Ask a plumber

Yearning for a home urinal

 
 
Yes you can install a urinal at home, such as this Steward waterless urinal from Kohler.
Yes you can install a urinal at home, such as this Steward waterless urinal from Kohler.
HANDOUT / Kohler

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Q: I am a loyal reader and have learned a lot about plumbing from you. So much that I know it is possible to have a full bathroom installed in my new basement recreation room. One fixture that must be included is a urinal. What type of urinal do you think would work well in a residential basement bathroom.

Peter, Indiana

A: I do get a lot of questions about installing urinals in residential settings. Sadly though, most of these plans get shot down by spouses. So, if you’ve got the “green light” to install a home urinal, here’s what I recommend you check out.

There are new style waterless urinals on the market that can be used in residential settings. Since these urinals are “waterless” you can pick up two big advantages over traditional urinals. No. 1, the installation costs can be cut because no dedicated water line is needed. No. 2, you can lower your water bill since you’ll be saving water by not flushing a toilet every time the urinal is used.

As far as cleaning goes, the ones I’ve worked with use special sprays along with a liquids seal in the fixture trap to absorb odors. Just follow the manufacturer’s regular maintenance schedule.

Bottom line: If you want to be a stand-up guy and help the environment by saving water, installing a waterless urinal can be the way to go.

Master contractor and plumber Ed Del Grande is the author of the book “Ed Del Grande’s House Call” and the host of TV and Internet shows. Visit eddelgrande.com or write eadelg@cs.com.

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