While the data is well-established that no-water urinals can reduce maintenance costs and water consumption along with related energy costs to deliver water, facility managers thinking about installing no-water urinals should first consider a few things, according to Klaus Reichardt, CEO and founder of Waterless Co., Inc.
“While I would like to recommend [waterless urinals] for every facility, some due diligence is necessary to ensure they are successfully installed, especially an existing building,” Reichardt says.
For instance, most new buildings have approved ABS or PVC drainpipes or something similar, which work well with no-water urinals. However, some older buildings may have pipes made of copper or copper alloy. This is a softer material and prone to channeling (the line can come apart).
It is recommended to “scope” the drain line and determine if the lines are in good working order. If not, best install approved drainage materials that work more effectively with both conventional and waterless urinals.
Reichardt also recommends investigating the following before installing waterless urinals:
- The system complies with all standards and building codes.
- The no-water urinal can be installed like a conventional flush urinal to the drain line without special adaptors, reducing installation costs.
- The no-water system has a full 2″ interior drain line to make cleaning and snaking the drain line easier, if necessary.
- The existing drain line has appropriate pitch and drain material.
- Cleaning staff is properly trained on how to clean and maintain the urinals.
- Costs and lifespan comparisons of the trap (cartridge) installed at the base of the urinal are compared.
“This last item is actually quite important,” says Reichardt. “Some managers have ‘sticker shock’ when they realize how much some of the cartridges cost and how quickly they must be replaced. Fortunately, this is not true with all [waterless urinal] cartridges, some of which are relatively inexpensive and last for months before they must be replaced.”