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Dual Flush Toilets

The effort to save water in parts of the world that experience water shortages has led to the development of dual flush toilets, also known as ultra-low flush toilets.

Flushing the toilet is responsible for about 30% of total indoor water use. Dual flush toilets can save the average household between 3000 to 4000 gallons of water a year because these toilets let the user choose how much water to use by selecting one of two flushing options. For solid waste, the button that releases 1.6 gallons (6 liters) can be chosen; for liquid or light waste only, about 1 gallon or less (3 liters) is required, which can be released by a second button (hence the name "dual flush"). Using only the required amount of water with each flush can result in substantial water bill savings. Dual flush toilets are made by companies that specialize in plumbing fixtures, but they may be hard to find in bathroom showrooms, so they may have to be specially ordered from catalogs or by going online.

If you are thinking of buying a dual flush toilet, consider the following:

  • The controls for flushing the toilet are usually mounted on top of the toilet. One popular design is a large button divided into two sections. The larger part provides the full flush and the smaller the ultra low flush. Models that have two separate buttons are not as intuitive to use, a feature that is important if you have guests or others unfamiliar with the toilets operation frequently using it.
  • If ou have a septic tank, you will especially benefit from having a dual flush toilet, since with lower water usage, there is less wear and tear on the septic system.
  • Many dual flush toilets have a large 4 inch trap way, so blockages are virtually eliminated even with the lower flush volume.

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