||Low Flow Toilets
Toilets that use 1.6 gallons or less per
flush (1.6 gpf), have been marketed in the
United States since the early 1980's and
are referred to as "low flow,"
"low flush," and "ultra low
flush" toilets. Choosing one can be
environmentally and economically sound since
toilets use the most water in the house.
According to the EPA, studies show low flow
toilets save 23% to 46%, with a projection
to save in excess of 7.6 billion gallons
per day by 2020. The choice can also be legally
sound since in most cases, new toilet installations
are required to be 1.6 gpf or less. And if
those reasons aren't enough, some communities
even offer incentives for the replacement
of older toilets with 1.6 gpf models.
There are three basic types of
low flow toilets:
gravity, pressure assisted, and
- Gravity flush toilets work like standard
toilets but release less water with every
- Pressure assisted toilets use the water pressure
in the line to compress air in a pressure
tank which is released when the toilet is
flushed. The downside of pressure assisted
toilets is that they are noisy and more expensive
- Vacuum assisted toilets are like those found
on newer airplanes and trains. When a vacuum
assisted toilet is flushed, a vacuum draws
the waste and bowl rinse water into the drain.
Like pressure assisted toilets, vacuum assisted
toilets are also noisy and more expensive.
Although most people associated high water
flow with better operation, generally speaking,
low flush toilets are no more likely to clog
or require a second flush than toilets using