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Why are Public Toilet Seats U-Shaped?

When comparing your home bathroom to a public restroom, what’s one big difference that comes to mind? Sure, it could be the fact that one lavatory is for private use while the other is for public use — but what about the toilet seat? Unlike a traditional, circular toilet seat, many public restrooms are equipt with a u-shaped seat — but why is that?

Cheaper to Manufacture

When observing a u-shaped toilet seat, you’ll notice that the seat is (indeed) shaped like the letter u. Since the seat isn’t manufactured as a ring, it makes this specific toilet seat very inexpensive to produce.

Believe it or not, a little “chunk” of plastic makes a huge difference in production cost. This simple feature makes it much more affordable for businesses to purchase multiple toilet seats for their establishment at a fraction of the cost.

Required by IAPMO

Another reason why public toilet seats are u-shaped is that they are legally required by code. The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) “runs the show” when it comes to plumbing, specifically public restrooms.

When examining toilet seats, the IAPMO found that traditional, round toilet seats weren’t quite hygiene-friendly. Solution? U-shaped toilet seats! Indeed, since this toilet seat is open in the front, it keeps any user safe from any debris that may cling to the front of a traditional toilet seat.

Ward Away Thieves

Surprisingly, what’s one of the most sought-after items by thieves around the world? Toilet seats. No matter if the seat is old or new, clean or dirty, those with the temptation to steal will go after this lavatory essential. The reason? Thieves don’t see why they should pay for toilet seats when they can get one for free at their local restaurant or mall.

However, if someone decides to steal a u-shaped toilet seat, the chances are that it won’t fit their “throne” at home — or anywhere else for that matter since public toilets are slightly elongated than standard toilets. This is a win-win situation for anyone who owns a business with a public bathroom!

If you run into any problems with your business’ plumbing, heating or cooling, and prefer to forgo the DIY route, our technicians are here to help! Visit our website to learn more about the services that we offer here at Pipe Wrench Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, Inc. — or you can call (865) 518-7008 to speak with a representative directly.