Do you guys have suggestions for maintaining waterless urinals? I know they have different maintenance requirements than water-using urinals ... Thanks.
The best suggestion for maintaining waterfree (AKA waterless or non-water) urinals is to keep it simple: Spray and wipe.
The following cleaners have been tested and are recommended for use on Falcon Waterfree urinals:
Falcon tests countless commercially-available cleaners to provide owners of waterfree urinals with options that are best for operation of the urinal and prevent unnecessary use of costly, harsh cleaners. The concept of waterfree urinals is based on conservation, and this also applies to the use of cleaners. Waterfree urinals experience none of the hard water mineral (such as calcite) buildup that can occur in water-flushing urinals, and this eliminates the need for caustic cleaners. Also, the absence of water makes waterfree urinals naturally more hygienic, with fewer bacteria, so mild cleaners are usually more than sufficient.
The following video details the process for routine maintenance and periodic cartridge replacement:
Also, on-site maintenance training is provided at no charge for facilities with 10 or more Falcon Waterfree urinals.
For those of you who have specified waterless urinals in your facilities, what has been your experience cleaning and maintaining them?
I thought that Randy's post sounded a little "salesy" - and now I know why:
Randall Goble, VP Marketing, Falcon Waterfree Technologies, LLC
This should be disclosed in all postings. How is land-filling expensive plastic cartridges (which themselves have significant embodied energy and water) an environmental solution!?
Additionally, I have heard that many
facilities have replaced their waterless urinals with flushing urinals again due
to various issues and increased costs, including Logan airport that recently replaced all the waterless
urinals in its “green” Terminal A. It is simply not feasible to eliminate the
water entirely from a urinal. The chemical and biological processes that occur
in a urinal do not lend themselves to a completely waterless environment. Even
regular flushing urinals have similar problems with scale build
Check p4 from the EPA http://www.epa.gov/watersense/docs/urinal_noi508.pdf under VI. Other Issues
Waterless and Falcon tend to airbrush out concerns about maintenance
and cost while stressing water-savings gains. Both offer long lists of
no-flush urinal buyers, without a hint that it includes quite a few
Until recently, Falcon's Web site offered a prominent but misleading testimonial.
The testimonial quoted Grand Canyon National Park engineer Bob Baker
of Xanterra Parks and Resorts, the leading U.S. state and national park
concessionaire, as saying: "The urinals work. The units are easy to
install and maintain. It is safe to say we will be installing more
That was two years ago, however. Since then the no-flush urinals
that Baker referred to have been removed, he said. "We couldn't control
the odor. The bathrooms would really get pretty ugly."
I think this is one of the biggest green washing scams inflicted on the green building industry. It sadly shows how poorly full life-cycle assessment is done for all these "amazing" solutions...
Thanks for asking Chris!
James, LEED AP
Thanks for your participation.
For this thread specifically, I'm really trying to get facility professionals to share their first-hand experiences with waterless urinal technology, rather than focusing on manufacturers or their products/claims, etc.
What are the maintenance and cleaning requirements of waterless urinals? What are the challenges related to maintaining waterless urinals? Are they easier to maintain than water-using alternatives, etc.? Thanks again.
We have been using waterless urinals at our office in India for about three years now with no problems. We have around 15 of these. It has helped us save millions of litres of domestic water.
For maintenance urinal cartridge is changed once in three months as per manufacturer's instructions. One cartridge cost about INR 2,500 (USD 50)
There is no alarm on when to change the cartridge, its judged based on the odour.
Care should be taken during installation, the pipe drain from the urinal in the trap should be sealed properly.
FYI....This was clipped from greenlineblog.com
I am fascinated by waterless urinals. The very notion that a ammonia and nitrogen filled bodily fluid can be disposed of by a device using no flushing or running water is truly amazing to me. After doing a little reading into the science behind the products I am now even more impressed at the simple genius behind the waterless urinal!
An extremely effective way to deal with conventional flush urinals and waterless urinals is to use the Ecoblue Cube. If you have a flush urinal, it can be modified for very little cost and in minutes, saving the cost of a waterless urinal and avoiding diposal of an otherwise perfectly good urinal. If you have a waterless urinal, introducing the Ecoblue Cube will eliminate the need for "Blue Seal" and frequent changing and disposing of cartridges.
The Ecoblue Cube system consists of a dormant, non-pathogenc, naturally occuring bacteria in a cube and spray form. The cube dissolves and processes the urine and eliminates odor as well as organic and inorganic scaling. The once or twice a day cleaning process which is very similar to that used for both types of urinals is done using the spray which will also treat urine "misfires" when it is simply left on the urinal and surrounding surfaces.
By using the Ecoblue Cube in a waterless urinal, we have found that the cartridge only needs to be soaked in warm water every six months or so in order to remove a smale amount of scaling. then the cartridge is reinstalled and not thrown into a land fill.
This system is proven and has been in use in Australasia dn Eueope for over ten years and in North America since 2005. It usually pays for itself in water savings alone and the repair and maintenance costs are a big bonus. There is only a very modest cost to convert the urinal ($15 - $25, depending upon the type of flush mechanism).
Here is an overview:
Please feel free to call me with any questions.
Steve Wagner - Director - 630-433-6646
I apologize that I did not read the eintire thread before posting the information about the Ecoblue Cube. Obviously, I sell this system so my post is "salesy". However, very few people in North America know about this very effective system and I want to get the word out about it. One of the things that is quite disturbing about cartridge type waterless urinals is that the instructions are to change the cartridge and dispose of it.
We have proven that the cartridges can be recycled and we are teaching customers using the Ecoblue Cube how to do it.
If you do a full Life Cycle Assessment of cartridge type waterless urinals, you would have to question whether putting all of those cartridges into a landfill is worth the average savings of 40,000 gallons per urinal per year. When you consider the waste associated with replacing a functioning flush urinal with a waterless urinal, the problem is compounded. Finally, high efficiency flush valves reduce the water consumption, but cost more than the cube and do not eliminate organic scaling
So, sorry for the sales pitch, but I hope you will consider all of the aspects when making the choice to save urinal flush water.
I currently have 10 waterless urinals at my facility. No maintenance other than changing the cartridges every 3 months at $60.00 each. However I constantly receive complaints about odor. I have housekeeping clean the inside about 4 times a day but it does not seem to help. I have found that changing them every three months as aposed to the manfactures every 4-5 months, did help some. They probably should be changed once a month or two to eliminate the odors but budgets dont allow me.
The changing of the cartridges is a NASTY job!! Other than that they have been in operation for about 3 years and I have had no problems.
Hope this helps
Klaus ReichardtWaterless Co. Inc
SMU has converted most of its urinals (300) to waterless design. The conversion was completed before the fall '08 semester began. We have not had many complaints about odor or urinal malfunction after implementing our current maintenance procedures.
All of our urinals are one model, the Kohler Steward cartridgeless design. On a 8 week cycle, the urinals are serviced by a PM plumbing technician. The routine followed includes flushing water through the urinal ( a water hose bibb has been installed in each rest room for this purpose), adding 3 oz of a descaling solution to dissolve uric salts, and then adding 3 oz of the blue sealing fluid. In a few heavily used locations ( 5 - 7 rest rooms), the service cycle is reduced to 4 weeks. This procedure was developed by the plumbing department in response to the needs identified as the urinals went into use. The custodial staff is directed to clean the exterior of the urinals with spray and wipe techniques. They have no responsibility for maintaining the blue sealant or descaling operations.
Before making the urinal changeout, SMU evaluated waterless urinials for several years. The first model evaluated was a cartridge design. Our facilities management staff decided the cartrige replacement procedure was more traumatic than the maintenance of the cartridgeless design urinal. After 3 years of evaluation in our service center building, the facilities management staff felt comfortable making the recommendation to replace the flush urinals on campus with the waterless, cartridgeless design urinals. Thus far, the campus community has been satisfied with the performance of the waterless urinals and very pleased with the water savings.
We have tried the waterless urinals in some of our Public bldg.'s with very little success. We have sinced changed to a Pint flush urinal that seems to be working extremely well.
This thread provided good information regarding the control of odours related to the maintenance of the seal and cartridges (where applicable), but I don't see any comments related to the odours that seem to be commonly attributed to the urine that tends to remain on the inside of the urinal between custodial cleanings.
Can someone provide insights into how that can be dealt with, in the circumstances of a busy office building where custodians are only present after-hours? Is there a significant difference between new waterless fixtures and conversions of regular ones in this respect?
I have heard that high rates of ventilation air flow in the washroom are helpful, but that may be a costly remedy on several counts, particularly in a relatively extreme climate, especially if the only reason for increasing air flow is to enable use of waterless urinals.
Also, I have heard that the seal chemical can contribute to corrosion damage to some older piiping systems, in particular. Has anyone noted that problem?
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