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t (03) 9466 9000 f (03) 9466 9044

PERTH

Unit 1/8 Principal Link Malaga WA 6090
t (08) 9249 5464 f (08) 9248 6893

SYDNEY

U 11/16 Northumberland Drv Taren Point NSW 2229
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ADELAIDE

The Britex Group SA State Office
t 1300 764 744 f 1300 784 306

BRISBANE

19 Manilla St East Brisbane QLD 4169
t (07) 3363 2400 f (07) 3363 2444

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Britex

Waterless Urinal, Stainless Steel Basin, Wash Trough

Britex
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FAQ

Can Britex custom manufacture a stainless steel product for my project?

Yes, absolutely we can. Our stainless steel sales consultants would be glad to assist you with designing and documenting a stainless steel fixture that best suits your specific needs within your allocated budget. In fact, many of the designs you see in the Britex range today were at some point initiated by a client request to resolve a project-specific challenge.

Where are your products made?

Our primary fabrication facility is in Melbourne, Australia. Here we employ a large team of sheet metal workers and associated factory staff. Our manufacturing team produce stainless steel products such as stainless steel troughs, toilets, basins, drinking fountains, urinals, sinks, benches and tanks along with customised items to suit specific project requirements. To ensure the product range we offer our clients is of the highest quality and is as extensive as possible, we bring in primary build materials, components and stock items from all around the globe that best complement our own manufacturing capabilities and meet our strict quality requirements.

What sort of stainless steel do you use? Should I use grade 304 or 316 stainless steel for my product/project?

Britex primarily use grades 304 and 316 stainless steel as these two high quality, commercial grade stainless steel alloys best suit the environments that our fixtures are commonly installed in.

In the vast majority of cases, it is sufficient to install stainless steel fixtures manufactured entirely using grade 304 stainless steel (a high quality alloy in its own right), as the corrosion resistant properties of this alloy make it more than capable of withstanding all but the harshest of environmental and chemical exposures.

Common uses for grade 316 - because of its better resistance to corrosion - are in laboratories (to resist acids, chlorides etc) aquatic centres (to resist chlorinated air and water) and coastal projects (to resist 'tea staining' caused by air with high salt concentration). It is important to note however that the advantages of using grade 316 relate only to its corrosion resisting properties. Grade 316 - sometimes known as 'marine grade' stainless steel for its common use in coastal projects to prevent the onset of tea staining - does not offer any advantage over grade 304 by way of strength, physical durability, formability or aesthetics.

The higher nickel content, the addition of molybdenum and the fact that it is not stocked by manufacturers at the same levels as grade 304 also means that grade 316 it is generally more expensive than grade 304 by approximately 25% in material cost alone. However, it is important that grade 316 stainless steel is not simply acknowledged as 'superior' and specified by designers by default, as unless its specific advantages are required, the additional costs incurred will be done so unnecessarily. It may also come to be that not all components used to fabricate a complete fixture (bowl pressings, brackets, fittings) are available in grade 316 stainless steel. Therefore, an exact alternative to a grade 304 fixture may not be possible to fabricate using grade 316 stainless steel.

It should also be noted that even grade 316 stainless steel is not wholly resistant to all environments and substances. Whilst 316 stainless steel is generally suitable to laboratory-type conditions where acids and corrosives are put in contact with the stainless surface, it is imperative that these corrosive substances are not left in contact with the steel, or allowed to dry on the surface, before being thoroughly rinsed off. Allowing a highly corrosive acid to stay in contact with stainless steel will eventually cause the surface to become pitted.

Grade 316L is a low carbon version of 316 that is more resistant to the sensitisation effect (grain boundary carbide precipitation) caused by the high temperatures generated when welding heavy gauge stainless (over 6.0mm). This sensitisation effect can cause the stainless to become more vulnerable to corrosion, however, grade 316L is not used by Britex as the heat generated when welding lighter gauge materials used by Britex (1.0-2.0mm) is not enough to cause this sensitisation. Fabrication heat not being a factor, the corrosion resistance of 316L is identical to standard grade 316.

For further clarification, call us and speak with one of our stainless steel specialists who will be glad to provide additional advice and/or technical literature.

Where can I buy your products?

Britex products are available worldwide through a network of wholesale merchants, retailers and distributors. To find your nearest avenue to purchase Britex products, please contact your nearest Britex office or Sales Agent. You can view our contact details HERE

Which waterless urinal should I use in my project?

This depends on a few factors. Primarily, it depends on what sort of facility you have and the expected maintenance regime. If you are looking to save as much water as possible, you may look at installing a fully waterless urinal such as the Barren (wall mounted, stainless steel urinal), the Arid pod urinal (wall mounted, white composite body) or the Arid Floor Mounted Urinal (1200mm long, white composite body).

Alternatively you can connect one of these urinals to an automated, periodic flushing device (Britex 'Hygiene Clean') and turn the fixture into a semi-waterless urinal, known as the Barren 'Auto Clean' Urinal and Arid 'Auto Mist' Urinals respectively. In these formats, the urinal still incorporates the same waterless urinal waste outlet, but is flushed periodically with a very minimal amount of water (often less than 0.5L) which in turn maintains the hygiene of the urinal surface and prevents the plumbing infrastructure from becoming blocked - as it may do if the waterless urinal is not properly maintained. These semi-waterless urinals are particularly useful for facilities where the waterless urinal may be cleaned irregularly.

How does your waterless urinal work? What are the specific advantages?

Unlike other waterless urinals that require constant maintenance and the replacement of messy cartridges, bio blocks and sealant fluids, Britex waterless urinals utilise a simple 'one-way' silicone diaphragm - sometimes known as a 'mechanical seal'. As the urine flows through the waste, the weight of the urine causes the diaphragm to open up and allow the urine to flow directly into the waste pipe. Once the urine has passed through, the diaphragm closes and a positive seal is created, trapping the odour within the plumbing. The only maintenance Britex recommends is a daily dose of fresh water or disinfectant over the urinal surface (300-500ml) to prevent a build-up forming within the diaphragm and to stop any debris lodging in the waste assembly. The life expectancy of this mechanical seal is generally between 3-5 years depending on how regularly the urinals are cleaned- the more frequently the better. When the diaphragm eventually needs to be replaced, the exercise is quick (around 2-3 minutes), inexpensive and doesn't require any special tools.

Aside from the urinal maintenance that is greatly reduced when using a Britex waterless urinal, there are some very important advantages gained in relation to the connected plumbing infrastructure.

As with all urinals there is the potential for a crystalline build-up to occur in the connected waste plumbing if the urinal is not maintained correctly. This is even more important when considering waterless urinals as the absence of flushing water can make the onset of any build-up both quick and severe. However, the frequency of such an occurrence is significantly reduced when using a Britex waterless urinal because the maintenance regime for the Britex waterless urinal actually encourages the regular, periodic use of water to clean and maintain the hygiene levels of the urinal which in turn assists with maintaining the integrity of the connected plumbing infrastructure - eliminating the likelihood of any build-up forming.

I need to specify a stainless steel urinal for my project. Why should I choose Britex?

Britex is Australia's largest manufacturer and supplier of stainless steel urinals, having manufactured them for several decades. In this time we have been specifically sought out contracted to fit out many of Australia's most iconic stadiums and facilities with stainless steel urinals of all shapes and sizes. Our experience and reputation for manufacturing high quality stainless steel urinals is second to none in Australia. Importantly, we hold all applicable certifications for our urinals as required by the building code and Government legislation. Britex is a market leader in urinal R&D being the first Australian fabricator to implement the water saving 'weir-type' water sparge that has since been adopted by all other Australian stainless steel urinal fabricators. Britex is recognised as pioneers in the development of several water-saving and waterless urinal designs during a time where Australia was in widespread drought and looking for urinals that could save on water usage.

I am specifying one of your stainless steel urinals. What do you recommend to flush it and why?

Let's face facts. Males of all ages are somewhat lazy when it comes to bathroom hygiene and are known to 'forget' or in some cases, choose not to flush after using a urinal. This being the case, to ensure the longevity of any urinal fixture and to maintain standards of hygiene within the amenity we strongly suggest using an automated urinal flushing system that will automatically flush the urinal after it's been used. For Britex stainless steel trough / hinged grate / slab /wall mounted urinals, we would generally recommend Britex Smart SaniFlush - our most water-efficient sensor flush system. It has an industry leading 5* WELS rating.

The other main advantage in using this type of system is that all the parts (sensor module, solenoid, power pack etc) are fully concealed and can therefore not be broken, tampered with or become worn over time in the same way a user-activated cistern would. When a urinal auto-flush system like this - which is connected directly to the mains-water supply - you do not need to install any 'cisterns' as such. The automatic flushing system components that Britex would supply is all that's required, along with some flush pipes that the plumbing contractor would supply when he installs it.

To specify a Britex Smart SaniFlush Sensor System with a Britex urinal, please include the sensor flush in the spec for the urinal. By including it in the specification for the urinal, Britex can also then ensure the right number of solenoids is supplied to go with the sensor system to suit the number of water entries on custom length urinals. Your spec may read something like:

BRITEX Stainless Steel 'Superstep' Recessed Urinal - 2400mm Long. 5* WELS rating and WaterMark certified. Supplied complete with Britex Smart SaniFlush Sensor System (5* WELS) to suit. Product Code: USUP-FSM

I need to specify a stainless steel hand basin for my project. Which one should I use?

With so many stainless steel hand basin designs to choose from it can be a little overwhelming to select the one best suited to any given project. The best course of action in selecting any stainless steel wash basin for a particular project is probably to give us a call and have one our experienced staff make a recommendation (or two) based on the application requirements of your project. Alternatively you may wish to look at the Project Guides on our site where we have nominated several stainless steel hand basins for each project category based on their unique features and benefits that make them suited to that project type. If you can't find the specific stainless steel wash basin design you need, give us a call and tell us what you're after and we'll happily discuss designing a basin that specifically catered to your specific needs. It's on these occasions where Britex is really able to show our true expertise and demonstrate why we're Australia's number one choice for specifiers of high-end commercial projects.

I see lots of tapware on your page. Do you manufacture tapware? Who supplies your tapware?

The range of tapware that you see on the Britex site has been methodically selected and offered to our clients to complement specific stainless steel fixtures within the Britex range. They are primarily sourced from some of Australia's most respected suppliers of commercial tapware. These commercial taps have been chosen because of their resilience, high quality and suitability for the facilities that Britex products are regularly installed in. We are proud to offer these premium quality taps in conjunction with our own first class fixtures.

You mention a blockage resistant trap on your stainless steel toilets. What is this?

Many stainless steel toilets that are offered for sale in Australia are in fact manufactured overseas and designed for use in conjunction with syphonic or vacuum drainage systems. In these instances the trap on the stainless steel toilet shrinks down to a much smaller diameter in the middle of the trap than a toilet that is designed for standard Australian plumbing. Despite the fact that these imported stainless steel toilets have a 100mm connection at the end of the trap, the drastically reduced diameter in the middle of the trap can cause frequent blockages with these toilets, especially in public settings which are notoriously challenging. In contrast, the trap on Britex stainless steel toilets is manufactured in a way, such that at its narrowest point, the 100mm trap is dissected across a horizontal axis that provides a greater surface area for waste to pass through - whilst still achieving industry-best water conservation levels for stainless steel toilets.

Is stainless steel an environmentally friendly material? What's the recycled content of your stainless steel?

In understanding the true 'whole of life' impact that any fabricated product has on the environment, it is undeniable that stainless steel fittings and fixtures offer specifiers a truly environmentally sound decision. Highly durable in a wide range of project applications, stainless steel fixtures outlast the vast majority of similar products manufactured from alternative materials without, in most cases, requiring any potentially harmful substances required to prolong life such as harsh cleaners, solvents and artificial protective coatings.

Once their service life is complete, stainless products are 100% recyclable. At present, new stainless steel production incorporates between 65% and 80% recycled material. This means that more than 50% of the stainless steel products being manufactured today by Britex have already served another useful purpose in a previous life. This ongoing rejuvenation chain will continue indefinitely. State of the art stainless mills that supply stainless steel to Britex operate at close to a theoretical minimum and any stainless waste from the recycling process that ends up in landfill is not expected to have any detrimental effect on adjacent soil, ground or water storages.

What's the best way to clean my stainless steel product? How do I maintain the satin finish?

Stainless steel products should be kept clean at all times. The secret to stainless steel's ability to maintain a high quality finish and promises of a long life expectancy is the invisible chromium-oxide film that sits on the surface and protects the steel beneath. To maintain this film it is critical that the surface remains clean and in constant contact with oxygen. If this film is penetrated (either by abrasion or chemically) and dirt, liquid, grime contaminants embed themselves in these micro chasms for an extended period of time, the chromium-oxide film will not be able to regenerate and the steel below will eventually become damaged and discoloured.

What we recommend for general cleaning and maintenance:

Cleaning Materials:

  • A soft cloth
  • A soft-bristled brush
  • A natural or artificial sponge

Cleaning Solutions:

  • Hand washing soap / soft water solution
  • Mild soap / soft water solution
  • White vinegar / soft water solution
 

It is recommended that general cleaning of stainless steel surfaces be carried out weekly, or as soon as a build up of surface media has been observed. To clean, simply wash stainless steel surfaces with, warm, diluted, mild soapy water using a cloth or soft bristled brush. Once all dirt, oil and grime is removed, rinse thoroughly with clean water and wipe dry.

Do NOT - use a metal brush or steel wool to clean stainless steel. Ever. These tools will scratch the surface as well as potentially leave behind steel fragments that can go rusty and cause the stainless to discolour. Using these materials will void the warranty.

Do NOT - use scourers of any kind that have previously been used on ordinary steel. Microscopic steel fibres transferred onto stainless steel can cause considerable damage to the surface and will void the warranty.

Do NOT - use abrasive cleaning brushes, pads or agents on highly polished finishes

Do NOT - use harsh cleaners that contain powerful acidic or alkaline chemicals such as hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide that will damage the surface. Using these cleaners will void the warranty.

Do NOT - use chlorinated sanitizers, cleansers or bleach of any kind. Using these substances will void the warranty. Despite some cleaners displaying the text, 'Suitable for Toilets and Urinals' this is more likely in reference to ceramic/vitreous China products and use of these cleaners can damage stainless steel and will void the warranty.

Do NOT - use brick cleaning liquids that contain hydrochloric acid anywhere near stainless. If cement needs to be removed from stainless (before it sets), a mixture of hot water and 25% vinegar or 10% phosphoric acid can be effective. Once cleaned, the surface should then be neutralised with dilute ammonia or sodium bicarbonate then rinsed and dried.

My stainless steel is rusting. Is it faulty material? How do I fix it?

Contrary to the common misconception that stainless steel is 'corrosion and rust-proof', if not cared for properly, stainless steel can discolour or potentially be severely damaged.

The brown surface stains that can occur on stainless steel surfaces are in the vast majority of cases cosmetic rust stains known as 'tea staining' - caused by atmospheric conditions (such as salt air). These stains will not progress to having any structural impact on the stainless steel. The remedial work required to rectify these stains depends on the exact cause of the tea staining and the degree to which it is attached itself to the stainless.

First attempts to remove tea staining should be as unobtrusive as possible to the stainless steel.

Apply a chalk-based, bleach-free, cream cleanser with a soft damp cloth and rub gently. If this doesn't remove the tea staining it may be worth trying a proprietary stainless steel cleaner. These are commonly based on dangerous chemicals (such as phosphoric, oxalic or sulphamic acids) and must be handled with care. After cleaning it is important to always neutralise the surface with a 1% ammonia or sodium bicarbonate solution, then rinse with clean water and wipe dry.

Other causes of surface rust and staining can have a more significant impact on the stainless surface such as 'pitting' and may require a more aggressive approach to repair. Surface damage can be caused by

  • Using harsh cleaning liquids that contain powerful acidic or alkaline chemicals
  • Using scourers that have previously been used on ordinary steel
  • Using a cloth/brush that has previously been in contact with a harsh cleaning chemicals
  • Splashing chemicals or cleaning materials onto the stainless surface and not rinsing off
  • Leaving acids in contact with the stainless for prolonged periods of time (particularly when allowed to dry) without being thoroughly rinsed off the surface
  • Failing to adequately clean off the glue/residue left behind after removing the plastic protective film supplied on stainless products. Retention of this invisible residue will prevent the chromium-oxide film from regenerating.
  • Installing or leaving a stainless steel fixture in constant contact with a dissimilar metal - such as ordinary steel
  • Allowing salt or salty foods to dry on the surface of the stainless
 

If initial efforts to clean off tea staining or rust marks fail, use of synthetic pads such as Scotch BriteĀ® is recommended. Be advised, this abrasive pad will remove microscopic particles of the stainless steel and will in turn alter the finish of the surface. In these instances, very carefully rub out the rust spot in the direction of the grain. Thoroughly rinse with clean water and dry. It is critical that all particles are removed as any remaining rust particles can potentially regenerate. If rust spots are still present, repeat steps until all rust particles are removed from the affected area.