Low Flow Toilets and Other Green Changes.

By expertplumbing | Featured

Sep 22

So many toilets so little time.  In the olden days, 30 years ago, toilets used 3 to 3 ½ gallons of water to flush.

Then in 1988 Massachusetts became the first state to mandate low flow toilets.  In 1992  President George H. W. Bush signed the Energy Policy Act. This law made 1.6 gallons per flush  mandatory for all new toilets.

When I was young man we would test the flush ability of a toilet with a cigarette filter.  Until it went down things weren’t flushing correctly.  Those days are long gone.  And so began the era of the double flush.


Manufactures, too cheap to retool their toilets, had to meet federal standards and began retrofitting their toilet tanks with plastic or foam liners.  This left consumers with 1.6 gal. tanks trying to flush 3.5 gallon bowls.  There were almost no American products redesigned for this change.


Enter TOTO.  Toto products, from Japan, were already using low flow technology.  Before Kohler or any else could do anything Toto took over 60% of the American commercial market.  Only then did Kohler and others spend the money to redesign their products.  Though some still have not made the jump.


The biggest surprise to me was the power assist toilet.  This is a pressure tank in the toilet tank that blasts 1.6 gallons thru your toilet bowl.  Though it certainly cuts down on skid marks, if you know what I mean, it presents that much more that can go wrong with your delivery device.


Now we see Toto, Kohler and a few others trying 1.4 gallon flush.  Both manufactures gave me one of their 1.4 gal toilets.  One is in my home and another in my shop. Officially the Kohler works better but neither works very well. 1.6gallons a flush is about all you can get away with if you want your toilet bowl to be washed down at all.  1.4 gal is simply the return of the double flush.


There are lots of brands and lots of claims to fame but for my money the Kohler Cimmeron and Wellworth are great and just about any Toto 1.6 gal. toilet will do the job.

The mechanical failing of this issue is all the clogged sewers we get to rod because there is not enough water to wash the waste product out to the main.

Water conservation might save the planet, (though I’m reasonable certain water is not escaping into outer space) but it’s not always the best thing for your family hygienically or financially.

And the real water saving products like waterless urinals and gray water filtering are declared the devils work because the cities have no way of taxing the usage in your sewer.








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