5 Tips for Selecting the Right Low-Flow Toilets for Your Space
In a commercial facility, the water used in the restrooms makes up a significant portion of the water you purchase every month. To reduce the amount of water used while still providing effective and hygienic waste disposal for your customers and employees, consider installing low-flow toilets in the restrooms throughout your facility.
Types of low-flow toilets
- Gravity-assisted: Gravity-assisted low-flow toilets work on the same principle as the majority of standard toilets. When the unit is flushed, water flows out of the tank and into the bowl. Atmospheric pressure starts to push down the contents of the bowl. At the same time, the force of gravity helps pull water and waste down the drain and into the sewer system.
- Pressure-assisted: Since there is less water in a low-flow system, there’s less for gravity and pressure to work with. Pressure-assisted low-flow toilets use pressurized air to help push water and waste down the drain. They tend to be noisier than other types of toilets, and can require an external power source for the air compressor.
- Dual-flush: Dual flush toilets give you two different options for flushing power. One option uses less water and is intended for flushing away liquid waste. The other option brings more water and power to the process and is better at removing solid waste.
Five factors to consider in selecting low-flow toilets
- The functional options give you choices in how your toilet system works, but what matters most is how well the toilet removes waste with only one flush. Look for a unit that has been tested by reliable and authoritative sources, such as the National Association of Home Builders. A more recent standard called Maximum Performance (MaP) testing has been gaining in popularity among manufacturers, utility companies and government agencies in the United States and Canada.
- Efficiency standards also apply to low-flow toilets. Toilets that meet newer efficiency standards, such as the High Efficiency Toilet (HET) standard, are better at conserving water and will be more effective at reducing your monthly water bills. HET-qualified fixtures, for example, have a maximum flush rate of 1.3 gallons per flush (gpf), which is 20 percent less than the usual 1.6 gpf rate.
- Flushing styles can influence how likely it is that the toilet will clog. The two main flushing styles are siphonic, which creates a siphon or suction action that pulls waste out of the bowl, and wash-down, which pushes water and waste out of the bowl. Siphonic-style toilets have a smaller trap and may be more likely to clog. On the other hand, wash-down toilets clog less often, but have a smaller in-bowl “water spot” that may make it necessary to scrub the bowl more often to maintain cleanliness.
- Lower-cost low-flow toilets are likely to work as well as higher-priced models, so there may be little practical return on spending more for the unit. Consult with your trusted local HVAC contractor or plumber and do some research. Compare prices, features and efficiency ratings to find the system that works best and stays within your budget.
- Comfort and convenience are important, too. The fixture height, seat shape and rim design can all affect how comfortable toilets are to use. Taller toilets may be better for older individuals or anyone with mobility problems that make it difficult to stand up from a seated position. Padded or contoured seats reduce discomfort and back pain associated with sitting. Look for features that make a necessary function easier and more comfortable.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial and Residential settings. For more information on low-flow toilets and how using one can reduce your monthly water consumption, or to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!
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