Do Waterless Urinals Need a Trap?

Waterless urinals are worth installing because of less water consumption and the hygienic environment in the bathroom. In addition, the chances of flood and blockage in pipes are less because of no water used for flushing and mineral buildup inside the drain pipes.

Do Waterless Urinals Need a Trap? Waterless urinals do not have U-traps or P-traps in the drains because it can cause problems in the urine flow to the drain pipes. However, they contain cartridges, an integrated drain trap design, and a silicone diaphragm that help to control the smell, sewer gases, and urine flow into the sewage.

The urine flows into the sewage without water pressure, following the gravity rule to flow down the drains.

Therefore, they do not need water supplies, but a proper sewage system is necessary to draw the waste from the urinals to the sewage.

People like these because they are sanitary and work well in the bathroom.

Do waterless urinals have a trap?

Conventional urinals are designed in such a way that they use water to flush the water into the drain using P-traps or U-traps, which creates an obstruction for the sewer gases to spread in the bathroom.

In addition, the hair and other foreign particles can flow with the urine into these traps and cause clogs and blockage.

Contrary to conventional urinals, waterless urinals do not have any P-traps because they do not use water for flushing, and urine cannot pass through these traps without water flow. 

They are installed using a downward pitch, which allows the water and urine to run into the central drain pipe of the sewage system by gravity without installing P-traps.

They use different components which act as a trap to control the toxic sewer gases and urine smell in the restroom.

The one-way valve system in urinals is the barrier between the odor-causing gases and the bathroom, and it closes when the urine flow running down the system stops.

These plumbing fixtures with liquid sealant help to save water and prevent bacteria and mold growth inside the bowl and around the rims.

What types of traps are present in waterless urinals?

They do not have p-traps inside the drainage, which can cause the urine to trap inside the pipes, and it cannot flow down the sewage without water.

These plumbing fixtures use different components and systems to trap the smell and keep the waste flowing into the drains.

Cartridge type traps

The cartridge acts as a trap in waterless urinals and is inserted into the drain opening to let the urine flow through it.

It is available in different materials and quality, and you can select a high-quality cartridge that can last longer and perform better under varying situations. 

The cartridge contains a chemical or liquid sealant, which helps to control the smell, and keeps the urine down because the sealant used is less dense than the urine and remains on the top to suppress the odor.

It prevents the reaction of water and mineral acids present in urine and provides no breeding ground for mold and germs to grow.

In addition, you can change the cartridge and the chemical inside it when the urinal starts smelling.

Integrated drain trap design

The integrated trap design does not use the disposable cartridge as a trap to suppress the sewer gases and smell.

They are designed to keep the liquid sealant in the cylinder that separates the urine from the bowl through a built-in trap in the waterless urinal.

They are complicated to maintain and clean due to their unique draining design, which can cause the investment to waste if something went wrong in its maintenance because the components are expensive.

You can select this type of plumbing fixture from Kohler and Duravit, as they are well-known for their high-quality and long-lasting products.

You can change the liquid sealant after 3-4 weeks, depending on the usage and quality of the liquid chemical.

Silicone diaphragm

These urinals with silicone diaphragms do not need a liquid sealant to control the odor and sewage gases.

The diaphragm stops the smell and gases from returning into the urinal from the sewer and drains. 

A silicon diaphragm inserted in a disposable cartridge acts like a valve or filter that allows the waste to pass through it and then seals the urinal to prevent smell and gases that disperse in the air, as the liquid sealant is not present inside the cartridge.

Different types of waterless urinals use different mechanisms to operate, but the common thing in all these plumbing fixtures is that they work without using water.

The silicone diaphragm needs less maintenance because you do not have to change the liquid sealant, but proper cleaning is essential to avoid germs and mold development inside the fixture.

Is waterless urinal code compliant?

Different local jurisdictions have set written rules and laws in a code format about safety and building regulations.

For example, many green building projects are now installing these because of less energy and water consumption.

The code compliance for these plumbing fixtures varies in different local jurisdictions.

For example, some codes allow them in hotels, restaurants, schools, malls, and other public areas, but some do not.

The International Plumbing Code (IPC) relates to International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), which requires that all the plumbing fixtures must have a proper water supply to operate and seal the trap.

Some codes require installing a water supply source and removing the mechanical traps due to the hygiene and waste flow into the sewage. 

These plumbing fixtures do not use water supplies and p-traps in the drains and can save a lot of water.

In addition, the IPC incorporated innovative technologies permit the installation of water-saving drainage systems.

It is better to check the local code regulations in the area before installing these plumbing fixtures because the dry waterless urinals do not contain traps and are considered less eco-friendly. 

However, research showed that they are more environment-friendly and hygienic even though they do not have U-traps or P-traps and water usage for flushing.