If you go to a men’s bathroom, a urinal is always one of the first things that you will see. Generally speaking, urinals have always functioned in a very similar manner to toilets, or in other words, they use water to flush down that liquid waste.
However, as times go on and humans keep looking for better ways to take care of the world around us, waterless urinals have become quite popular. The clear advantage of waterless urinals is of course that they save both water and money because they just don’t use any water. That said, how do they work then?
What Are Waterless Urinals?
Of course, just like urinals that use water, waterless urinals are designed for men to relieve themselves in. As you could imagine, unlike a normal urinal that uses water to flush the waste down the tubes, a waterless urinal uses a very different method to contain and dispose of that waste.
In the section below, we will explain exactly how a waterless urinal works, but with that said, the most important thing that you need to know about this type of urinal is that it does not use any kind of water.
This does make the waterless urinal a very popular option for people who are looking to save money, especially for large establishments that have washrooms designed for many customers. That’s a whole lot of water that can be saved and therefore a lot of money that can be saved too. Of course, the other big advantage of waterless urinals is that they tend to be very eco-friendly.
How Do Waterless Urinals Work?
OK, so if a waterless urinal does not use water to flush urine down into the sewer, then how does it get there? Well, waterless urinals contain a special type of trap, which contains a special type of liquid. This liquid is specifically designed to be much less dense than urine.
Therefore, when urine flows through the trap onto this liquid, due to the fact that the liquid is much less dense, it actually displaces the urine and forces it lower into the trap. As this trap starts to fill up, it will then divert the urine into the necessary piping and eventually down into the sewer.
Something that you need to know here is that over time, the special type of oil, liquid, or gel used to displace the urine will need to be replaced. If you do not replace it regularly, it can result in decreased urinal “self-flushing” performance. Exactly how often this gel or liquid needs to be replaced depends on the exact waterless urinal in question. You can expect to have to change it about every 1,500 flushes.
What also needs to be noted here is that waterless urinals are actually quite effective at containing the smell of urine. (You don’t need to put ice in them to keep them from smelling!) That layer of liquid or oil that sits on top of the urine makes for a great odor barrier.
Are Waterless Urinals Less Hygienic Than Regular Ones?
What is interesting to note is that most people assume that waterless urinals are much less hygienic than those water-wasting beasts that we are used to. However, this is not actually the case at all. In fact, the opposite is the case even though waterless urinals do come with their problems.
Think about it this way. When you use a normal urinal with water, when you go to flush it, that water, and yes, some of your urine, sprays out of the front and onto you. Moreover, unless normal urinals are very well maintained, they generally smell fairly bad.
These are two issues that you will never be faced with, with a waterless urinal. Since there is no water flowing, there is also no splashing of water and urine all over your clothes.
Moreover, in normal urinals, all that flushes the urine down is a bit of water, and that doesn’t really take care of odors very well. However, in a waterless urinal, the oil that causes the urine to displace forms a good odor barrier that is quite effective at keeping those smells at bay.
Benefits of Waterless Urinals
So, all in all, it can be said that waterless urinals are a useful piece of technology. Let’s just take a quick look at some of the main benefits that waterless urinals bring to the table:
- Because they don’t use water, you do not have to connect a water supply to them. For one, this makes installation much easier and more cost-effective, and second, in the event that a pipe was to freeze, your urinal is not going to be affected.
- Because these urinals don’t use any water, you end up helping to save both the environment and your bank account.
- Waterless urinals do not have any sort of flushing mechanism or any moving parts in general, and therefore require less maintenance and are also much less prone to breaking down.
- As opposed to common belief, waterless urinals are very hygienic.
If you are planning to build any sort of large commercial property with a big bathroom and something you do want to consider is getting waterless urinals.
Just think about how much water, and therefore how much money you will save by using a dozen waterless urinals as opposed to ones that waste gallons and gallons of water.