General Question

robmandu's avatar

Why only one "low" urinal?

Asked by robmandu (21285points) February 6th, 2008

Guys, you know what I’m talking about. Why is there usually only one urinal installed lower than the others? I mean, if it’s the most accessible one (for folks approaching from a lower perspective, like kids), then why not install ALL of them lower, so they can all be equally accessible?

Or maybe I should ask, what makes the higher ones preferable from an installation/usage angle?

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10 Answers

cwilbur's avatar

The closer they are to the source, the better the accuracy of the aim. It’s probably a lot more of a pain to clean the lower ones.

Zaku's avatar

Yes, falling pee accelerates at 32 feet per second per second, and ke = mv^2 (physics), so there is a wider blast radius.

robmandu's avatar

@cwilbur and @zaku… I hear ya… but to follow thru on that line of reasoning, then I’d expect all toilets to be installed at the higher elevation, not just the wheel-chair accessible ones (as a corollary to this urinal thing).

Furthermore, can’t speak for anyone else, but I expect that there’s a lot of variability in how guys aim… some down at the drain, some at the back, and everywhere in between. Radius of spray would then fluctuate accordingly… after all, nobody wants to mess up their pants/shoes if they happen to fall inside the blast radius.

And of course, there are those all-the-way-to-the-floor urinals which have gotta be approaching infinite blast radius as that extreme is reached. ;-)

Anyway, back to point… are janitors really polled for input to the installation? I figure it’s up to one of two people… the architect and/or the installing plumber. And for either of those, I’d think there should be some (pseudo-)scientific principal. For example, countertop height is consistently done in applications across the US (the world?) as it’s known where people “expect” the top of a counter to be.

You’re probably exactly right though… I’m just holding out for more.

wabarr's avatar

It could be an accessibility issue, but also influenced by who is most likely to use the restroom. For example, I remember in my elementary school, all of the urinals were low, reflecting the fact that the vast majority of users were less then 4 feet tall. This was not the case in my high school, where the average height was more then 4 feet. So….since few adults are extremely short, the many-to-one ratio of tall vs. short urinals makes sure that there are accessible urinals for everyone, without having to make average height folks pee in tiny urinals that are hard to hit.

Zaku's avatar

I admit I’ve always wondered what people were thinking when they designed the tall all-the-way-to-the-floor drain-in-the-floor men’s bathroom urinals. They never appealed to me.

I also concede your point that from a splash-damage perspective, an optimal male urinal might be around waist-level, but then, as wabarr observes, it would only be usable by men of a minimum height. Perhaps an adjustable model, but I think tradition, familiarity, and cost are also factors.

kevbo's avatar

I can’t sh1t comfortably on a high toilet, so please don’t pray for that trend to start.

Probably the port-a-potty urinals are the best design… low approach angle = no splash.

With respect to urinals, I have to say that my favorite is the marble wall with water cascading down.

Poser's avatar

There’s a bathroom where I work that contains only two short urinals. I hate peeing there. It’s that blast radius thing.

chaosrob's avatar

Because Chuck Norris something something…

Schenectandy's avatar

Short people got.. no reeeson

ontheroad's avatar

I always figured it was because not all men had 14 inch penises…those are supposed to be for kids?

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