The Eco mixer tap won the ‘Eneco Sustainability Award' during ‘The Best Idea of the Netherlands 2009'. Spark developed the tap based on a concept idea by Frank Heutinck, an inventor from Ulft.
Cold as standard
Heutinck's idea was that once turned off, the Eco mixer tap would always be in the cold position. A standard mixer tap is, in practice, often left somewhere in between hot and cold. This means that quickly turning on the tap, for example to wash your hands, means unnecessary use of warm water and wasted energy. The hot water that is not used cools off again in the pipe or surprises the next person who innocently wants to wash his hands.
Spark brought Heutinck's concept to fruition by putting a slanting part between the fixed tap and the rotating handle. In the off position, the Eco mixer tap is always cold and the handle points straight ahead. To get hot water from the tap you first have to pull the lever upwards and then sideways. When you push the lever shut, it automatically moves back to the cold position.
Diagram: Eco Mixer Tap
1. Tap off
2. Cold water (2 - 4 water temperature indicator)
3. Warm water
4. Tap off (4 -1 closed tap is always in the cold position)
No burning your hands
The jury of ‘The Best Idea of the Netherlands 2009', who gave out the ‘Eneco Sustainability Award', was particularly impressed by Spark's simple but highly effective solution. The tilting movement of the tap when you turn it off also has the advantage that it mixes hot water briefly with cold water. This reduces the likelihood that the next user will burn his or her hands on the tap water. What's more, the front of the tap also has an indicator - a blue- or red-coloured water drop - that shows whether the water in the tap is cold or hot.