Plumbing vandalism is a common problem that some maintenance plumbers have to deal with. The vandalism generally occurs in public toilets at Universities, fast-food restaurants and parks. The vandalism can range from people using their own faeces to graffiti the bathroom, or doing a number 2 in the cistern causing the cistern to be un-operable and the most common problem in a lot of Universities and/or public toilets where overseas students congregate is broken toilet pans due to patrons standing on the pan and toilet seat to do their business.
We recently had to attend to a broken toilet pan on the Southside of Brisbane due to a person standing on the rim of the pan to do their business. It is very dangerous to stand on a pan because the rim is narrow and if your leg gets caught on the ceramic shards when you fall, not only do you risk cutting open your leg, you also risk infection from whatever bacteria is lurking in the pan. It’s also a form of vandalism as it becomes a costly maintenance exercise for the owner of the premises because the toilet pan needs to be replaced in order for it to be fixed.
When Jacol Plumbing was heavily involved in commercial work, we installed a lot of toilet facilities to Universities and English Teaching campuses all overBrisbane. One particular English Teaching campus got so fed up with the toilet pans being constantly broken (due to the overseas students negligently ignoring the signs on the doors on how to sit on the pan!), they installed stainless steel toilet pans which are more durable than ceramic bowl ones, but more costly to supply. There have been no problems since.
Education may be the key to overcoming this common problem in public toilets where there are Asian and African congregations, but unfortunately you can’t make a person sit on a toilet, nor can you have cameras inside toilet cubicles to deter patrons from mis-using a toilet. If you do a quick search on Google, you can find terrible injuries caused by people standing on the toilet and then falling onto the shards of ceramic pan causing horrific cuts to their bottom and upper thighs.
Squatting over a pan rather than standing or hovering over a hole is a much easier and hygienic way to go to the toilet. (I know because I’ve done the whole toilet thing in Africa!) If you own a premises or intend to open a business that provides public toilets where your main clientele are from overseas, install stainless steel pans OR install toilet pans that are cheap to supply and install and can easily be bought off the shelf.
Have you ever come across plumbing vandalism in a public toilet?