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  1. #1
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    Default waterless urinals

    Ron mentioned waterless urinals in another post. I wanted to make a comment so I thought it best to have another thread.

    Ron
    Waterless urinals are good, for what they are intended for, that it to save water.
    I've seen them in parks and conservation facilities.
    I think they are the beginning of where we are headed.
    We all must do something to save our resources and waterless urinals help to achieve that.
    Yes, they do have limitations.
    Just like AAVs, waterless urinals were not intended to be maintenance free, but they do what they are designed to do well.

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  2. #2
    Ron Hasil's Avatar
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    Default Re: waterless urinals

    One of the problems is the cartridge is designed to be changed out when a certain amount of liquid passes through it. What I have seen and heard is people pour down their coffee, and other liquids other than urine which shortens the life of the cartridge, and then the urinal will start to emit the smell.

    Another problem with out water to wash the drain lines the urine will crystallize and clog the drain pipes. These for a fact cause more problems than its worth for saving a half gallon of water.

    One more issue is the cartridges, is when they are changed out monthly they are tossed out and end up in the landfill which will take them forever to degrade.




  3. #3
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    Default Re: waterless urinals

    The old Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia where the Phillies and Eagles used to play had waterless urinals in the bathrooms. They were called trash cans.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  4. #4
    Rod Butler's Avatar
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    Default Re: waterless urinals

    I regularly specify urinals but will NOT specify a waterless urinal. They are a maintenance headache and the cost and effort to change the cartridge IMO does not offset the use of water.

    When I drive by a government or corporate landscaping area of several acres of grass and see sprinklers spraying during a rainstorm and/or over paved areas I think that we can stand a few pints of water to flush away bodily wastes.

    Have we lost sight of the true costs with some of this stuff?


  5. #5
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    Default Re: waterless urinals

    I'm all for conservation... to a point. That point is reached when conserving one resource increases the use of another resource. One point that tends to be overlooked is that there is no shortage of water, water by its design is the ultimate renewable resource. There is no "new" water or "old water" it is all as old as the earth itself and is continuously recycled. Really the only conservation is in the energy and chemicals used to treat water coming in and going out of our systems. Think about how much energy is used to manufacture and maintain a waterless urinal. There is no way the energy used for treatment would remotely equal the energy and chemicals used with a properly maintained waterless urinal.
    Is low flow a good idea? Sure; waterless, not so much.

    Jim Luttrall
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    Dallas, Texas

  6. #6
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    Default Re: waterless urinals

    I've read that water in Pheonix, Ariz is prehistoric, that is, it is being pumped up to wash cars and water the grass, but it won't be coming back anytime soon. Maybe that's why it's been raining so much up here.

    Instead of replacing those stinky cartridges once a month, why not pay a guy to shoot some water in there once in a while to rinse them out? If they left a jug of water by the door, I'd be happy to flush the urinal for no charge, before I pee.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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  7. #7
    Ron Hasil's Avatar
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    Default Re: waterless urinals

    They have urinals that flush with .5 gallons of water. They work really well do not smell, and do not clog or harm the drains like waterless urinals. These pictures are what happened to newly installed piping in the test building in Chicago. The other bathrooms in the same building using flushing urinals the pipes are still in perfect shape.

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: waterless urinals

    Great photos Ron! Its odd seeing copper waste pipes, since I never saw any in CA, or in TN.
    I wonder if the problem comes from having copper waste pipes, and not from the waterless urinals themselves. I doubt that urine has much affect on PVC or cast iron, but certainly might with copper.

    Nick - I think we have those same type of urinals at the stadium at UofTN.


  9. #9
    Ron Hasil's Avatar
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    Default Re: waterless urinals

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Great photos Ron! Its odd seeing copper waste pipes, since I never saw any in CA, or in TN.
    I wonder if the problem comes from having copper waste pipes, and not from the waterless urinals themselves. I doubt that urine has much affect on PVC or cast iron, but certainly might with copper.

    Nick - I think we have those same type of urinals at the stadium at UofTN.
    Well it is code in Chicago to use copper galvanized or cast iron as waste pipes in commercial buildings. The plumbers that installed that plumbing did not use DWV copper (very thin wall) they used Type L which is pretty thick. It would of eaten the galvanized and cast iron if given the time. The copper waste pipes in a system with flushing urinals do not have this issue at all.

    Now if PVC was allowed it would not have been eaten up like that in the photos but I can tell you for a fact they would have clogged up with the urine crystals.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: waterless urinals

    I see copper drain lines around here from time to time and rarely ever see problems with them.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  11. #11
    Rodger McBride's Avatar
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    Cool Re: waterless urinals

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Butler View Post
    I regularly specify urinals but will NOT specify a waterless urinal. They are a maintenance headache and the cost and effort to change the cartridge IMO does not offset the use of water.

    When I drive by a government or corporate landscaping area of several acres of grass and see sprinklers spraying during a rainstorm and/or over paved areas I think that we can stand a few pints of water to flush away bodily wastes.

    Have we lost sight of the true costs with some of this stuff?
    Thats the question. Can we stand a few pints of water? Even at .50 gallons per flush ,these cartridges are good for about 7,ooo uses therefore saving 3500 gallons of water. Thats just 1 urinal. There is nothing wrong with waterless urinals. They work fine, IF, If they are maintained per manufacturers reqs. As for the copper corrosion, I am sorry I see corrosion on the sides of the pipe, but none on the bottom! Thats a little suspect! the chemicals they use to clean them with are no stronger than what your Mom or whoever poured down their drains,laundry soap ,bleach, pine sol and on and on.Figure it out ,it,s not about saving money, it,s about saving water. Just because someones sprinkler is going off in a rainstorm do we want to follow their lead,no. Water is not abundant everywhere, save it when you can.


  12. #12
    Ron Hasil's Avatar
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    Default Re: waterless urinals

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodger McBride View Post
    Thats the question. Can we stand a few pints of water? Even at .50 gallons per flush ,these cartridges are good for about 7,ooo uses therefore saving 3500 gallons of water. Thats just 1 urinal. There is nothing wrong with waterless urinals. They work fine, IF, If they are maintained per manufacturers reqs. As for the copper corrosion, I am sorry I see corrosion on the sides of the pipe, but none on the bottom! Thats a little suspect! the chemicals they use to clean them with are no stronger than what your Mom or whoever poured down their drains,laundry soap ,bleach, pine sol and on and on.Figure it out ,it,s not about saving money, it,s about saving water. Just because someones sprinkler is going off in a rainstorm do we want to follow their lead,no. Water is not abundant everywhere, save it when you can.

    What about the plastic cartridges in the landfills? What about the drain lines clogging with the urine? The cartridges cost $45 each, in some of the buildings you are talking about $2700 a month to change cartridges.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: waterless urinals

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    One point that tends to be overlooked is that there is no shortage of water, water by its design is the ultimate renewable resource. There is no "new" water or "old water" it is all as old as the earth itself and is continuously recycled.
    I'm not sure where you heard that, but it's not correct. Water can be created (see your car tailpipe) and destroyed (see Fukushima explosions).

    The problem isn't a lack of water, but rather a lack of potable "fresh" water. We have plenty of water in the oceans, but desalination is an expensive process and not available at the scale where we can replace our fresh water sources. Maybe one day...

    In the interim, we need to find balance. Waterless urinals are an attempt at solving the problem, but they aren't an ideal solution. At the same time, you've got to marvel at a society that uses drinking water to wash away its waste.


  14. #14
    Rodger McBride's Avatar
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    Cool Re: waterless urinals

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Hasil View Post
    What about the plastic cartridges in the landfills? What about the drain lines clogging with the urine? The cartridges cost $45 each, in some of the buildings you are talking about $2700 a month to change cartridges.
    I understand what your saying as for the cost, but I can,t understand how you can talk about the eco system and not realize that water is one of the most vital resources that we have to make sure we have . I,m not on a green band wagon here, It,s just there are sacrifices that have to be made . Plastics are abundant all over the world. As in the case of the used cartridges ,maybe there should be a recycling law pertaining to their disposal like hazardous waste. I wouldn,t want the job ,but it,s something that could be looked at. I ,myself have had to unstop many urinals due to the calcium that builds up inside the system,all types of piping, copper ,pvc ,cast iron and even glass piping systems. It,s going to eventually have blockage unless the system is taken apart and cleaned and that would be unheard of. Ron ,I do agree with you about the plastic. 2700 dollars is a lot of money, but using 210,000 gallons of water a month at 1/2 gallon per flush, is a lot down the drain when with proper maintenance of the urinals it
    could be saved .


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