Ice in the urinals

Many of the eateries and bars these days put ice in the urinals. At first I thought they were crystals/glass pieces designed to improve the beauty of the bathroom. However it took me some time to realize how ingenious this idea is.

Hardly anybody flushes after using a public urinal (probably it was never a part of their potty training) hence many establishments tried with automatic flushing systems with IR proximity sensors. However they are prone to fail and the whole toilet stinks when even one of them does. Periodic manual/timer based flushing (the older technology) does not adjust with the changing patron usage patterns. Hence the ice makes perfect sense. The melting ice acts as a slow, continuous flush. Since the urine is warm, the more people use the urinal more flushing happens.
Ice cools the air around the urinal. Since cool air flows down, it further helps in containing the smell. Also the chill of the ice discourages flies and cockroaches to approach the urinal.


street, Bengaluru South, Karnataka, India

11 replies on “Ice in the urinals”

Well, it again involves a manual process… to put ice on regular basis.

And in India, if it is done in public urinals of, say, railway stations I can see a theft happening. Who knows next time when you order a chilled nimbu-pani from a kiosk there, what ice it contains.

On another serious note, it’s a very good idea to apply where people don’t want to educate themselves on toilet training.

@ Cuckoo

I second Ankur. yikes. I really have to avoid nimbu pani or any other drink with ice in it for the next couple of days. But you have a point.

@ Ankur

Hi mate. Hope you are doing good.

If the IR proximity fails, it is bad quality assurance. I still think that IR, at the moment, is the optimum solution.

But I am not aware whether it has negative effects on one’s body due to the IR emitted. Secondly, electricity consumption is high to convert water to ice. Environment friendly??

If only everybody is potty trained, there wouldn’t be such problems. sigh!

On a side note:

1. While you photographed this, what was the expression on the face of the other toilet users?

2. I really have to ask you a akward question. Is there any problem of splashing?

good to see you after such a long time. These days, I am enjoying city life after almost a year of gurukul life. so its fun 🙂

IR is a beam of light, so i don’t think it should have any negative effect.. and certainly not in those doses.

I agree that ice flushed toilets might not be env friendly. but you must appreciate the novelty and the aesthetic appeal.
guys have a strict rule in the men’s room.. no eye contact
Hence I don’t remember observing anybody caring what I did….

Ha Ha Ha…. I am sorry if I have offended you in any way but seriously have you guys ever wondered why outside food or drink tastes so much delicious compared to home made ones ? 😛

eeeks… Cuckoo, there you go again. LOL.. now I’ll also be not able to drink nimbu pani.

But I must agree & appreciate to this new idea of keeping it clean.

Recently in our office, the IR based sensors gave way to good old manual flush knobs.

The ice shown in the picture is too much and I am sure that any one with ample force will get all his pants and hands wet with all those ice in place.

A simple solution I have in mind is have bigger hole in the basin and have a marker (paint/bee/insects/whatever) so that they can aim it inside 🙂

I have also heard of the marker system and how everyone unconsciously aims at it. However except for a few places where it was because of bad housekeeping, i have not seen it actually being used.

PS: I am sure by doing away with the technology the toilets now would be much cleaner

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