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Waterless Urinals – How Do They Work?

August 29, 2019 Contractor2020

Waterless UrnialAny way you can cut down on your water use is good for the environment and can save your business money. Whether you’re running a restaurant or have a small office space, the bathrooms – especially the men’s room – can be a good place to save water use.

Traditional urinals use between one and three gallons of water per flush. Multiply that by dozens or hundreds of flushes per day, depending on the size of your business, and you can see how much water and money is going down the drain. 

One possible solution? Waterless urinals. If you’re skeptical that these newer fixtures can get the job done, be sanitary, and prevent unpleasant odors in your bathrooms, read on – we have good news for you. 

How a waterless urinal works

A waterless urinal looks very similar to a regular one, but they work very differently. One difference you’ll notice is that the waterless version doesn’t have a supply pipe since it doesn’t need water to flush the contents.

Here’s how a waterless urinal works. When urine enters the drain, it goes into a trap, which is a one-way valve. Inside the trap is a special chemical liquid (or sometimes gels) that is less dense than the urine. Think of this like mixing oil and water – the oiler is lighter so it will float to the top. 

A similar process happens in the trap of a waterless urinal. The chemical liquid floats to the top of the trap and pushes the urine down into the sewer pipe. The layer of chemical liquid also prevents urine and sewer odors from coming back up from the drain.

Maintenance for waterless urinals

To keep a waterless urinal working properly, it’s important to keep the chemical liquid at the proper level. It’s typically recommended to replace the liquid after 1,500 uses, but that can vary based on the model of the urinal and how frequently it is used.

If you notice that urine is not “flushing” properly or you start to smell a bad odor, then it’s time to perform some simple maintenance.

Converting and installing waterless urinals

If you already have traditional urinals in your bathroom, it’s possible to convert them to “waterless” units with a retrofit kit. In the long run, however, you may be better off replacing or installing real waterless urinals. Either way, you’ll want to make sure the water supply pipe (which is no longer needed) and sewer pipe are correctly installed.  

A waterless urinal is a pretty impressive plumbing fixture as well as a good way to reduce your water sage and save your business money. To find out if they’re a good solution for your building, contact the professionals at Reichelt Plumbing. We can make sure that all your plumbing is working at its best. Call us at (219) 322-4906 to request an appointment.

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