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About a year and a half ago, after paying $45 for disposable waterless urinal cartridges that filled up, clogged, smelled horribly, one to many times, I decided to order the Eco Cartridge from EcoTechWater. I had read about the Cartridges on several green building websites and how they functioned by using a plastic collapsible funnel that straightened out and drained when liquid was applied and then curled up and sealed off after the liquid drained away. The idea was simple and logically made sense. Unfortunately, this new cartridge, which had a lifetime warranty, had the potential to eat significantly into the never ending gravy train of people and companies that had to continually buy the $45 disposable filters from Falcon. To understand the amount of money that was at stake, think about this: these waterless urinal cartridges really only last about 2 months in a commercial application, meaning that each installed urinal, and there are +100,000 now, was bringing in somewhere in the neighborhood of $300 a year into Falcon. Ecotech was selling their lifetime warrantied replacement for the Falcon cartridges for $159. Lots of money was at stake. Unfortunately, the big guy with the deep pockets won on the basis of clause in the plumbing code that essentially outlaws any moving parts in a plumbing trap(“no mechanical traps”). So Ecotech had to stop selling their filters for replacement for Falcon and Sloan(who licensed the waterless urinal from Falcon) waterless urinals. To read more about this lawsuit, go here: http://greensource.construction.com/...502Ecotech.asp
Now, I have always been a strong supporter of the little guy. I don’t shop at Walmart(lousy social equity history, poor environmental record) and love shopping at Mom and Pop stores and Trader Joes. I loved the idea of a little guy with a great idea and this seemed like the perfect company to support with my dollars and a great product to purchase. So I filled out the form, payed my $159 plus shipping and waited for the solution to all of my problems.
Unfortunately, what I got was not at all what I ordered. The company send me out a round piece of plastic with hole in it. Attached to the hole was a 6″ long, 1/2″ diameter curved plastic J-trap that attached to the bottom of the plastic plate. There was no explanation as to why I didn’t get what I ordered nor how this piece of plastic was better than what I had ordered. I was also delivered 6 green wax based plugs that looked vaguely similar, yet smaller than a standard urinal cake. The inadequate directions stated that I needed to add one of these cakes, called EcoBugs, to the urinal every 3-4 weeks and that I could buy more of them for about $6 a piece. These Ecobugs dissolved the uric salts that precipitate out of settling urine, resulting in the constant clogging of the Falcon cartridges and their subsequent necessary replacement.
Now, what I ordered was a lifetime warranty waterless urinal cartridge replacement that would need no replacement and really no maintenance and what I got was a completely different product that was going to cost me $110 bucks a year. I called the company to find out why I didn’t get what I had ordered. No answer, and messages were not returned. I wrote emails, no response. So, I tried using this replacement. The EcoBug plugs lasted about 8 days each, the 1/2″ diameter trap started clogging about 6 weeks after the last Ecobugs were used, about 2 months into usage of the replacement EcoCartidge. So I have now spent $36 in Ecobugs for just over 3 months usage of a waterless urinal located in a house with two males, 1 – 38 years old and the other 6 years old. Flushing an old 7 gallon per flush toilet every time either of us urinated would not have cost us $36 in water in those three months. Again I called EcoTech, no answer. Again I emailed, and again, no response.
So, trying to make good out of a bad situation, meaning my wife was tired of the whole downstairs of my house smelling like urine from a urinal that took 6 hours to drain, I removed the cartridge and literally scraped out the uric solids. Yes, these deposits are common precipitates from urine and no I don’t eat to much iron in my diet. I reinstalled the urinals and it worked for another month, then started clogging again. I have repeated this process 5 times in the last year and a half and finally, the cartridge broke and I had to remove it by prying up on the edge of it with a knife.
I called Ecotech again and, yes, no response, until a week later, after two more calls, the CEO, T.E. “Terry” Janssen, CEO (Direct Line: 727-367-5395 (email@example.com) , called me directly. He agreed to look at some pictures of the urinal after I told him what my experience with it. Here are the pictures: Broken EcoUrinal Cartridge
Clogged EcoUrinal Cartridge
I also asked him why I didn’t get the cartridge that was advertised on his website when I ordered the cartridge and he stated that it didn’t meet the plumbing code and they didn’t sell it anymore. I then asked him why, over a year and a half later, their website still had the original cartridge that they cannot legally sell and have not been delivering for over a year and a half AND makes no mention of the plastic J-trap cartridge that they are sending out now(the one that costs $112 bucks a year in Ecobugs). He said that they have been working on changing their website. For reference, their website for the Eco Urinal Cartridge( http://www.ecourinalcartridge.com/default.html ), with the intro page, warranty page, contact page and installation page is a total of 4 pages long, oh, plus a one page order form. I sensed something was amiss when a 4 page website takes over 1.5 years to change.
I sent Mr. Janssen the photos, and this was his response:
I have been in this business for a long time and have never seen a mess like this. There is no warranty issue here. If you want a check valve cartridge I may be able to find one and would be willing to sell it to you for $200.00 plus freight. If you want it send me or call me with credit card info.
Wow, so he is not willing to adhere to his lifetime warranty but he is willing to sell me a filter that is illegal to sell or install, for $200, 25% more than the first time I bought it, or tried to buy it. I wrote him back asking him if he was kidding and telling him that to promise one thing and then send something completely different is not only false advertising, but it is fraud and that if I was not given the Cartridge that I originally purchased, I would report him to the Federal Trade Commission, which regulates interstate commerce. This was his response:
“Take your best shot you ****ing pin head. Your web site is terrible. THANK YOU T.E. “Terry” Janssen, CEO Direct Line: 727-367-5395 firstname.lastname@example.org
The moral of this story is this: don’t buy a waterless urinal someone comes up with a better solution to the expensive, plastic disposable cartridges AND Don’t buy anything from this guy.
My Solution: come up with a solution to this waterless urinal problem before the female family members of my house make me rip the waterless urinal off the wall and throw it away.
Hey guys, you will never believe what happened. Klaus Reichardt, the founder and CEO of Waterless Company and the original inventor of the waterless urinal, was reading blogs one day and came across my blog. He read about all the problems that I had with my Waterless urinal and more importantly, the total shaft job I got by Terry Jansen, CEO of EcoTech, guilty of false advertising and fraud, with the sale of his waterless urinal cartridge that doesn't work, at all.
Mr. Reichardt offered to send me a new urinal, a years worth of Cartridges and blue overlay solution. For Free. I installed it about two months ago and it works perfectly. I have had no problems at all. It drains quickly, completely, doesn't smell and the cartridges are only $7 a piece, not the $42 that Falcon and Sloan sell their for. Most importantly, my wife doesn't complain about the smell of urine flowing through my house anymore, and everybody knows a happy wife makes for a happy home.
Hey guys, you will never believe what happened. Klaus Reichardt, the founder and CEO of Waterless Company and the original inventor of the waterless urinal, was reading blogs one day and came across my blog. He read about all the problems that I had with my Waterless urinal and more importantly, the total shaft job I got by Terry Jansen, CEO of EcoTech, guilty of false advertising and fraud, with the sale of his waterless urinal cartridge that doesn't work, at all. Mr. Reichardt offered to send me a new urinal, a years worth of Cartridges and blue overlay solution. For Free. I installed it about two months ago and it works perfectly. I have had no problems at all. It drains quickly, completely, doesn't smell and the cartridges are only $7 a piece, not the $42 that Falcon and Sloan sell their for. Most importantly, my wife doesn't complain about the smell of urine flowing through my house anymore, and everybody knows a happy wife makes for a happy home.
Those cartridges once they find their final resting spot (garbage/landfills) the product will not degrade for a loooooong time.
Water is a product that always returns back to the nature it was harvested from. If it is in a sanitary sewer system, it is recycled far cheaper than a cartridge that sees landfill that is a contaminate that is a byproduct of human fluids.
The urinal I bought for a master bathroom was $48 for the urinal itself, $9 for the trap, $43 for the .5 Sloan Flushometer. 1/2 gallon per flush.
That urinal you have has a basin type design and since there's no flushing of clean water where the urine splashes up, you're having to waste chemicals and paper towels to clean, more than the average because it is not flushing.
Free means someone had to pay for it somewhere in the equation. In respect to cleaning urinals with water type flushing is bad enough, (buildup in the lines) these have to be absolutely horrid on the drain lines that leave this fixture into the larger lines.
Even if you have a private sewage disposal system (septic tank) that effluent discharges into the ground, eventually makes it to a stream that leads to a water treatment plant.
I'm glad there is only a handful of people that were tricked into believing this product is for the better. It's not. The accumulation of these hazardous cartridges in landfills prove it.