My facility has recently installed several Sloan waterless urinals. I remain unconvinced that they are the best option for cost saving. Does anyone else have reservations or am I alone in this. I would like to hear from anyone who has experience with these new urinals.
We have had Falcon waterless urinals at our facility for over a year and have had no issues. There has been no odor and other than the housekeeping crew replacing the catridges on a periodic basis (3 times over the past year), there has been zero maintenance time spent on them.
I too have reservations about waterless urinals. We use reclaim reclaimed water for flushing so water conservation is not a major factor. Hydraulic overload is our major concern on concert and heavy guest nights. In the past we have changed the flush rate to every other guest and it seems to suit our purpose. Calcium buildup in the waste lines is a problem we have here and I think waterless would enhance this due to decreased flow thru the waste lines.
One thing I've always wondered...does reduced maintenance on automatic flush valves end up saving any money? Does anyone have any experience with this? Or is it a wash since the cartridges in waterless urinals have to be changed anyway?
As far as water and related cost savings, the Sloan system should prove beneficial (as would almost any no-water system). These systems can work well and prove very satisfactory.
The big issue that purchasers occasionally overlook and sales people may fail to clearly explain is that some no-water systems are actually very expensive to maintain.
This is because the cylinder or trap used by almost all no-water systems is relatively expensive and, to make things worse, has a relatively short life span.
However, all is not lost: there are many waterless systems that use long-lasting traps or cylinders that are relatively inexpensive.
More information may be found by visiting: www.waterless.com/index.php
The bottom line is, when selecting no-water urinals, due diligence is required. Do your homework and ask about any upkeep and maintenance issues you can expect to encounter, including costs related to the trap or cylinder unit. This can make the difference between saving water and saving money and losing money in order to save water.
Don't be misled by lower maintenance and environmentally friendly...
I have the Falcon waterless urinals (which are made by Sloan) for over a year now. Before that I had 1 gpf units with an auto flush added.
The $47 cartridge needs to be changed about every 3 months, it is made of pvc plastic and is thrown in to the landfill. I would rather use the water (there are 1/4 gpf units out there) which can be reused instead of adding plastic to the landfills.
The waterless units do smell because there is no wash down of the bowl, the bowls have to be sprayed down 3-4 times a day with an approved cleaner to keep the smell down, the water units did not require this.
I have had one drain plug up with calcium build up so far, out of 17 units, it was the highest use urinal.
If you have ever changed out a cartridge the smell is awful and not the easiest to keep urine from splashing everywhere if it comes off of the so-called "professional" tool.
My opinion is these are a token that companies can install for bragging rights that they are doing something for the environment (saving 40,000 gal per unit), but don't consider the fact of additional chemicals needed, the cost of maintenance, the adding to the landfills and the hazards of handling bodily fluids. I think if you can smell urine you are being exposed to someone else’s bodily fluids, why increase that chance of exposure to conserve a reclaimable product-water?
We installed three units as a test. We have experienced higher costs than anticipated due to expensive cartridges. The smell is not an issue. We have had an issue with the higher use urinal properly draining due to deposits in the drain line and the vent. This is a 27 year old building and the drains were meant for water to wash out the waste. I am looking to replace these at the first opportunity.
See the comment from Dgriffin. He hit it right on the nose. We took ours out after a year and found that the drain was about to stop working becuase of the slow wash from just the urine.
Before I respond to this blog, I want to say that I write frequently about no-water urinals and that Waterless Co. (www.waterless.com) is one of our clients.
Having said that, I will try to remain as objective and helpful as possible because I strongly believe the purpose of blogs is to share thoughts and experiences and to help others.
Frequently in my articles, I remind people to use due diligence when selecting a no-water system. Why? As has been pointed out in some of the other blogs, all no-water systems will save water but, and this is the big difference, some no-water systems are very expensive to maintain.
Very simply, when a large facility must replace the trap/cylinders on no-water systems every two or three months at $45 a pop—it adds up very quick.
In some situations the no-water urinal will be “given” to the facility by the manufacturer. The manufacturer is fully aware that they will more than recoup their expenses as the customer purchases more and more trap/cylinders.
This is a tried and true system of marketing but normally benefits the manufacturer over the consumer. In the long run, it is much more costly to go with this type of system, even when the urinal is installed free, than to select a system that uses less expensive traps that last months longer.
We have 8 waterless urinals installed at my facility. We have done cost comparisons to determine savings (if any). Not having to repair or replace flush valves has been a savings. Most of this savings has been wiped out by costly cartridges. The cleaning staff prefers the waterless claiming that they stay cleaner. They also flush a couple of gallons of water through at cartridge change. After 2 years still undecided as to whether to retrofit entire facility.
We started a pilot program were we installed 1 or 2 of the Sloan waterless urinals in our facilities to see how they hold up. Its only been 5 months, but so far our custodial staff seem to like them for their cleanliness. Maintenance wise the jury is still out.
One issue that was brought up in a conference recently was that if you pour Diet Coke into the urinal it causes a similar "mentos" type reaction to the cartidge chemical. We haven't tested it, but has anyone else experienced this issue?
Is there a need for a company to come in, replace these cartriges, and take the old away to be recycled and kept out of the landfill?
I have 27 buildings of which 10 of them had flush valve urinals. We installed 26 New Falcon Waterless urinals. The problems we have had is when the cleaning crew dumps the mop water in the urinals while the cartridge is still installed in it. Its like the person said about dumping Coke into them, it ruins the cartridge and the smell when you remove itis terrible. But So. California is in a servere drought so the Admiral of the Southwest Region told the Mayor of San Diego that we would cut water use by 20% this last year. It has been a tremendous asset to have them installed and not using the water to flush them or replace flushometers weekly, (mostly due to vandalism, kicking them to flush). Yes the cartridges are expensive at $ 39.99 ea. but the lack of water consumision is what we were after. They have been installed for almost a year now and we had problems, cartridges that had soda or water dumped into them. Also the deoderant that drips into them was a problem also. We have no smell problems until its time to change the cartridge. The best way to use these urinals is to follow the installation procedure to the letter. Have the lines cut and jetted to the main to get rid of all the calcium that is in the line, then when changing out the cartridges have the maintanence person dump 10 gallons of hot water down the urinal after the cartridge is removed. Since we have got the janitors to stop dumping mop water in them nightly we are seeing them last up to 90 days or longer.
Our exchanges are open 12 hours a day to the public and then the personnel are there a total of 14 to 15 hours a day, 364 days a year.
It may not be the best solution for everyone but we have saved over 2 million gallons of water in the last year and have spent $ 600.00 on cartridges. Is it worth it, I think so in that we are saving water for the surrounding neighbors.
Eddie, you said you only spent $600 on cartridges in the past year with 26 waterless urinals? Is that correct? Everyone else said the cartridge last from 3 to 4 months (3-4 changes/year), yet you seem to have only replaced about 15 of them in a year. Is that right?
There are an estimated 54 million flush urinals in the world. If only 10 percent were converted to waterfree, up to 216 billion gallons of water would be saved each year (enough to fill 327,272 Olympic swimming pools).
Even Small businesses can make a difference. A facility with 25 waterfree urinals can save 1 million gallons of water per year.
Air Delights offers WaterFree Urinal replacement cartridges for $39.99, we also have an $8.95 flat rate shipping cost. To go along with the cartridges we also carry WaterFree urinals and accessories. If you have any questions feel free to visit us at airdelights.com or call us toll free at 1-800-440-5556
I recommend you consider the effect undiluted urine could have on old cast iron drain pipes. I was told another agency installed a couple of these of units as a test only to find out the urine ate through their existing drain pipes. Granted, the facility was built in the early 1900's but they were not prepared for the problems these units caused them.
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