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Thread: Falcon's Waterless Urinals

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member Mike50's Avatar
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    Default Falcon's Waterless Urinals

    Someone close to me owns 4 restaurants in So. California and I came across this product as a possibility for using them there.

    The Urinal:
    http://www.falconwaterfree.com/products/index.htm

    Diagram of how it works:
    http://www.falconwaterfree.com/how/index.htm

    I've spoken with a sales guy from Falcon and an expert/executive from (international plumbing vendor.)

    Quick n' Dirty:

    The urinals have a cartridge that gets replaced around 6-7 times per year.
    In it is a liquid that is lighter than urine.
    Urine penetrates this liquid barrier and travels down into the pipes.
    The barrier prevents odor as well they say.

    The problem that MAY exist is that they don't know what effect that concentrated urine will have on plumbing pipes over years of usage.

    I also question the odor issue due to spray during normal usage. Falcon *claims* that with normal maintainance-there is no problem.

    It seems to me this is an example of green technology that isn't as great as presented. comments....


    Mike50
    Last edited by Terry; 01-03-2009 at 10:52 AM.

  2. #2
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Why don't they want to use water to flush with????

    You also need to check and see with your local plumbing board if they can be used in resturants or at all for that matter.

    Just because someone makes a product doesn't mean you are allowed to use it.

    I admit I don't know much about them.
    Last edited by Cass; 03-21-2006 at 06:09 AM.

  3. #3
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    If you search around on this forum and other internet sites you will find this topic has been hotly debated. These urinals are not accepted by all plumbing codes, maybe not by any code right now. They are being used by government entities who don't have to follow local codes. A recent article described them being installed on a trial basis in some public buildings in Chicago, even though the Chicago code does not allow them for private parties. Airports are another area where they are being tested.

    The first drawback is that with no bowl wash at all, there is an odor problem unless cleaned several times a day. We all know that there is always a possible odor problem in mens rooms, becasue god knows most of us couldn't hit a 50 gallon barrel at 3 paces!

    Time will tell on these. The water savings in high traffice rest rooms is significant, so that will probably overcome the other objections eventually.

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member Mike50's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo
    If you search around on this forum and other internet sites you will find this topic has been hotly debated. These urinals are not accepted by all plumbing codes, maybe not by any code right now. They are being used by government entities who don't have to follow local codes. A recent article described them being installed on a trial basis in some public buildings in Chicago, even though the Chicago code does not allow them for private parties. Airports are another area where they are being tested.

    The first drawback is that with no bowl wash at all, there is an odor problem unless cleaned several times a day. We all know that there is always a possible odor problem in mens rooms, becasue god knows most of us couldn't hit a 50 gallon barrel at 3 paces!

    Time will tell on these. The water savings in high traffice rest rooms is significant, so that will probably overcome the other objections eventually.
    Right...the odor. And the fellow I spoke with was trying to just pretend it was a non-issue due to "regular maintainance."
    You don't need to be a plumber to know that's hooey.
    If being disingenuous is a corporate decision....they will fail imo.

    Their marketing campaign is partially focused on their units being installed
    in name brand/famous locations. I.E. Taj Mahal and so on.

    Not many business owners in the US is going to pay minimum wage for someone to throw a bucket of water in a restaurant urinal every 45 minutes.

    Which is interesting as hell...because almost all their major clients employ government labor.


    Mike50
    Last edited by Mike50; 03-21-2006 at 08:39 AM.

  5. #5
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Urine is acidic to copper drain lines. I've seen many toilet flange arms thin out at the bottom of pipe like a small line. The reason for this is those on private water systems would use the toilet two to three times before flushing, thus the urine trailing the bottom of the pipe in a small line. The brass fittings usually hold up in this situation.

    Still a few homes around with copper DWV systems. Food waste on kitchen sink lines are also prone to thin out due to acidic properties of what's put down the drain.
    Last edited by Terry; 06-15-2008 at 11:46 AM. Reason: picture added
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member toopooped's Avatar
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    They installed waterless urinals at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle. I hated them because they did smell. Even though the bulk of the urine may be covered, it doesn't make sense to use absolutely no water at all unless you're at a location without water. They eventually replaced them and I can now "breathe" a sigh of relief in the bathroom. If you're really interested, maybe they can tell you the story.
    Last edited by Terry; 01-03-2009 at 10:49 AM.

  7. #7
    Plumber plumber1's Avatar
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    Default urinals

    I think anyone who has pulled a urinal from a wall to clean the drain has seen what happens when someone has shut the Sloan stop almost off to keep the water flow very low instead of repairing the stop and/or cleaning out the drain has seen what urine will do.


    What urine does to copper lines
    Think of this next time you see a waterless urinal.
    Last edited by Terry; 01-03-2009 at 10:48 AM. Reason: picture added

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member achutch's Avatar
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    Default My first experience with a waterless urinal

    Yesterday while out shopping, we went to lunch in a fairly new restaurant. While there, I went to the men's room. Here are my observations:

    The restroom looked new, and offered antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer. There was one of the new XLERATOR hand dryers that we use at work.

    However, the men's room stunk of strong urine. The urinal was a Sloane waterless, the first I have ever seen or used. I was not impressed. How can something remain clean and less prone to odor if it can't be rinsed after use?

    It was bad enough, that the odor could be noticed in the dining area whenever people went in or came out of the restroom.

    In my opinion, I would rather use a little more water than offer an unsanitary and foul smelling device to the customer.

  9. #9
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    6 years into the issue....issues still the same. I have seen them in use in many places. Some "successful" installs in my opinion, airports and casinos. Both get cleaned on an hourly schedule, 24/7 and the odor does not seem to be a problem. Also saw one at the Greyhound Depot. Looks like they clean it once a week, whether it needs it or not! Not a pretty situation.

    I have not heard or experienced how the concentrated urine issue is working out long term. Anyone have experience on that situation??

  10. #10
    Questions from readers Guest's Avatar
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    Waterless Urinals
    Fact and Fiction
    November 2008
    This technical bulletin is designed to answer questions and provide guidance regarding the viability of various types of waterless and low flow urinals currently on the market.
    In the summer of 2006, Naval Station Norfolk Public Works Officer (PWO) Cdr. Chuck Smith Ret. requested a study of waterless urinals to determine if these products should be mandated on future NavFac construction projects. Waterless urinals qualify for LEED points and can help meet US Green Building certification criteria. Three different manufacturers were invited to install their products at no cost to the Navy for an extended evaluation. These are the results of that two year study.
    Background
    Waterless Urinals are marketed as a complete replacement for standard, one gallon flush urinals. Marketing materials predict how much water will be saved if you use a particular manufacturer’s product. There are however; a few caveats that accompany waterless urinals that make them less-than-desirable for most applications and should be included for long range planning and life cycle cost analysis (LCCA).
    Issues experienced at Naval Station Norfolk associated with waterless urinals are:
    • Educating janitorial staff on what products to use for cleaning
    • Odor or perceived odor related to decreased cleanliness
    • Splashing of urine on men’s trousers during use
    • Reduced flow in waste water piping leading to deterioration of piping
    • Cartridge changing costs
      • Material expenses and stocking
      • Labor expenses and when to replace
      • Who does the change out? FMS or janitorial?
      • Cartridge disposal. HazMat or not?
    Recommendations
    Three different manufacturer’s products were initially installed. Falcon/Sloan (Falcon manufactures for all Sloan waterless products) Zurn and Waterless. (This is an actual brand name)

    Of the waterless products, it is our opinion that the Falcon/Sloan unit is the one we would recommend when waterless products are appropriate.
    All waterless units in the NAVSTA test building, Z-140, have been removed or are scheduled to be removed over the next year.
    They are being replaced with Zurn Low Flow, 1/8 gallon flush models with a battery powered flush sensor. This is the unit we recommend for all new construction and retrofits. These low flow units provide 85% of the water savings associated with waterless units without the cartridge changing costs. The downside of the Zurn low flow product is that they are expensive. Current costs are over $500.00 per unit. It is expected that the unit cost will decline as economies of scale begin with manufacturing and also as other companies enter the low flow market and provide competition.
    Sloan has a similar 1/8 gallon flush product on the market. Although their model was not available when this test was started, it is expected to perform in a similar manner to the Zurn.
    Both low flow models also qualify for USGB LEED points.
    Very Respectfully,
    Vince Marshall CEM, MBA
    Regional Energy Manager
    NavFac MidLant


    Other information on plumbing fixtures

  11. #11
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    I have installed several but the ZeroFLush units have been the best. They last the longest between cartridge changes and cost a lot less to maintain. All waterless urinals must be cleaned a couple of times a day. The ones I installed in moderate to heavy use over 5 years ago are still working great with no problems in the drain plumbing yet. We had consistent problems with water flush urinals internal drain clogging due to build up of piss rock. We have not had any issues with drains on the water free.

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