Archive for the ‘faucet’ Category

Restroom Oddities: The More They Overthink the Plumbing…

Today’s post is about excess.   One of the interesting restaurant chains in my area is McMenamins (or as I like to call it, McM&Ms).  I won’t bore you with the history of the place(s), because you can just read about it yourself.   Suffice it to say that their restroom designs could provide me with Oddities until the Last Day.

I should point out that, near as I can tell, all McMenamins locations feature some of the worst restrooms in existence, violating just about every Rule I’ve ever thought up.  In fact, I thought up more than a few of them while observing the abominations I found there.  I’m not trying to pick on them, because they are entertaining restrooms if nothing else.

Let’s start at Imbrie Hall.  There’s no defending this kind of urinal, but you’ll find them at most McM&Ms locations:

Floor Urinals, woo!

Floor Urinals, woo!

Nothing seems particularly strange here, although I’d point out the obvious courtesy of providing the left-handed gent (of which I am one) the opportunity of left-handed flushing at the left-hand urinal.  It’s clearly the left thing to do.  But note how the feed pipes for each urinal converge.  Then look up, and you’ll see this:

Plumber Job Security

Plumber Job Security

Yeah.  Staying with the urinal-theme, the Grand Lodge has this gem (hat tip, Mr. H):

Hold On to Something!

Hold On to Something!

I suppose this one is allowing you to keep your options open, but I’m not really sure that’s what it’s about.  I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to grab both handles and make motorcycle sounds while relieving yourself.  At least that’s the trend I’m hoping to start…

Lastly, we have a rare Ladies’ Room capture from the Olympic Club (hat tip, Mrs. K):

Choose, But Choose Wisely...

Choose, But Choose Wisely...

The thing is, amidst all that confusion, can anyone spot a soap dispenser?  All these faucets and no way to wash?  Perhaps Mrs. K can confirm…

Anyway, this has been your tour d’overkill.  Hope you enjoyed it.  This sampling was taken from three locations, of the probably fifty or more in existence.  Feel free to send me shots of the others if you’re so inclined.

Restroom Oddities #4: Auto-manic Dispensers

In general, I’m in favor of automatic dispensers in restrooms.  Automatic soap dispensers are a bit irritating, because if they don’t work, you’re stuck with just water, and most of the time you’ve already touched the faucet, so you’re completely screwed.  If it’s paired with an auto-faucet, you’re still fine (or at least not worse-off).

The auto-towel-dispenser is a nice innovation, too.  I really hate having to touch the towel dispenser, knowing all the fakers did it before me.  It’s a huge step up from the blower, too.  It’s a bit irritating when the dispenser is set to give a too-short towel, though.  I understand you want to save trees.  So use post-consumer paper products, and give us a length of towel that works so we don’t take two.  Fine.

There is a dark side to the automatic dispenser (of anything), however.  On one side, you’ve got the unresponsive dispenser (most irritating in faucets…I’m convinced you get what you pay for).  On the other side, there’s this:

I always like my towels to be dipped in the garbage first...

I always like my towels to be dipped in the garbage first...

I wish I’d had my camera with me last week.  I was in the stall, and this dispenser put out a new towel every eight seconds or so.  By the time I was out, it looked like a huge ribbon candy had landed on top of the garbage can.  Naturally, as soon as I ripped off the big towel (and disposed of it), it took about fifteen seconds before it would dispense another.

One more thing.  If we’re going for Greenitivity, don’t automatic faucets make sense?  I mean, proper hand-washing technique includes turning the faucet off using a towel, which means you’re leaving the water running for an extra few seconds.  Using an automagic one would eliminate both the extra running time and the extra towel.

And one more thing.  I’m not a fan of auto-flush toilets.  Urinals, yes, but nobody likes the random flush while sitting down.

RD Triumphs and Atrocities #1

This post will be the exemplar of a feature here at the Dumping Grounds.  “RD” stands for Restroom Design, which is something I think about a fair bit.  Yesterday I had the opportunity to capture an image or two of a very cool restroom feature (in Cannon Beach, OR) I think should be emulated.  I call it “Junior in the Middle” (or JIM for short):

How cool is this?  Given men’s tendencies to leave a buffer urinal between them and the next guy, this seems a logical design.  Why?  Normally, you get two Seniors and then a Junior (nearly always on the far left).  So, if more than one man is using the restroom, one of them is left with either using Junior (and setting himself up for more accuracy issues due to the extra distance) or pairing up with the other guy.  The Rules state that no pairing shall ever been done, so he’ll go with Junior.  This design lets him make the right choice (no pairing) without punishing him for choosing correctly.

Unfortunately, the image I didn’t capture was the fact that upon entering this Relief Station, there was precisely one man present, and he was parked at Junior.  I thought about confronting him.  Or taking his picture.

Also, Junior leaked.  The flush overflowed the capacity by just a little bit, leaving the floor quite wet.  Nice.

When I first encountered this restroom, all I remembered was the JIM thing.  I failed to notice this:

NO!!!!!

NO!!!!!

This is simply unacceptable.  Push-on faucets are a crime against handwashing.  This one had an On-Time of approximately 2.5 seconds.  No joke.  Pair this with a blower on the wall instead of towels, and it is IMPOSSIBLE to escape with clean hands.  And then the door was a Pull-Inward.  Sigh.

Still, Cannon Beach gets credit for JIM.