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How Long Does a Waterless Urinal Cartridge Last

When people purchase waterless urinals for their businesses, it’s often because they want to reduce utility costs or initiate more environmentally friendly habits. What many business owners don’t realize is that the decision to switch to waterless urinals also drastically reduces cleaning and maintenance for janitorial staff. Other than a simple cleaning with a manufacturer-approved cleaning spray, the only other task for your cleaning crew is to change out the cartridges inside the urinal. While most products recommend swapping out after three to six months, other factors could determine the lifespan of the cartridge. Read on to learn more about waterless urinal cartridges and how often they should be replaced.

What is a Waterless Urinal Cartridge?

A traditional urinal functions by releasing water into the bowl of the urinal, which washes urine into the drain. Not only can this process use one or more gallons of water per flush (depending on the age of the urinal), but it also releases odor and bacteria into the restroom. A waterless urinal doesn’t have a standard drain or flushing system. Instead, it relies on a cartridge affixed at the top of the drain pipe to drain urine from the bowl. The result is a cleaner, water-saving product that reduces odors, too.

The waterless urinal cartridge contains a sealant made of an oil-based liquid that is less dense than the urine itself. Once the liquid waste passes through the cartridge, the liquid in the sealant displaces the urine, which then makes its way into the drain pipe and out to the sewer system. A key also locks the cartridge into the opening of the drain pipe, which creates a tight seal, keeping odors and bacteria in the pipe, not the restroom.

Factors that Determine the Lifespan of a Waterless Urinal Cartridge 

While there are industry standards about how long a waterless urinal cartridge should last, there are some factors that could determine the lifespan of the cartridges in your particular restroom. The first determining factor is how often the urinal is used. Each time urine passes through the cartridge, some uric acid is filtered out, and over time, the liquid inside the sealant may become more dense, slowing the drainage process. For that reason, a high-traffic urinal, like those at a football stadium or airport, would probably need to be replaced more frequently than those at a mid-sized office building.

The other thing to keep in mind is a manufacturer’s recommendations. Some waterless urinal cartridges may cost a bit less but require more frequent replacements than their competitors. Be sure to read the instructions and guidelines carefully before installing your cartridges.

In addition, improper maintenance could reduce the lifespan of your waterless urinal cartridge. Adding large amounts of water to the bowl during cleaning can break down the liquid in the sealant more quickly, which could result in the need for more frequent cartridge replacements. Instead of using water to clean the urinal, use a simple cleaning spray instead.

How Often Should a Waterless Urinal Cartridge Be Changed?

Cleaning staff should plan to change waterless urinal cartridges every three to six months. Of course, those bathrooms in high-traffic areas may require more frequent changes. Regardless of these guidelines, however, if you notice foul odors coming from your waterless urinals, or if drainage slows, the waterless urinal cartridges likely need to be changed. Consider keeping records of when cartridges are changed to learn patterns and anticipate the need.

Consider the ZeroFlush Waterless Urinal System from Purleve

If you’re looking for a high-quality waterless urinal system that reduces water and energy costs, the ZeroFlush system of products may be right for you. The ZeroFlush EnviroSeal includes BioPur enzyme-based blocks that drastically reduce odors. It’s made of recycled materials and can last up to 45,000 uses, making this already low-maintenance option even easier to maintain throughout the year.

Changing Your Waterless Urinal Cartridges

Waterless urinal cartridges perform two important functions: draining liquid waste from the bowl and keeping odors in the drain pipe. While cartridges can often last several months, it’s important to change them regularly to avoid slow drainage and foul odors. Please read the manufacturer’s instructions and consider their guidelines for replacement. However, it would be best to be mindful of how often the restroom is used. Higher-traffic bathrooms are more likely to require frequent cartridge changes to avoid issues. If you’re looking for a waterless urinal cartridge with a longer lifespan, consider the ZeroFlush EnviroSeal kit that can last up to 45,000 uses. Not only will your waterless urinals function properly with no odor, but your janitorial staff will love the easy maintenance, as well!

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