Whether you are looking to save money on utility costs, or you’re wanting to be more environmentally conscious, low-flow fixtures can be a great option. While they are becoming increasingly popular, are they really worth it?
When considering whether low-flow toilets are worth the investment, there are a few factors that should be taken into account. Our plumbing pros at Integrity Home Solutions explain.
- Use less than 1.6 gallons per flush – compared to up to 8 gallons for other models.
- Utilized two methods to clear waste: gravity and pressure assisted.
- These toilets can last up to 30 years without needing to be replaced!
- A drawback is that a second or third flush is sometimes required to flush waste and some older homes are not equipped for their installation.
What is a Low-Flow Toilet?
Low-flow toilets, also called water-efficient toilets, can use less than 1.6 gallons of water per flush, as opposed to traditional models that can use up to 8 gallons per flush. The purpose of these new designs is to help conserve water and save homeowners money on their monthly bills.
Some estimates show up to 70% savings for households that
switch from old technology to newer low-flow models.
In addition to reduced water costs, water-efficient toilets are also beneficial for the environment since they require much less energy and resources for production compared to regular toilets.
How Do Low Flush Toilets Work?
Low-flush toilets usually use one of two methods to clear waste:
- Gravity: Gravity-driven toilets clear waste from the toilet when the flapper moves and water is released. Water flows down from the toilet’s tank into the bowl, flushing the contents, and carrying the waste through the pipes with gravity.
- Pressure-assisted: These toilets have a pressure tank that traps air. Water fills the tank and is held there under pressure until it is flushed. When the flush is triggered, the air pressure and gravity combine to flush waste.
Problems with Water-Efficient Fixtures
Some common complaints about low-flush toilets include flushing or water pressure issues, as well as a distinctive noise.
- The pressure-assisted technique used in these toilets produces a characteristic “whooshing” sound that can be louder than a typical flush.
- They can not push waste down the drain far enough if they aren’t working properly, which can result in clogs and other problems.
- If the water pressure in your home is not sufficient for the operation of low-flow fixtures, they likely won’t be able to work as intended, sometimes requiring more than a single flush.
Regular Toilets Vs. Low-Flow Toilets: What’s Right for You?
Whether you need to install low-flow toilets due to local regulations or are simply interested in saving money and helping the environment, here are some pros and cons to consider.
These types of fixtures greatly minimize the quantity of water required to move waste through your plumbing system and away from your home, whether you install a gravity- or pressure-assisted variant.
The best part? You can begin saving money right away.
It is estimated by the EPA that homeowners can save as much as
$100 a year when switching to low-flow toilets.
It is important to keep in mind that while water-efficient toilets are more costly than traditional toilets, they can last up to 30 years without needing to be replaced. Plus, they can also add to your home’s resale value. Nice!
Though they use less water, low-flow toilets do not always flush waste as well. You may require a second or third flush requiring more water, thus making it in reality less efficient.
Also, if you reside in an older house, these fixtures might not function with your current plumbing setup. Because low-flush toilets rely on pressure or gravity to flush, the pipes that connect to them must be positioned at a particular angle and slope.
Homes built in the last twenty years can usually adapt to low-flow toilets without too many changes to the existing plumbing system.
If your home is older, there is a greater likelihood that you will need to modify your plumbing system to accommodate water-saving toilets. This may result in installation costs that are higher than anticipated.
Learn More > How to Handle Bad Toilet Etiquette
Talk Low-Flow Toilets with Tampa Bay’s Best Plumbers
Depending on your home, low-flow toilets can be an effective way to reduce water usage and save money on utility bills. Although the initial installation cost may be slightly higher than a conventional toilet, the long-term savings from reduced water consumption will offset that expense quickly.