The plumbing products most appropriate for a high-end hotel or executive restroom will differ from those most suited for school and university restrooms, where large numbers of boisterous students may charge through the doors all day long. But installing plumbing that can stand up to rough-and-tough student use doesn't have to compromise efforts to save water.

In fact, two plumbing technologies, originally designed to solve problems common in high-use/high-abuse restrooms, also enable schools and universities to use water more efficiently. These plumbing technologies — high-use flush modes for urinal flushometers and monitored control systems — can be used in conjunction with other plumbing products to substantially reduce restroom water use.

High-use flush modes

The high-use flush mode is a built-in option on some electronic urinal flushometers. Its intention is to get the lines of men waiting for urinals to move more quickly when restroom traffic volume is high, especially in large facilities such as auditoriums and stadiums.

Sensor-operated urinal flushometers with high-use flush modes can be set to flush only at pre-determined intervals, instead of after every single user, or to vary the water volume from flush to flush. Either way, these modes can reduce water usage. Urinals that already consume as little as 0.5 gallons per flush for regular operation can use much less water overall when equipped with a high-use flush mode feature.

High-use flush modes come in two basic types. The first, stadium flush, typically flushes once for about every five men in line. The second type is per-cycle reduced-volume flushing. This mode flushes after each user, but the water volume varies with each flush. It may flush with 0.3 gallons for several users in a row, followed by one full-volume, cleansing flush. Then the low-volume cycle restarts.