Monday, January 17, 2011

Low-Flush Toilets: Are They Really Water Wise?

You want to do the right thing and replace your old toilet with a water-wise version to save on your water bill, not to mention, the planet. But you’ve used one at a restaurant… and, it takes at least two flushes to remove the waste! Hey… Where are the water savings in that?

Unfortunately many of low-flush, dual-flush or the ultra-low flush toilets named a “High Efficiency Toilet” (HET) that uses less than 1.28 gallons per flush, seemingly save water only in theory, I guess, if there’s not much going down. And they may have a tendency to clog. Ack!

But there’s good news: Consumer Reports Magazine reported online in August of 2009, “the best performers still use the standard 1.6 gallons of water per flush. But some greener models deliver comparable flushing and save hundreds of gallons per year for the same price or less.”

They rated 25 of the new toilets, and awarded their “CR Best Buy” awarding quality, effectiveness and value to 1.6 gallon toilets, from Mansfield and Gerber and a 1.28 gallon model from Kohler.

These include the Gerber Avalanche 21-817, the Kohler Cimarron K-3609 and the Mansfield Alto 137-160. This Kohler model ranks the highest of the 1.28 gallon models, at #10 of 25 overall.

Consumer Reports’ top five best performing of the tested toilets, with no regard to price, are:

1. American Standard Champion 4, model 2002.014 which retails for approximately $425, and flushes 1.6 gallons;

2. Kohler The Complete Solution Cimarron K-11-456, for around $350, also a 1.6 gallon model;

3. Kohler Highline Comfort Height K-3493, the most expensive of the top five at around $500 but flushes just 1.4 gallons;

4. Gerber’s Avalanche 21-817, flushing 1.6 gallons, is the highest ranking “CR Best Buy” and retails for around just $300; and

5. Gerber’s Ultra Flush 21-318, a 1.6 gallon model priced at approximately $400.

For Consumer Reports’ entire article, visit their info-packed and useful website, however you may need to be a subscriber to view all the information.

--Until next time!
Elaine Bothe

Click here for Gerber’s website (they even have a cool coloring book you can print out for the kids!)
Click here for American Standard’s website
Click here for Kohler’s website
And click here for Mansfield Plumbing’s website.

Photos, in order of appearance, courtesy of American Standard, Gerber (by way of Consumer Reports website) and Kohler.

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posted by Jennifer Adams Design Group Blog @ 12:01 AM 


OpenID pottygirl said...

Toilets account for approx. 30% of water used indoors. By installing a Dual Flush toilet you can save approx. 40% of water being flushed down the toilet, compared to a standard, modern 1.6 gpf (gallons per flush) model. If your toilet has been installed prior to 1994, you are using 3.5 gallons or more each single flush. The water savings you can achieve by upgrading to a Dual Flush toilet are substantial. By reducing your water usage, you are also reducing the cost of your water bill!!
If you are serious about saving water, want a toilet that really works and is affordable, I highly recommend installing a Caroma Dual Flush toilet. They offer a patented dual flush technology consisting of a 0.8 Gal flush for liquid waste and a 1.6 Gal flush for solids. On an average of 5 uses a day (4 liquid/ 1 solid) a Caroma Dual Flush toilet uses an average of 0.96 gallons per flush. The new Sydney Smart uses only 1.28 and 0.8 gpf, that is an average of 0.89 gallons per flush. This is the lowest water consumption of any toilet available in the US. Caroma, an Australian company set the standard by giving the world its first successful two button dual flush system in the 1980’s and has since perfected the technology. With a full 3.5″ trap way, these toilets virtually never clog. All 47 floor mounted models are on the list of WaterSense labeled HET’s (High Efficiency toilets) and qualify for the various toilet rebate programs available in the US. Please visit my blog
to learn more or visit to see how we flush potatoes with 0.8 gallons of water, meant for liquids only. Best regards, Andrea Paulinelli, ecoTransitions Inc.

January 26, 2011 at 3:05 AM  

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