Pros and Cons of Low Water Usage Toilets

Buying a toilet? We have tips. Heres what to know about low-water-usage toilets

The lowdown on water-saving toilets

If you’re planning on updating your bathroom fixtures, you may want to consider a new toilet with more eco-friendly, water-saving features. Not only are these toilets better for the environment, they are better for your wallet. A typical toilet uses about seven gallons of water for each flush, and the average person flushes at least six times a day. A low water usage toilet uses only 1.6 gallons of water per flush. If you pay a water bill, you can breathe a little easier (just not through your nose) each time you “go,” with a low-flow toilet.

Low-flow toilets have improved since the early models of the 1990s. They now use more efficient technology to flush with less water, such as higher pressure power flushing, and gravity assistance. Many come with dual flush technology, which means two options for flushing, one for number one, and another that releases slightly more water and pressure for number two.

Because of their eco-friendly profile, low-flow toilets are fast become the industry standard. But are there other things to consider when you are heading for the head?

Commode Cons: Disadvantages of Low Water Usage Toilets

Failure to Flush. Low-flow toilets use significantly less water per flush, so naturally you can expect your new toilet to struggle a little with bigger, well... loads. This sometimes results in users adopting the courtesy flush method when they go.

A “courtesy flush” in case your mom or dad never told you, is when you double flush. First, you flush immediately after doing your business to more quickly eliminate waste and prevent odor from escaping into the room. Then you wipe and flush again. In the case of a low-flow toilet, the courtesy flush is aimed not only at ridding the bathroom of odor, but also of splitting the load so the toilet flushes the waste first, and then the paper. Even flushing a low-flow toilet twice uses less water than a traditional toilet uses per single flush.

With a low water usage toilet, there may be another reason for the quick-draw flush. The water level in a low-flow toilet is much lower than a traditional one, meaning your poo may not be completely submerged. This results in stronger odor releases into the air around your potty.

Another unpleasant aspect of a low water usage toilet is the fact that the lessened amount of water in the bowl and used during flushing is much more likely to leave (ahem) skidmarks. This means more thorough and more frequent cleaning may be required compared to the older model toilets.

The same low water usage that results in a less powerful flush in your bowl, also means less power in your pipes, so low-flow toilets tend to clog more often. If you have low water pressure in your home, your low-flow toilet may not function properly.

Potty Pros: Advantages of Low Water Usage Toilets

In spite of some minor disadvantages of low-flow toilets, the superior water conservation method of these new loos will absolutely end up saving on your water bill and result in a smaller carbon footprint for your home. According to the EPA, most homeowners save $110 per year after switching to a low-flow. Some states also offer rebates or tax credits to people who are willing to spend a little more money on the slightly more expensive low water usage toilets.

Low flow toilets are intended to last for thirty years of use before needed replacing, allowing you to recoup any initial expense. They also raise the property value of your home.

Low water usage toilets use smaller tanks, so they fit better in smaller bathrooms, and allow more free space in large size bathrooms for a sleeker, more modern look.

Although there may be a few minor inconveniences with using less water to flush, technologies are improving all the time and the newest models have effectively improved flushing in low water usage toilets, making it easier for you to flush it and forget it, while making a positive change for your purse and the eco-system.

Resources — NowThenPlumbing, Thibaut Walker, American Home Shield