Urinal Drain Capacity

Am I correct in assuming that the drain of a urinal equipped with a Sloan "sensor activated Flushometer" valve should be able to accept that valve failing in the open position and handle the full water flow without the urinal overflowing?
That didn't happen in our office building last night when a valve in the second floor mens room failed to close, the urinal overflowed and the floor drain also could not handle the continuous flow so the water went out under the bathroom door, spread into a couple of offices and then leaked down into several offices below, including mine.
Our landlord's maintenance manager called it "a perfect storm" and there have been workers here all day cleaning up the messes it caused.
Just for S&Gs (I guess I should say P&Gs)I tested the urinal in the first floor mens room a few minutes ago. I pushed the manual button on the top of the Flushometer valve as often as it would accept a push and watched the water level in the urinal continue to rise while I did that. I have no doubt that it would have overflowed had I continued, or the valve got stuck open.
The building is about 25 years old and I suspect that nobody gave much thought to testing the urinal and floor drain's capacities during that time, and most likely they were partially clogged. I hope they will in the future.
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia
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On 01/22/2014 06:03 PM, Jeff Wisnia wrote:

A plumber who once came to my house to snake out a drain tested it by turning on the hot and cold water full blast. He told me that any fixture's drain must be able to handle the full input without backing up.
Since the floor drain could not handle the overflow either...I assume the entire drain pipe must be clogged.
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On 1/22/2014 7:03 PM, Jeff Wisnia wrote:

Wonder if the drains are constricted by calcium scale, or some such? Perhaps a plumber with a drain snake might prevent the next catastrophe.
If you'd like an activist "take charge" idea, buy a bottle of drain cleaner with acid, some time. Pour the entire bottle into the drain of one of the urinals. Flow test an hour or so later.
Hydroxide cleaner won't do any good, here. Or maybe it will (if it's grease clog). Might try the hydroxide cleaner the next day.
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Right...take charge, pour some chemicals down the drain but make sure you don't tell the maintenance guys who might come along and decide to try to clear the drain via mechanical means, like a snake. They don't need to know that there's acid in the drain. They'll figure it out eventually.
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On 1/22/2014 9:25 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Only an issue if they arrive on the same day (and same hour) as the acid pour.
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And is that something you are willing to guarantee won't happen?
Are you also will to guarantee that no workman will be working on any downstream pipes in that building at the time the tenant pours the chemicals in?
All in all, it's my humble opinion that a tenant in an office building shouldn't be pouring chemicals down the floor drain of a bathroom without informing someone who is responsible for the maintenance of the building. For all the tenant knows, the maintenance crew may have already put something in the drain, something that may not play nicely with whatever the tenant adds to it.
If someone was visiting my house and found a clogged drain, I sure wouldn't want them "taking charge" and pouring chemicals into the drain without informing me first.
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On Thu, 23 Jan 2014 04:40:22 +0000 (UTC), DerbyDad03

Absolutely not.
I was a summer sub-subtenant of a guy with a piano, and I was scared to to even repair his piano without permission, but he was in Europe and I didn't know where. Of course I could have asked my roommate/landladies,, who wer emere subtenants of his, but I was afraid they'd say no. (The reason I chose this apt. was the piano.)
I moved at the end of the summer and a month later got a phone call, "Are you the one who stayed here this past summer?" Yes. "And are you the one who fiddled with my piano?" Yeeeesss. "I want to thank you for fixing it."
His 2-year old daughter had been dropping pennies in the keyboard and several keys didn't work.
But I didnt' use any chemicals, and I knew I could put it back together without harming it, even if I didnt' fix it.
And he couldnt' fire me if things didn't work out right.
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On 1/22/2014 11:40 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

That does make sense. Good point.
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One of the urinals in my office building has a sticky valve. When it sticks, the urinal overflows. Luckily the floor drain can handle it. So far.
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On 1/22/2014 9:00 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Did you try a bottle of drain cleaner?
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On Wed, 22 Jan 2014 19:03:24 -0500, Jeff Wisnia

Oh, wow.

That means several factors all misfunctioning together. What broke except for the valve.
Are the drains the required diameter?

Well that explains it. The need for drains wasn't fully understood until last summer

When I entered the 12th grade, the township had just built a new high school. And it opened the day after Labor Day. About 6 months later, a truck hit a light pole a block away and knocked out the power to the school. The emergency lights went but not in the right places. Some were in rooms with windows, but some rooms with no windows had no lights go on. I think there was an elevator for kids in wheel chairs, but it had no power . And then I think the generator failed in about 20 minutes. AIUI, the school district had 6 months to accept the building or make complaints and they had made no complaints about any of this stuff, because they never checked anything. If the truck hadn't hit the pole, they wouldn't have known.
They still had a few days on the warranty and the electrical contractor did all the repairs for free, but the school was just lucky.

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Call a real plumber, dude.

that

the

went

there

and

that.

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Jeff Wisnia wrote:

You would think so, just like a urinal with a handle, or a sink. I suspect that all the urinals, and sinks, and toilets, empty into a common drain pipe and therein lies the fault, or something else is lying in there. Perhaps an abundance of feminine hygiene products. Or, I don't know where you are located but it has been very cold up here in the NE. Perhaps the drain pipe froze up underground?

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On 01/22/14 07:03 pm, Jeff Wisnia wrote:

So *some* US bathrooms *do* have floor drains. When the question was asked here a few years ago why US bathrooms don't have them (as Australian bathrooms do), the answer was something along the lines of "because Americans don't pee on the floor."
SS now the question: Which US bathrooms have floor drains? Only bathrooms in commercial premises? Only bathrooms in certain jurisdictions? Or...?
Perce
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In my experience, and to the best of my recollection, the only US bathrooms that have floor drains are in commercial establishments.
Well, unless you want to count what used to be in my basement bathroom. In the sorry excuse for a shower stall, the "base" of the stall was the basement slab itself. A round hole was drilled in the slab and a kitchen sink strainer was placed in the hole. I guess you could call it a "floor drain".
http://static.hardwarestore.com/media/product/199190_front200.jpg
Soon after moving in I jack hammered the slab, removed the cast iron trap under the shower and replaced the cheap plastic shower stall with a fiberglass unit, proper base and PVC drain.
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