Low-Flow Toilets: The Basics

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low flush toilet


You want to save water in your bathroom, and you know the toilet is responsible for a considerable amount of your home’s daily water Use. Low-flow toilets, however, have an outdated reputation for being difficult to flush. Unless your bathroom has specific plumbing restrictions, there’s no reason a low-flow toilet won’t work exactly as it should in your bathroom.

What is a low-flow toilet?

Toilets installed in the early 1990s or before waste a lot of water, even over 20 gallons a day in an average sized home. Low-flow toilets were developed to use half the water—1.6 gallons—during the flushing process.

That doesn’t simply mean reducing the amount of water in the tank. It also means updating the design of the toilet itself to run properly even with less water. Though some manufacturers initially didn’t change the rest of the design, which caused problems with certain models, now a good low-flow toilet has special design elements that make it work smoothly even with considerably less water.

Has the design improved recently?

Low-flow toilets used to be known for being a bit hard to use, due to design flaws that made the smaller amount of water insufficient for gravity to do a complete flush. Nowadays, however, the design has markedly improved.

Some low-flow toilets have flushes that use air pressure to make up for having less water. Others use larger flush valves to allow more water through at one time. Some even hook up to electricity to give a bit of horsepower to the flushing action. The woes of this bathroom appliance are long gone thanks to these improvements.

Is a low-flow toilet right for your bathroom?

modern bathroom low flush toilet

(image: athomenetwork)


Before you invest in a low-flow toilet, make sure you have the right kind of plumbing to accommodate it. The pipes that drain from your toilet need to have a certain amount of slope. Between one-eighth of an inch and one-quarter of an inch per foot is necessary in order for the smaller amount of water in a low-flow toilet to work. Thankfully, most homes have plumbing that can accommodate a low-flow toilet. If you’re not sure, you can always consult a plumber.

What are the benefits of a low-flow toilet?

If your house was built before 1994 and your bathroom hasn’t been updated, then your toilet is probably flushing three gallons or more every time you use it. All modern toilets are now low-flow, thanks to some green legislation. That doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of houses with old three gallon toilets in their bathrooms, though. Low-flow toilets save you gallons of water waste every day, which doesn’t just help your utility bills. It also conserves clean water, which is especially important in drought season.

A little research will point you in the right direction, and you’ll be able to find a low-flow toilet that works very well and fits the décor in your bathroom. Conserve a considerable amount of water each day and lower your water bill in one swoop with a low-flow toilet.


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