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Waterless Urinals Aid Sustainability

In 1998 Whywait Plumbing installed the first waterless urinals on the Gold Coast at The Oasis Shopping Centre. At the time the owners Thakral Holdings had as Engineering Director, Tony Harvey who was ahead of his time in setting sustainability targets for all Thakral properties.These first waterless urinals were fibreglass Falcon urinals with disposable cartridges. To say they were not successful was an understatement with frequent blockages plus the cost to replace cartridges constantly far outweighed the water saving benefits.

Traditional water flushing urinals are a significant waster of potable water in most commercial buildings. Most men are aware of that distinctive odour of male public toilets. Contrary to popular believe that odour is not the urinals. It is in fact an odour created by the mixing of water vapour and urine creating bacteria that thrive in the wet environment of the grout in the tiled floors and walls.

In fact the installation of waterless urinals creates a dry environment that does not allow bacteria to grow in the tile grout and create that distinctive odour. A properly maintained and serviced waterless urinal will give trouble free service, eliminate expensive and ever increasing water costs plus reduce carbon emissions.

Whywait Plumbing technicians have investigated numerous instances of waterless urinals being blamed for blocked drains or odours. In reality this is consistently not the case as investigation always reveals the real causes such as dry floor wastes, incorrect installation or incorrect servicing.

The most common cause is inappropriate or non-existant servicing procedures. Far too many plumbers fail to upskill themselves with current sustainability skills, methods or requirements. Often these same plumbers fail to read simple instructions on servicing methods and requirements and instead advocate the removal of the waterless urinals. It is normally simple to identify the poor servicing as the plumbers maintaining the urinals fail to purchase servicing materials and then blame the waterless urinals for poor performance.

Whywait Plumbing is aware of buildings where government subsidies have been paid to the owners to install waterless urinals and ignorant building managers have allowed plumbing companies to remove the urinals and replace them with expensive water guzzling urinals. The plumbers who undertake these activities are in our opinion conducting a fraud and their motives are transparent.

This approach is to the detriment of their clients and the community as a whole whom have embraced sustainability to make efficient use of expensive water and protect our environment.

Why Do Showers Leak?

Leaking showers by the time they are discovered have frequently already caused structural damage to a house.

Once discovered a leaking shower should be repaired immediately to avoid costly water damage to floor coverings, wall lining, framing timber and tile beds. Repairs should not be delayed once a leaking shower is discovered as they are a major reason in many homes for termite infestation attracted to the combination of water and timber.

All too frequently leaking showers are an exclusion in many insurance policies as they are considered wear and tear. Even if there is coverage it is frequently only for the exploration to discover the cause of the leak. Replacing the shower is often not covered and unfortunately this is the expensive part of the process.

At Whywait Plumbing leaking showers all too often are a source of frustration for plumber and client alike. Locating a leaking shower can be a trial and error situation with it being like many plumbing jobs a process of elimination. Normally a plumber has to go through a process of pressure testing water pipes, taps, shower rose followed by pressure tests of the shower tray to pinpoint the exact cause of the water leak.

The most common cause of leakage in homes on the Gold Coast is caused by waterproofing failure of the shower tray underneath the floor tiles which is designed to prevent water leaking and penetrating the main house structure.

Older homes can have old galvanised iron trays that rust out although these are generally uncommon. Many homes built in the 70’s and 80’s had recessed showers that frequently were never waterproofed under the tiles and these remain accidents waiting to happen.

Still the most common shower tray leak is those homes from the late 80’s and 90’s that had fibreglass installed to waterproof the floor and walls. Fibreglass generally was too rigid and did not adhere to concrete or timber causing cracking in corners that allowed water to slowly leak out.

The epoxy water proofing that is commonly used now is generally an excellent product that is structurally flexible that moves with the house as it settles.

If you even suspect you have a leaking shower do not delay in getting it diagnosed as there are a wide range of chemical remedies available to repair showers without removing the tiles. Delay only puts off the inevitable and can create even worse problems such as termites.

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