Urinal nightmare

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by japco, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. japco

    japco New Member

    Jun 28, 2008
    I had plumbers install 2 urinals in our company restroom. The are side by side, and one is lower for handicap access. When you flush the higher one, it sometimes fills up the lower one. I have had the plumbers back, 3 times, and replaced the urinals, but the problem keeps coming back. I am going to remove the drywall, and inspect the pipes, but I need to find a description, on how the pipes, and vent should look. Anyone?
  2. Bill Arden

    Bill Arden Computer Programmer

    Sep 30, 2006
    computer programmer
    MN, USA
    It sounds like the drain pipe going down is partially plugged or too small.

    I doubt it would be the urinal itself.
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  4. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

    Feb 6, 2005
    Sensitivity trainer.. plumber of mens souls
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    Urinals can be a great time....

    I have had bitter nasty battels with urinals in the past
    and learned some good lessons

    it really depends on how they installed the plumbing in the walls..
    and how much room in the walls the plumber had to work with in the first place......

    the absolute best way to install a unrinal..
    (let someone else do ti)..

    you absolutely MUST install the 2 inch drain pipe
    to both of them on a striaght verticle on center
    behind the urinal itself

    if you come up from the floor and install a
    tee directly behind the urinal on center it works best for drainiage
    the urind falls directly down the pipe....

    you NEVER EVER install a cross or wye with
    a long arm going a few feet over to both of the urinals at different heights

    the reason you dont do this is because human urine has
    a tendencey to deposit its salt into that long arm and eventually you have a

    "god awful- nasty-- urine--brine salty stinking funk"

    that some poor soul has to clean out all the time...

    it sounds like you have a combination of both the
    salt deposits, and some sort of back flow from
    the higher urinal to the lower one.

    if the wall is only a 2x4 thick perhaps the plumber
    had no other choice....you need a 2x6 wall at the very
    least to install the drainiage properly to those nasty things.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2008
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Bothell, Washington
    Master Plumber Mark,
    You think that is bad, there are people out there giving rebates to encourage "waterless" urinals.
    Think of going back to clean those drains.
    I here some of the first ones installed are already having drain problems with salt caking up the insides of the pipes.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009
  6. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Dec 15, 2007
    Service Plumber
    Your symptoms clearly indicate a restriction in the drain piping as suggested above. Once you get that sorted out I would highly recommend installing a flushometer that automatically flushes the urinal after each use. In the long run it will drastically reduce the build up in the drain.

    My experience has shown that many of the auto flush units suffer from reliability problems that frequently leave you with a complete inability to flush. The unit I recommend uses a regular push the handle type flushometer and the sensor unit slips over the handle. Each cycle the sensor unit has a electric motor driven roller that activates the push handle. A direct mechanical connection with the handle is maintained with an override button.http://www.sloanvalve.com/index_3256_ENU_HTML.htm

  7. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

    Feb 6, 2005
    Sensitivity trainer.. plumber of mens souls
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    as nasty as it gets

    Terry I totally agree....

    those waterless urinals simply cannot work for long and
    the only way to clean one out is to grind through dry salt.......

    ....... and may god have mercy on your soul......

    working with that stuff is about as nasty as
    it really can get.

    I wont do any of it anymore
    I think its worse than sewage...

    Until you actually have to get up close and personal
    with a sewer machine you cant really grasp the god-awful nastiness...

    theres nothing more fun than pulling a large
    urinal off a wall in a public restroom and then getting into
    stinking rotting --- yellow salt....

    you cant pay me enough to fool with that ever again

    the rest of the day is ruined and all your tools have been
    totally violated and need to be bleached...

    every urinal I ever installed,
    I always put an accessable cleanout for the next poor s.o.b that had to mess with it
    usually above the urinal in the vent pipe...
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2009
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    1. EACH urinal should have its own drain riser pipe.
    2. If that is done, then the only way you could have that problem is if the common pipe for both of them is partially plugged.
    3. If they use a single riser pipe, then it is inevitable that you would have that problem eventually, you just had it sooner.
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