For men, urinals are commonplace in life. They exist in restaurants, sporting venues, and various commercial locations around the globe. Yet few understand how urinals operate.

For business owners and property managers, understanding the ways that urinals and flushing systems operate – and the ways that their functionality can be increased – is important for ensuring that utility costs remain low. A durable urinal can also help increase the lifespan of your bathroom, helping you keep business overhead low.

While you may have never considered researching systems, researching the available options can help you make informed decisions for your property. If you are needing to include a disabled toilet or high-durability option in your high-traffic location, understanding your options is vital. In this article, we will break down the various types of urinal systems for installation in residential or commercial properties.

Exposed Cistern Urinal Systems vs. Concealed Cistern Urinal Systems

Modern urinal systems are installed as one of two styles: exposed or concealed cistern. Consider the following for installing a urinal in your toilet suites:

Exposed Cistern Urinal Systems
Designed so that the cistern is wall-mounted above the urinal itself, exposed cistern urinal systems allow for the flush (sparge) pipes to be visible on the walls of the restroom, allowing for ease of access for maintenance.

Concealed Cistern Urinal Systems
For those wishing to hide the sparge pipes from view, concealed cistern urinal systems are built directly into the wall or backing material itself. Often made of plastic, these urinals will seamlessly fit within the architecture. An example of a ceramic version of the concealed cistern can be seen in the Britex Ceramic Wall Mounted Urinal.

Types of Urinal Flushing

While there are two main types of cisterns, there is a variety of flushing systems available for urinals. Different flushing methods can provide options such as increased water efficiency and hygiene in bathrooms warehouses or washroom warehouse . Consider the following types of urinal flushing methods:

  • Auto Cistern Urinal Flush
    Using an auto-siphon, the cistern flushes by filling the cistern with water and releasing when flushed, filling up to the desired location to allow for subsequent flushes.
  • Urinal Cistern Flush Control
    The cistern flush control prevents the cistern from filling continually and flushing without reason. Using a petcock within the inlet pipe, water flow is slowed as the cistern is filled.
  • Hydraulic valve urinal flush control
    Hydraulic valves prevent waste by ensuring that the cistern is only filled and flushed when the urinal is used. This is accomplished through a hydraulic mechanism within the auto-cistern.
  • Infrared Sensor Urinal Flush Control
    Using infrared sensor technology, this flushing system will only activate when movement is detected. This will prevent extraneous use of water, only flushing when necessary.
  • Urinal Mains Water Flushing
    For a sleeker look to a urinal system, a urinal mains water flushing system will utilise the mains water to flush the water directly through the bowl. This option removes the need for an exposed or concealed pack.
  • Waterless Urinals
    True to their name, waterless urinals do not need to be flushed via a cistern, increasing efficiency and hygiene. As an atypical option, waterless urinals are a perfect choice for areas that are not built for larger cisterns or typical urinal systems. The online piping that waterless urinals require are for removal of wastewater from the urinal itself. For an example of a waterless urinal system, consider the Barren Waterless Urinal from Britex.

Wastewater Options: Bottle Trap, S Trap, and P Trap

The third element to a urinal system is the process of removing wastewater from the urinal once used. To achieve this, two main styles are used: Bottle Traps or S and P Traps.

Bottle Traps
Bottle traps are the most commonly used trap for urinals, as they allow for the wastewater to move smoothly away from the urinal to the piping. Bottle traps are often easier to access and clean than S Trap and P Traps, but can more easily leak if the flushing system were to stop functioning properly and flood the urinal itself. Bottle traps are not recommended if using a waterless urinal.

S Traps & P Traps
Compared to Bottle Traps, S and P Traps are sometimes chosen due to their ability to allow free-flowing water through the urinal. The water that moves through the trap is often cleaner than that found in bottle traps, but the piping may be more difficult to access and clean should there be an issue.

Making The Right Urinal & Toilet Choice

Choosing the right urinal can save you time and money in the long run. If you are operating a business or public-use property that utilises a high-traffic bathroom, a durable and high-functioning urinal will provide effective and efficient utility for your company. To see a catalog of highly-rated urinals that span the options listed above, visit Britex – a leader in high-quality urinal systems and other bathroom accessories.


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