Waterless Urinal, Fact and Fiction

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Terry, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,405
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Waterless Urinals
    Fact and Fiction
    November 2008
    Vince Marshall CEM, MBA

    This technical bulletin is designed to answer questions and provide guidance regarding the viability of various types of waterless and low flow urinals currently on the market.


    In the summer of 2006, Naval Station Norfolk Public Works Officer (PWO) Cdr. Chuck Smith Ret. requested a study of waterless urinals to determine if these products should be mandated on future NavFac construction projects. Waterless urinals qualify for LEED points and can help meet US Green Building certification criteria. Three different manufacturers were invited to install their products at no cost to the Navy for an extended evaluation. These are the results of that two year study.

    For the full report
    Vince Marshall CEM, MBA
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
  2. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    Terry. I have some photo's (somewhere) of the drains from waterlwss urinals that are all but solidly plugged after only 1 1/2 years in operation.
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    15,405
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    nhmaster,
    I would love to see those. Adding them would be very helpful to others.
  4. Nasty evil stuff......


    their is nothing more evil , wicked and nasty on
    gods green earth than a ......stopped up urinal...

    nothing smells worse than yellow salt built up inside a pipe
    and grinding through that stuff is something I would not wish on a dog..........

    I cant for the life of me undrstand why anyone would want to
    actually invite troubles like this into their buildings. with waterless stinkey urinals


    my salesman is also telling me about troubles he is
    hearing about out in the feild......
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009
  5. gardner

    gardner DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    224
    Location:
    Ontario
    Not a lot of meat here, unless I'm missing something. Downright disappointing in fact.

    How the heck do these things work anyway? Do all the ones they tested work the same way?
    What is a "cartridge"? Why is there an issue about who replaces it?
    How *do* they have to be cleaned?
    How do the tested urinals compare? What factors lead to recommendation of the Falcon?
    What are the factors that lead them to finally recommend a low flow water one?
    How does the cost of the low flow one compare to the cost of the waterless ones?

    Are any of these questions answered?
  6. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego

    The waterless debate rages on!
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,405
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    From what I have been hearing, it's the clogged drain from salt.
    If anyone has pictures of the drain clogged with salt, I would love to see them.
    Adding water helps to keep the drain clear.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2009
  8. CarlH

    CarlH New Member

    Messages:
    175
    Location:
    Northern VA
    Did anybody notice that under the noted issues was
    • Splashing of urine on men’s trousers during use
    Nice. I'm sure that issue was appreciated by the men that used those.

    I've seen a different method to this. On I-64 Westbound in Kentucky, there is a rest stop near the WV border and they have no flush urinals that use mineral oil in the trap to keep the sewer gases out. The problem is that some of that mineral oil gets on the tile floor. You gotta watch your step in there:eek:
  9. I'm gonna go down there and bust my *** and collect a check! Yeah, power to the plumbah.




    Urinals smell bad enough; those waterless urinals would eat out a copper DWV system in a year.
    [​IMG]



    It's an idea that's losing steam by leaps and bounds.



    You know darn right well that to "save money" and "budget cuts" that they'll leave them in there till they are all cheesed up and pure golden urine sits in the fixture, overflowing for the anxious worker who wants to keep his job. Have at it!

    Maintenance of a flushing urinal is by far a better idea than one that needs cartridges installed periodically. They made an excellent point of the disposal of such product, since it is something that contains bodily fluids and isn't sent down the drain to be recycled.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2009
  10. sixlashes

    sixlashes Plumber in Previous Life

    Messages:
    83
    Location:
    Pensacola. FL
    The manufacturer producing the product is good. End user evaluation of said product is good.

    The issue is when government mandates usage/installation of failed product and technologies. Stap in, this issue is just the tip of the iceburg.
  11. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    What really frosts me here is that these things use a mechanical (ok chemical) seal and what is essentially a bell trap. Both of which are illegal, but because some tree hugger decided that it was better to by-pass the code than use a gallon of water we have these atrocities in the field. One more shining example of lobbiests and shysters at their best. And where was the mighty PHCC when all this went down. Right where the hand out was, that's where they always are.
  12. Jay Mpls

    Jay Mpls Master plumber

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    From a drain cleaning point of view these are garbage or gold! I am not sure what the rough in is for these but I would make sure to bid/do my R-I in such a way that when 'they' are sick of this garbage in the name of going green we will be half set to put in a regular urinal and flush valve.
    I have been hearing about these for a year or so.
    No thanks.
  13. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I talked to the guy cleaning the bathroom at Bellevue Square today. ​

    He says at first there was little maintenance on them, now more frequent snaking. He would love to go back to the ones that use water.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2009
  14. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

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    Chicago, IL
  15. gardner

    gardner DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    224
    Location:
    Ontario
    I don't know why, but I've been doing some reading on these things. There are two main types of waterless urinal systems:

    (1) mechanical traps (Caroma, Ecotech)
    (2) liquid traps (Falcon, Zurn, and the rest)

    The liquid traps work by having a layer of oil (cooking oil, essentially) that floats over the effluent to keep the smell down.
    Liquid styles further resolve into:

    (1) weird little cartridges with a small bottle trap in them (Falcon, Zurn, Waterless), and
    (2) a fairly standard trap arrangement (Kohler)

    The Kohler one looks like it would satisfy plumbing codes as it has a fairly standard trap configuration molded into the china.

    http://www.us.kohler.com/onlinecata...ction=2&nsubsection=2&category=30&nitem=cat30
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2009
  16. Inspektor Ludwig

    Inspektor Ludwig Journeyman/Inspector

    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    In the good ol' UPC
    Bellevue has always required that any waterless urinal has to first be approved by filling out an Alternative Methods form citing appendix L. Bellevue plumbing inspectors also required that a properly sized water line be ran and capped in the wall at the urinal "just in case, cause we know you're going to want to take them out". Bellevue Community College fought tooth and nail to get them approved and the plumbing inpsectors fought tooth and nail NOT to get them approved. The inspectors lost the politics but wouldn't you know....they have now removed them citing sanitary issues and too much maintenance. I hear that they want to add language to the 2009 UPC that says if a waterless urinal is used under apendix L, then a water line would have to be installed behind the wall. Don't know if it will make it in but I'll keep you posted.
  17. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,405
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Have you been in them mens room at Bellevue Square near the Macy's entrance in the hallway?
    Almost unbearable smell from the Waterless Urinal.

    I like the old Bellevue pictures in the hallway though.
    I worked at a bicycle shop back in the 60's where the current Macy's is.
  18. Inspektor Ludwig

    Inspektor Ludwig Journeyman/Inspector

    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    In the good ol' UPC
    Ugh,
    those things are just plain nasty! When I was an apprentice they managed to talk the company that I worked for into installing one, just to see how great it is. Well guess who had to snake the darn thing out every month? (shudder) yuk yuk yuk!
  19. Doherty Plumbing

    Doherty Plumbing Journeyman & Gas Fitter

    Messages:
    810
    Location:
    Penticton, BC
    Lol yep we've all been there!

    I don't like the waterless urinals. We have them at only one place in Penticton here. They're constantly causing problems.
  20. Eri

    Eri New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Salinas Ca
    Sorry guys i need you help ...any one knows the law or code that rules the composition of the cartridge ??
    i have that great idea for the cartridge but i missing a lot of information ....thanks
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