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The Complete Buyer's Guide to Urinals

Though a urinal may seem like one of the simpler features to be found in a home or commercial building, you actually have a number of things to consider before purchasing one.

Many people aren’t even aware urinals are now being manufactured for the home, for one.

So whether you’re in the market now or are toying with the idea, let our buyer’s guide help you make the best decision possible about your urinal purchase.

Urinals in the Home

Let’s address this first point right out of the gate. Although most of us associate urinals with men’s rest rooms in public or commercial buildings, their use is on the rise in homes for a number of reasons.

One is that they can greatly benefit occupants who may be suffering from a challenge to his mobility. Many men use wheelchairs, though they still have some use of their legs. For them, it is often easier to stand up out of the chair, use a urinal and sit back down, than go from chair to toilet back to chair again. This can also help ensure clean hygiene.

For other households, urinals may simply be a way of accommodating guests. If you enjoy hosting social events, having a urinal is an easy way to keep the line in front of a bathroom moving.

Still others simply love the trendy look urinals can provide. You’re not bound to the traditional white versions most men recognize from public restrooms. Urinals in your home can take on just about any color, shape or material.

One of the most practical of advantages that come with home urinals is that they can save on the costs of water and sewage and take less maintenance than a traditional toilet. For example, a urinal uses about half the water a toilet does. And let’s be honest, no one else on your block has a urinal in their home – making the first person to get one instantly the classiest person around.

Let’s take a look at a number of the urinals you have to choose from, no matter what their application.

Trough Urinals

As the name suggests, trough urinals resemble those eating apparatuses livestock eat from.

They’re favored mostly for their economic design as they can fit the most amount of men into one area. Generally, these models are capable of accommodating eight men at a time. Being one unit also makes them more affordable.

However, men will give up a lot of privacy compared to other options and need to practice a certain amount of etiquette.

Bucket Urinals

The bucket urinal is by far the most popular version and certainly has the longest history, spanning back centuries.

Despite the name, bucket urinals can actually come in a number of different shapes and designs. For the most part, however, they all feature a module that is up off the ground and suspended against the bathroom wall.

Though they’re usually made of porcelain, bucket urinals can also be made from plastic, metal and even polished wood.

Against the Wall

Against the wall urinals feature drains that are located at the floor level or thereabouts. This fairly basic design is just as often found in rest stop bathrooms as in lavish hotels, owing to the options that exist for dressing it up. An example of this kind of urinal is the type shown in the picture for urinals in the home.

Waterless Urinals

There’s been a development in urinal technology that is slowly gaining ground and works just as well for a residential home as it does for a commercial building. Waterless urinals are designed to carry out the same purpose as any other version, except they do it sans water.

The science behind waterless urinals is actually rather ingenious. Liquid passes through a debris-catching strainer located past the drain.

Next, it flows through a sealing liquid and then collects below it in a waste pipe. As the sealing liquid is less dense than the urine, the waste material remains trapped below it and its odor is unable to reach occupants on the other side of the device.

Not all waterless urinals are created the same, so be sure to do your research before purchasing one.

Those that don’t meet the mark either use poor sealing liquids or don’t have a design that adequately slows the liquid down before it makes contact with that sealing liquid. If it’s not slowed, the momentum will slowly push the sealing liquid down, despite its density.

Some reliable makes and models include the Kohler K-4917-0 Steward S Waterless Urinal and the ZeroFlush Waterless Urinal.

Buying a Urinal

These days you can buy urinals from just about anywhere, but it will depend on the type you want. If you want the waterless kind, you may have to visit a specialty store online.

However, even a Big Box like Lowe’s or Home Depot carries a number of options among their more traditional versions.

If you’re looking to buy urinals for your commercial building, you can buy direct from a manufacturer like Kohler or look to save money on a number of them by going to a plumbing supply company.

Urinals are a great addition to any bathroom, even the ones in your home. Before you buy, however, make sure you consider all your options so you’ll be happy with your final choice. Give us a call at Deer Valley Plumbing Contractors Inc. and we can answer any questions you may have and even install a unit for you.

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