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  #1  
Old 07-31-2008, 10:28 PM
The Shroud The Shroud is offline
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Why the short urinal?

I notice that whenever I enter a men's room with more than one urinal, one will always be low to the ground. They're kid-sized, but they're usually in office buildings designed for and occupied by grown-ups.

I suppose they could be for handicapped people, but I imagine anyone who's non-ambulatory would want to use the handicapped stall.

In most of these restrooms, there's no lowered sink, so whatever special accommodation they're making begins and ends at the urinal.

So, is there some sort of regulation that requires these lowered bowls, or is it just an inexplicable quirk of modern WC design?
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  #2  
Old 07-31-2008, 10:42 PM
Tapioca Dextrin Tapioca Dextrin is offline
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Maybe it's for guys who are, ahem, gifted
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  #3  
Old 07-31-2008, 10:47 PM
picker picker is offline
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Little People?

ADA?
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  #4  
Old 07-31-2008, 10:47 PM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Shroud
I notice that whenever I enter a men's room with more than one urinal, one will always be low to the ground. They're kid-sized, but they're usually in office buildings designed for and occupied by grown-ups.

I suppose they could be for handicapped people, but I imagine anyone who's non-ambulatory would want to use the handicapped stall.

In most of these restrooms, there's no lowered sink, so whatever special accommodation they're making begins and ends at the urinal.

So, is there some sort of regulation that requires these lowered bowls, or is it just an inexplicable quirk of modern WC design?
It's for kids on "Career Day" with Dad.
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  #5  
Old 07-31-2008, 10:47 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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I see them everywhere, in movie theaters and fast food restaurants and mall food courts. I find it surprising when I don't see them. I don't get into office buildings much these days, though, but I assume that children must enter them at some point. Since adults can use them, why not make one urinal dually available for kids?
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  #6  
Old 07-31-2008, 10:53 PM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase
I see them everywhere, in movie theaters and fast food restaurants and mall food courts. I find it surprising when I don't see them. I don't get into office buildings much these days, though, but I assume that children must enter them at some point. Since adults can use them, why not make one urinal dually available for kids?
We could always go back to the old ones that went all the way down to the floor. Some places still have them, like my local Costco.

Yeah, for guys who are gifted.
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  #7  
Old 07-31-2008, 10:57 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panache45
We could always go back to the old ones that went all the way down to the floor. Some places still have them, like my local Costco.

Yeah, for guys who are gifted.
Or those who like splashing their cuffs.
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  #8  
Old 07-31-2008, 11:03 PM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase
Or those who like splashing their cuffs.
Or worse, you're wearing shorts and sandals.
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  #9  
Old 07-31-2008, 11:12 PM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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I hardly ever see a guy using the short urinal. Even if all the other ones are taken, guys will wait for a regular size one to open up rather than use the small urinal. I think it's just a part of the unspoken urinal rules.

I never use the short urinal.
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  #10  
Old 07-31-2008, 11:13 PM
elmwood elmwood is offline
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They're for the men of the Straight Dope. When was the last time you hear a male doper claim to have a member that was less than porn star proportions?
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  #11  
Old 08-01-2008, 10:08 AM
Flander Flander is offline
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It's for me. I'm 5'6" and a lot of the times the regular urinal is right at junk level. I can't stand "over" the urinal, I'd have to sand in front of it and fire hose the back wall. The lower one allows me to to position myself closer to it and pee smoothly down the sides so I don't get any splash.

Just don't take the urinal next to me. That's rule number 1!
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  #12  
Old 08-01-2008, 10:12 AM
Otto Otto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argent Towers
I hardly ever see a guy using the short urinal. Even if all the other ones are taken, guys will wait for a regular size one to open up rather than use the small urinal. I think it's just a part of the unspoken urinal rules.

I never use the short urinal.
I always use the short urinal at work unless it's occupied, because it's the one closest to the door. I've never seen anyone refuse to use a short urinal if it's the only one available. But then, perhaps you've made a closer study of men's urinal habits than I have.
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  #13  
Old 08-01-2008, 10:23 AM
Santo Rugger Santo Rugger is offline
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"This water sure is cold."

"And deep, too!"


I worked with a boss that was 4'0". I'm sure he was glad they were around.
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  #14  
Old 08-01-2008, 10:52 AM
BubbaDog BubbaDog is offline
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They are for people who are very short and also for people who are very long.
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  #15  
Old 08-01-2008, 11:00 AM
Joey P Joey P is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Santo Rugger
I worked with a boss that was 4'0". I'm sure he was glad they were around.
But if the regular size urinals go all the way to the ground, what difference would it make?
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  #16  
Old 08-01-2008, 11:11 AM
Lanzy Lanzy is offline
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They are for me too, 28" inseam. I hate standing on tippy toe to pee.
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  #17  
Old 08-01-2008, 11:12 AM
Santo Rugger Santo Rugger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P
But if the regular size urinals go all the way to the ground, what difference would it make?
In places that have urinals that go all the way to the ground, do they have short urinals, also?

ETA: Are you playing off the fact that the water is deep in the urinals that go all the way to the ground, too?

Last edited by Santo Rugger; 08-01-2008 at 11:13 AM..
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  #18  
Old 08-01-2008, 11:28 AM
Bear_Nenno Bear_Nenno is online now
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It's building codes . They are for wheel-chair and small people access.
From ANSI 4.8:
"Any toilet or bathing room provided with urinals must have at least one that is low-mounted and with an elongated rim. It must project far enough from the wall to allow a person in a wheel-chair to get close enough to the rim before the Footrests of the wheelchair hit the wall under the fixture. Urinals that project less than 14 inches generally are not usable by someone using a wheelchair. Urinals with receptacles located in the floor are acceptable. Regardless of the type of Fixture, the flush mechanism must be mounted low enough so that it can be reached by a person seated in a wheelchair."

pdf link:
http://www.gpta.net/Classes/ADA1_2/A...lumb%20IIa.pdf
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  #19  
Old 08-01-2008, 11:31 AM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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I always wondered about this, although it's been very convenient for my son to use a shorty .

But recently I was at a rest stop on an interstate and saw a man in a wheelchair pulled up to one of those. I couldn't believe he was going to be able to reach it from the chair, but I could see he had some sort of deal where he peed through a hose into a plastic bag, then emptied the bag into the urinal. (I did not ask him whether it would be easier to use a sit-downer in a stall.)

I don't know if that was considered in the design, but it is a single data point.
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  #20  
Old 08-01-2008, 11:55 AM
Dinsdale Dinsdale is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear_Nenno
It's building codes . They are for wheel-chair and small people access.
Clarification request - your cited material says nothing about "short people."

I guess I never really thought about this before, but while I have seen men in wheelchairs use the accessible stalls, I have never seen a wheelchair pulled up to a short urinal.
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  #21  
Old 08-01-2008, 11:57 AM
I Love Me, Vol. I I Love Me, Vol. I is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panache45
We could always go back to the old ones that went all the way down to the floor. Some places still have them, like my local Costco.

Yeah, for guys who are gifted.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase
Or those who like splashing their cuffs.
I wasn't aware of this cuff problem! I mean, it makes perfect sense... a floor-length urinal does cause a lot of splashing... but even back when I was a wee lad in elementary school this never happened to me. Wow-- you learn something new everyday!

Ya see,

When you are one of the gifted , your pant cuffs--like every other molecule within your God-like aura-- are protected by your sheer mega-cocksmithian mojo.


[Bad dude in "Se7en"]

Oh... He didn't know...

[/Bad dude in "Se7en"]
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  #22  
Old 08-01-2008, 12:20 PM
Bear_Nenno Bear_Nenno is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinsdale
Clarification request - your cited material says nothing about "short people."
You're right. Actually I don't think there are any building codes for short people or dwarves--much to the frustration of dwarves, I'm betting.

Wheel Chair accessable things like water fountains and counter tops always have the obvious--if not intentional--benefit of being more accessable to short people. People in wheel chairs have a limited reach, hence they need things to be lower. Dwarves and really short people have a limited reach, hence they need things to be lower.

So it's an added benefit. But you're right, it isn't specifically for short people or dwarves. But it is intentionally lowered for adults who cannot reach the average height flush handles. Dwarves would be included in the group, even if not specifically in mind at the time of design.

Though, I guess you could argue that it is also unintentionally beneficial to children, and if I said "It's for wheel chairs, short people, and kids" I would be even further off the mark.

So you're right. I should have limited my statement to "Wheel Chair Accessable", which is the sole purpose of that particular building code.


I've seen pleanty of people in wheel chairs use those urinals. I've also noticed a dwarf or two utilizing them--which is probably why I assumed it was for them too. Even though I should have known better.
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  #23  
Old 08-01-2008, 01:20 PM
Who_me? Who_me? is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argent Towers
I hardly ever see a guy using the short urinal. Even if all the other ones are taken, guys will wait for a regular size one to open up rather than use the small urinal. I think it's just a part of the unspoken urinal rules.

I never use the short urinal.
I don't usually use it if there are others available, but I don't hesitate to use it if there aren't any others available.
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  #24  
Old 08-01-2008, 07:49 PM
NajaNivea NajaNivea is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear_Nenno
You're right. Actually I don't think there are any building codes for short people or dwarves--much to the frustration of dwarves, I'm betting.
The guy from Little People, Big World helps run a company that makes a handy accessibility kit. I think they market them to hotels as an insta-adaption. Nice idea. It is hard to imagine living in a world designed a couple feet above you--what a tremendous inconvenience it must be.
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