Low flow toilets – pros and cons
Buying a low flow toilet can be a pretty big decision. Aside from all of the low flow options out there, is buying a low flow toilet even worth it? A low flow toilet saves between five and six gallons of water per flush. If the average person flushes six times a day, that’s 42 gallons a day that purchasing a low flow toilet could save. That, in turn is nearly 294 gallons saved in a week and 1,260 per month. Imagine what kind of cuts that would make on a water bill.
However beneficial low flow toilets are for the environment and your pocket, they do have a tendency sometimes to not flush with the same force that other toilets do, which could result in a clog or multiple flushes (which then wastes the water you’d be saving).
Low flow toilets are not yet the “go to” when it comes to purchasing a toilet and are often priced much higher than an average, water wasting toilet. Regular toilets can cost as low as $150, whereas the cheapest low flow toilet is going to cost at least an additional $100 on top of that. Many low flow toilets even recommend having an expert install the toilet which can cost an additional couple hundred dollars. At the end of it all, the money you’ve saved in a year has likely been put back into the toilet – at least for the first 6 months to a year. Eventually though, once your water bill has dropped down from the water you’re saving, it makes financial sense to make the switch. However, if you’re interested in purchasing a low flow toilet with all the bells and whistles, those can cost up to a few thousand dollars before installation. If your goal is to have a functional toilet, help do your part to save the planet, and cut your water bill down then purchasing a basic low flow toilet is a wise financial choice to make in the long run.
Features to consider while buying the best low flow toilet
In this article, we’ve already touched on many of the great qualities that can come with a low flow toilet but what are the basic features that are imperative to consider when buying the best low flow toilet?
Type of flush
How a toilet flushes is an important thing to consider when purchasing a low flow toilet. There are a handful of different types of flushes. The Dual Flush, like in the Duravit Darling New toilet, is an ever-increasing popular choice because it is an environmentally conscious design: the more the toilet needs to flush, the more water it provides. The user chooses whether the toilet will make a “full” flush or a “partial” flush. The full flush uses approximately 1.6 gallons of water, while the partial flush uses only 1.1 gallons of water.
The Tornado Flush like in the TOTO Washlet+, releases water using two large nozzles on either side of the bowl. This flushing style only uses 1.28 gallons of water per flush.
The final type of flush is the AquaPiston single flush, which is when the toilet opens upwards to create a powerful and efficient flush. Like the Tornado Flush, this type of flush only uses 1.28 gallons of water.
Water consumption and certification
When purchasing a low flow toilet, you want to make sure that the toilet you’re purchasing is certified by WaterSense. This means that it meets all the requirements to be an environmentally friendly toilet. WaterSense looks at things like how the toilet flushes and how much water it uses per flush to evaluate whether it meets their rigorous criteria. If a toilet bears the WaterSense stamp of approval, it is guaranteed to be a good toilet option.
Bowl appearance and material
Naturally, everyone has their own personal taste, style, and preferences – even when it comes to something as seemingly simple as a toilet. Toilets are made with different material and shaped differently. Some toilets don’t even sit on the ground but are mounted on the wall. All these factors are things to be taken into consideration when buying the best low flow toilet.
One or two-piece?
A two-piece toilet is the most common toilet design and is found in most homes. Of the toilets we looked at, both the Duravit Darling New and the TOTO Neorest are one-piece toilets while the TOTO Washlet+, KOHLER Memoirs, and the American Standard Cadet 3 are all two-pieces. This doesn’t necessarily affect how the toilet works, but one-piece toilets are generally easier to clean and provide a sleeker appearance. In general, however two-piece toilets are cheaper than one-piece toilets.
Rough-in size and mounting type
The rough-in size for a toilet is the distance from the wall behind the toilet to the bolts that hold the toilet to the floor. Most toilets are between 10 and 14 inches, but every toilet can vary and it’s an important thing to take into consideration when purchasing the best low flow toilet. Additionally, if you’re purchasing a toilet, it’s important to determine whether you want a toilet that mounts to the floor or one that mounts to the wall. Mounting a toilet to a wall can save some space, but it can also be very costly to hire an expert to do the mounting.
How a toilet is cleaned is something else to consider when purchasing a low flow toilet. The TOTO Neorest automatically worked to help sterilize the toilet bowl and help create a cleaner toilet space; however, not every low flow toilet does that. How you’re going to clean your low flow toilet (on both the outside and the inside) is important to consider before buying.
It’s also imperative to think about how much noise the flush is going to make. Is the toilet going to be constantly making noises flushing and gurgling or it going to be nice and quiet and out of the way? Most people would probably prefer the quiet toilet. Especially when a toilet is using less water, like the TOTO Washlet+ that sprays automatically when it senses a person and makes noises.
It likely goes without saying that no toilet is going to last forever. However, most toilets should make it through at least a few years. Most of the toilets we discussed today have anywhere from a one-year warranty to a five-year warranty. When buying the best low flow toilet, it’s good to make a note of how long the warranty lasts for in order to take advantage of it if something were to go awry.