatic door, each button has its own advantages and disadvantages.

There are many different factors that will play into deciding which button is best for your

building: The type of handicap door you have, the amount of traffic your building gets, ROHS, UL and ADA compliance, and your budget are all important things to consider when choosing a handicap button.

Here is a rundown of all the common handicap buttons in the market to help you make an informed and wise decision - Ultimate Handicap Push Button Guide (Chapter 2).

Push handicap button at Tim Hortons

Handicap Push Button

The most common type of handicap button is the stainless steel push button. These buttons are durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear. Make sure your button is ADA compliant and made of stainless steel. Durability is a very important factor, especially for public buildings with high foot traffic. The only downside to these buttons is that they can be more expensive than other types of buttons but in most cases, you will enjoy a few years of uninterrupted service which will save you time and money by avoiding calling the technicians every time your button is not working.

Button Door Opener Shapes

The shape of the button is optional and depends on your preference and where the button will be installed. For example: if you're installing a button on an aluminum frame that is usually narrow you wouldn't choose a square or a round button because it wouldn't fit. In this case, a better choice is a 2-inch narrow button which is more compact and designed for a specific application such as this one.

When space is not an issue and there are no limitations square or round buttons will be a better choice as they have a larger surface and provide easier access for individuals with disabilities.

In some specific cases, the use of a double gang push switch is required. This type of button is used when two buttons are needed. A good example can be:

  • A side by side Push to open and Push to Lock buttons which are used in many universal washroom kits.

  • Push to open button with a mortise key switch that can be controlled manually.

  • Two Push to open buttons for two separate automatic doors.

Illuminated push plate

There are also handicap buttons that come with an LED light.

Illuminated handicap push plate buttons provide high visibility during the day and night time and enhanced accessibility and convenience for the users.

Illuminated handicap buttons come with blue, green, or red lights.

In addition, some models provide additional features such as backlight color activation, and audible sound to confirm the activation of the push application and in most cases, these buttons are also ADA compliance, watertight, and weather resistant.

The Illuminated buttons include stock and custom graphic designs, and different architectural finishes (silver, blue, polished brass, and bronze), and are available for square buttons only.

Illuminated Handicap Push Buttons

Wireless Handicap Button

The next type of handicap button is the wireless handicap button. These buttons are the same as the standard wired buttons but they have the added benefit of being wireless. This makes them much easier to install in places where landlords want to avoid drilling holes and running wires from the power door opener to the buttons. This is a very popular and inexpensive application and the only e only downside to it is the need to replace the AA batteries once every year or two (based on the volume of the traffic in your location and how many people actually push the button)

It is very easy to install and can be placed almost anywhere in the building including glass, concrete, and other types of materials

Wireless handicap button

Stand-alone button column (Post)

The last type of handicap button is the stand-alone button column. These columns are of great use when you have no surface for a standard button. They can be used with a wired or wireless application and they are aesthetically pleasing. They come in a variety of colors (Stainless steel, blue anodized, and dark bronze anodized finish) to match your décor and can be placed next to your door or in another location that is convenient for your customers.

Another benefit of these columns is that they can also work with a wave to open buttons (sensors) and touchless handicap sensors. The touchless sensors use infra-red technology to eliminate the spread of germs, Another reason why these buttons are so popular these days.

The columns are ideal for locations such as Vancouver and BC, as they comply with the BC Building Code. The code mandates two buttons for each side of the door: a lower button positioned 6" from the floor and an upper button placed 36" from the floor. By using the 36" column, the entire range is covered, meeting the code requirements.

The handicap column serves as an optimal solution for new construction sites where button height discrepancies exist, and the junction box has already been embedded within the concrete. In cases where only one junction box has been installed at a 36" height, neglecting the lower lever button, a typical remedy would involve the use of two wireless push buttons to rectify the error. However, deploying the column will comprehensively cover the entire area, rectify the oversight, and facilitate the utilization of hard wiring from the junction box. This approach mitigates the need to resort to costly wireless buttons, especially when deploying multiple machines within a single building..

Surface installation

Finding the right location for the button is key. The location should be visible, accessible, and compliant with the local building code. It should be placed at a comfortable height between 36” and 42” from the floor and 6" from the floor when required by code (e.g - BCBC, BC Building code), and accessible to everyone (at least 24" away from the door), and within easy reach of the user. Once you have found the perfect spot, use a small drill bit to make a pilot hole in the surface. If you're installing the button on a hollow door or wall, be sure to use a long enough screw so that it can grip into the stud behind the wall.

Now it's time to install the actual button. Start by attaching the mounting plate to the surface using the screws provided. Once the mounting plate is secure, simply snap on the push button. That's it! Your new handicap button is now installed and ready to be used.

If you're installing the handicap button on a solid surface, you can mount it directly to a back box. Start by holding the mounting plate in place and marking the location of the holes. Remove the plate and drill pilot holes at the marked locations. Be sure to use a long enough screw so that it can grip into the stud behind the wall.

Now it's time to install the actual button. Start by attaching the mounting plate to the surface using the screws provided. Once the mounting plate is secure, simply snap on the push button. That's it! It's that simple!

Which type of handicap button is right for you depends on your needs, location, budget, and other individual factors. If you have any questions about which handicap button is right for your building, please contact us and we would be happy to help you choose and install the perfect button for your automatic door.

Click here to read our Ultimate Handicap Push Button Guide - Part 1

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