That Restroom Odor Problem: Finding the Real Culprits

All urinals, flush as well as no-water urinals, can produce malodors in restrooms. As we mentioned in an earlier blog, with both types of urinals, urine can accumulate on the floor in front of the urinal as well as on dividers and walls surrounding the urinal. If not cleaned away, bacteria can grow and bacteria can cause odors.

As to flush urinals specifically, the combination of moisture, water, and urine in the water disbursement rims can also create foul odors unless they are cleaned. And as we reduce the amount of water used in flush urinals, we now have more urine than water in the bowl, which can cause odors once again.

Most all of these issues can be addressed and rectified with more effective restroom cleaning. However, some malodor issues do impact no-water urinals specifically.  We present these here so you might have a better idea of what might be causing the odor and what you can do about it.

Coffee and Juice

coffee juicee urinal

A building service engineer in Sydney, Australia, says he has found men tend to pour coffee and juice down the drain in all types of urinals, including no-water urinals.  The problem this creates, according to this engineer, is that “the introduction of coffee and juice can damage the cartridge or seal [installed at the base of the no-water urinals], causing odors to become evident in the room or even the in the building.” 

Once again, the no-water urinals are not to blame for this situation.  This engineer says correcting this problem comes down to restroom “signage to educate the user of the consequences [of this practice] and misuse.”

No-Water Urinal Cartridges

As we mentioned, waterless urinals have cartridges installed at the base of the urinal.  Also called traps, these are designed to prevent sewer odors from escaping into the restroom. However, they must be filled with a sealant and changed about every two to six months, depending on who has manufactured the trap. If not, they can create odor problems.

waterless urinal trap cartridge

Different manufacturers will typically provide guidelines as to how often the trap should be replaced.  Some may suggest replacement every couple of months, others every four to six months.  Managers should use their suggestions as a guide.  If odors are becoming apparent, check the trap to see if sealant needs to be added or the trap replaced.

As you can see, there can be other reasons for odors in restrooms than the urinal, flush or no-water.  If this is a problem in your facility, a little sniffing investigating can typically find the cause of the problem and quickly.

For more information on ways to help keep restrooms clean, healthy, and odor free, contact a Waterless Co representative at 800-244-6364