In order to reduce their environmental footprint and save money, many building owners and operators are switching over from flushing to waterless urinals. Waterless urinals typically use a replaceable cartridge, and the cost of these cartridges can significantly affect the overall maintenance costs of running these units.
As the popularity of waterless urinals has increased, the choice of cartridges has expanded, as well. In some cases, these are made by urinal manufacturers like Kohler, Sloan and Falcon, and in other cases they are compatible replacements, e.g. the Smarty Bee and Hybrid H20 ranges.
Care must be taken to choose the right solution for the building’s needs. Here are two tips to help you choose wisely:
1. Measure Actual Cost
While the initial purchase cost of a waterless urinal cartridge is important, this is not the only factor to consider. The time period between replacements is equally important. This period will be influenced by how many times each urinal is used in an average day, so some research may be needed to determine how many days and uses a particular type of waterless urinal cartridge lasts.
Get as much information as possible regarding how long a cartridge is likely to last. If possible, get independent information from sources other than the manufacturer. Speak to other building owners / facility managers that are already using waterless urinals to determine how often they are replacing cartridges. Once you have determined how long a cartridge is likely to last, divide the purchase cost of a replacement cartridge by the number of days to get an average cost per day. Perform this calculation on each type of cartridge to determine which actually has the cheapest overall cost. The results may surprise you.
2. Look at the Big Picture
On top of the purchase cost of each waterless urinal cartridge, it is important to also factor in any extra costs. Some types of cartridges require the use of items like replacement sealants, microbial blocks or specialized (and possibly expensive) cleaning materials. All of these items add to the overall operational cost of a particular type of waterless urinal and replacement cartridge. Also bear in mind that the more extras are required, the higher the maintenance hassle and indirect costs.