Home > News > Blog > Traditional vs. Waterless Urinals: What’s the Difference?


You’ve heard about waterless urinals and want to know what makes them different from standard urinals. When it comes down to it, it’s all about the way these two urinals operate. Keep reading to find out more about how traditional urinals are different from waterless ones.

Traditional Urinals

Standard urinals use a complex set of pipes to flush urine away. Once waste is in the urinal, it travels down into a drain, where water carries it through a series of pipes to the city sewer system. Not only do standard urinals use a ton of water to operate, but since they rely on pipes so heavily, maintenance issues are prevalent.

Waterless Urinals

Waterless urinals have a circular dome surrounded by several small channels for water to move through. Generally speaking, this dome is a “trap”, or a removable cartridge that makes draining waste without urine possible. When urine is trapped in the cartridge, it is filtered through a sealant, which stays on top because it is lighter than water. It then flows down into a central reservoir.

In the middle of this reservoir is an open pipe that drains the waste out into a line, generally the same line that a standard urinal would use. Over time, the urine fills up the reservoir, and when the liquid gets higher than the rim of the pipe, the excess drains away. For this reason, there is always a small amount of urine inside the reservoir.