Urinals are often found in the restrooms of commercial buildings because they can greatly increase the usability of a restroom while using less water and being easier to clean and maintain. Unfortunately, urinals can also suffer from plumbing problems just like any other restroom fixture. Since urinals are designed a bit differently from the toilets most people are used to, you may be unsure what is causing the issue. The following guide can help troubleshoot the problem.
The most common issue with a urinal is a clog. In a perfect world, a urinal would never become clogged because it is designed for only liquids to pass through. Of course, in the real world tissue, paper towels, and other materials often end up thrown into the urinal bowl. You can cut down on the chances of a clog by making sure every urinal is fitted with a screen and that your janitorial staff cleans the restroom often so they can make sure nothing is being thrown into the bowl. If a clog still occurs, then a plumber will need to snake out the drainpipe inside the urinal to remove the offending material.
Water pressure can affect how the urinal flushes. Low flush pressure can leave some effluent still in the bowl after use, while overly high flush pressure sends droplets flying all over the restroom. Most urinals are equipped with a flush valve near the top of the urinal, where the water pipe connects. Attached to the valve is a pressure regulator. If the regulator isn't adjusted correctly the flush pressure can be too great or too little. Sometimes the regulator simply wears out, which can also result in poor water pressure during a flush. A commercial plumber can test the valve and readjust or replace it as necessary.
Failure to flush completely is another common urinal problem. For units with automatic flush sensors on the valve, you must first verify the sensor is working and isn't obstructed. Sometimes all that is needed is a good cleaning of the sensor or, failing that, a sensor replacement. For manual units, the seal inside the valve may have failed so that it no longer works properly, but this issue is easily repaired with a new seal. In rare cases, a leak or obstruction in the water line feeding the valve can cause a lack of water flow, which means the urinal won't flush because there is no water to release into the bowl.
Contact a commercial plumber in your area for more assistance.