Low flow toilets have become an effective hygiene solution for modern home builders since 1994. Various models are available in today’s market designed to decrease water usage. However, do the pros and cons of low-flush toilets make them worth installing?
A low flow toilet is an environment-friendly solution that saves significant water resources. These toilets use up to 1.6 gallons (6.06 liters) of water per flush, saving more than 20 percent water usage compared to regular toilets. However, low-flush toilets can be a bit more expensive, so there are a few things to consider.
If you want to install a low flow toilet in your home, start by exploring the detailed pros and cons of such toilets in this post. Let’s jump in!
The Pros of Low Flow Toilets
You can enjoy several benefits when you replace the traditional toilet with a low-flush model.
Low Flow Toilets Reduce Water Consumption
Low flow toilets mainly consist of two components: gravity and siphon. These two components help the waste move through the drain, requiring no extra water to flush.
The gravity-siphon method lets the low flow toilet consume one-third of the water that traditional models use, making it an effortless solution for homeowners, plumbers, homebuilders, or anyone dealing with limited water resources.
Low Flow Toilets Are Eco-Friendly Solutions
New-model toilets require less water per flush, so they can preserve water from the ground root.
If everyone worldwide installed high-efficiency toilets, it would drastically reduce groundwater usage.
The pressure on groundwater will decrease, and the earth will have enough natural resources preserved.
This will leave a beneficial impact on the environment.
Low Flow Toilets Are Easy To Clean and Maintain
Therefore, you won’t face any difficulties when it comes to cleaning.
You can keep your toilets hygienic by following a simple cleaning process. Besides, low flow bathrooms do not consist of moving parts, reducing the hassle of maintenance.
Low Flow Toilets Lower the Water Bill
The main reason behind installing low flow toilets is to save water.
An average American family can save 19.2 gallons or 83,280 liters of water per year, saving a thousand-dollar water bill in the long run.
Hence, by preserving environmental resources, low flow toilets also become financially profitable.
Low Flow Toilets Increase Property Value
Low flow toilets consist of modern technological components that will take a few decades before getting backdated.
In addition, low-flush models come in multiple colors and designs, which make them fit the house perfectly and add extra variation to home decor.
Therefore, the value automatically becomes higher when you sell property than those with traditional toilets.
The Cons of Low Flow Toilets
Now that you know why low flow toilets are efficient to install at your home, you should be aware of the drawbacks.
Low Flow Toilets Are Expensive
Despite having many advantages, the cost is the prime reason many homeowners avoid switching to low flow toilets.
Compared to the regular model, you can incur 2x or 3x more purchasing costs because of a low flow toilet’s high-efficiency mechanisms.
However, the initial cost eventually gets adjusted when you save in water bills significantly over many years.
Low Flow Toilets Require New Plumbing
Low-flush toilets depend on gravity and pressure buttons to ensure water flow. So, it requires systematic installation of pipes.
Traditional old homes are likely to have compatibility issues with modern low flow toilets.
Therefore, it will require reinstalling the plumbing line by breaking or repairing the wall, which is very complex.
Low Flow Toilets Get Clogged Frequently
The less water a low flow toilet requires to flush, the more probability it has of clogging the toilet drain.
The hard waste clogs the drain against low-pressure water and damages the plumbing system.
Moreover, try not to flush solid waste such as lots of toilet tissue, feminine hygiene products, and baby diapers to avoid uncertain clogs.
Low Flow Toilets Cause Excessive Noise
Despite modern technology, some low flow models still make noise that can cause a disturbance for people who are sensitive to noise.
This is why even some environmentally-conscious homeowners have become less interested in installing low flow toilets.
For them, saving one natural resource by creating another pollution makes no sense.
How Does a Low Flow Toilet Work?
Modern low-flush toilets use two methods that consume only six liters of water per flush. The methods are:
● Gravity Flush: Complementing its name, gravity flush works based on gravity to clean the water and waste from the toilet bowl. This way, you can press the flush button, and water flows into the toilet bowl. Natural siphoning creates a tunnel in the bowl and removes all the waste within a second.
● Power Flush: On the other hand, power flush toilets create pressurized airflow in the tank, which helps to generate water in the toilet bowl and flush the waste. This method will compress the air into the tank every time the flush gets refilled. A low flow toilet with the power flush method is efficient but can make more noise.
Types of Low Flow Toilets
Low flow toilets can be categorized depending on style and mechanism. The most common types of low flow toilets are below.
Single-Flush Low Flow Toilets
Single-flush toilets are the most common low flow toilets.
They resemble the traditional model and share a similar mechanism that pressures water from the tank to the toilet bowl and washes the waste.
However, a single-flush low flow toilet uses less water than a conventional toilet.
Dual-Flush Low Flow Toilets
Dual-flush low flow toilets use a washdown system that allows dual buttons over the cistern.
One is called a half flush, specifically made to clean the liquid waste.
Another one designed to clean solid waste is called a full flush. Dual-flush toilets use gravitational force to push the waste away through the pipe.
Dual-flush toilets by Toto Drake and American Standards are often preferred by those looking for a green toilet solution.
Pressure-assisted low flow toilets generally need high-tech mechanisms and are rarely seen in homes.
Unfortunately, they’re also costly and high-maintenance.
The pressure-assisted toilet has a secondary tank in the main tank, which remains completely airproof.
When the secondary tank gets filled with water, it automatically pressurizes the air to popple up the water in the line and wash away all the waste.
Composting toilets don’t require any water to flush away waste. This is because, unlike other low flow or regular-flow toilets, the trash doesn’t store in septic tanks.
Instead, these toilets come with a replaceable bin or bag.
After every flush, the bin pulls out all the waste and stores it in a separate tank.
Later the waste gets mixed with fiber substances such as peat moss, coconut coir, sawdust, etc., to produce compost.
Things To Consider When Choosing a Low Flow Toilet
Only some low-flush toilets are suitable for any household; it depends on your budget, bathroom size, plumbing solutions, etc.
You should also consider the following characteristics while choosing a high-efficiency model.
The first thing you should consider while choosing low flow toilets is their upfront design.
Modern low-flush bathrooms have a wide opener and large bowl bottom, which helps to push the waste forcefully by using only 4.5 to 4.8 liters (1.19-1.27 gallons) of water.
You should also consider whether the toilet model follows the standard WaterSense protocols set by EPA.
Numerous toilet manufacturers in the market offer unique patterns, styles, and materials for their models.
However, most manufacturers use porcelain ceramics as the principal material.
Even so, consider the quality, thickness, maintenance frequency, and durability of porcelain for your specific model.
Flush performance is the most important factor when purchasing an eco-friendly toilet. You can measure the performance by checking how well the flush cleans the waste with the first push.
Based on performance, dual flush toilets are believed to be the most effective model, which can wash away liquid and solid waste separately using different amounts of water.
Toilet Bowl Height
There are two options for choosing a toilet—wall-mounted and floor-mounted.
Therefore, consider the toilet size and fixture you are comfortable with while selecting a low-flush system.
Although floor mounted is the most common and popular type of toilet bowl, you should consider which type will fit more with your plumbing system.
Once you get the above elements right, consider the color scheme and the availability of spare parts to find the best low-flush toilet for your purpose.
Is It Worth Installing Low Flow Toilets?
Installing a low flow toilet is always an efficient option when it is about ensuring a green environment, saving water bills, and increasing the resale value of your property.
Although it comes with a high purchasing price and installment cost, this will be a worthy investment in the long run.
Homeowners can save about $230 per year by replacing traditional toilets with WaterSense models, which should make up the initial investment in a few years.
Lasting for over 30 years with little to no maintenance, a good quality low-flush toilet can save you even more.
This toilet improvement project also adds extra appeal for prospective homebuyers, increasing the property’s resale value.
Looking for a toilet model that reduces water consumption or saves on the water bill and is easy to clean and maintain? Modern low flow toilets have everything in them to fit your requirement.
Nevertheless, it can be too costly and can clog the drain often. Thus, if you plan to switch to low flow toilets, take your time with the process.
Study some crucial facts, including the pros and cons, and decide whether or not it will be the best choice for your green investment.
How Stuff Works: How Low-flow Toilets Flush Your Waste Without Wasting Water | Wikipedia: Low-flush toilet | HGTV: The Lowdown on Low-Flow Toilets | HGTV | Elemental Green: All You Need to Know About Low-Flow Toilets | EPA: WaterSense
Green Planet Plumbing: A Guide to Buying Eco-Friendly and Low Flush Toilets | Washington Post: It’s time to replace that old toilet…. | Design Comfort: Benefits and Drawbacks of Low Flow Toilet Installation | SSWM: Low-flush Toilets
American Home Shield: Are Low-Flow Toilets Worth It? | Simply Green Plumbing: Pros and Cons of Low-Flow Toilets |Water Wise Plumbing: EXPLORING THE PROS AND CONS OF LOW-FLOW TOILETS | Bob Vila: Low-Flow Toilets 101: Here’s Why a Toilet Upgrade is Worth the Upfront Expense