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Low-Flow Toilets: What are the Pros and Cons?

Many people want to make greener choices for their families and this explains the upsurge in the popularity of low-flow toilets. When it comes to remodeling a bathroom or planning your new home, it’s tempting to install a more efficient toilet that can save you water and money. A toilet made prior to 1994 could consume as much as 7 gallons of water per flush, but the federal standard is now 1.6 gallons. Estimates from the EPA show that a low-flow toilet can cut the water usage in most homes by 20-60% which equates to around $140 annually.

A Brief Primer

We’ve covered some basics in the introduction, but many people will be wondering if low-flow toilets are worth the extra investment. To put this in perspective, it’s interesting to note that an average American home uses 30% of the monthly water usage to flush toilets. In fact, since their introduction in the ’90s low-flow toilets have become far more efficient. But. the most efficient models can be expensive to buy and install and some maintenance is required to keep them working smoothly. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of low-flow toilets to help you make an informed choice.

The Pros

A Greener Option

Low-flow toilets are a very environmentally friendly choice, you can conserve water with no loss in performance. In certain areas that have periodic droughts, this is a great option.

Low Operating Costs

Every flush of a low-flow toilet saves water and this can really add up over time. The initial higher purchasing and installation costs can be recouped over a couple of years. After this period, the homeowner can enjoy far lower water bills.

Space Saving

A low-flow toilet only needs a small water tank which makes them an ideal fit for small spaces. If you have a larger bathroom, you can enjoy a modern and sleek aesthetic or simply take advantage of the extra space. If you have a smaller living area where space is at a premium, a low-flow toilet may make a lot of sense.

The Cons

WaterSense Low-Flow Toilets

The initial cost is higher when you choose a low-flow toilet with a WaterSense label. But, there are greater water savings and you may be able to get a rebate.

Toilet and Drain Clogs

A low-flow toilet uses less water per flush which can lead to solid waste becoming stuck in the toilet or drain system. If the clog is missed, it could contribute to a more substantial clog when the next flush is carried out. This is also an issue if your home has low water pressure or if you use a lot of toilet paper.

The Installation Costs

In older homes, a low-flow toilet may not mesh well with the existing home plumbing system. These toilets work with gravity and pressure and the connected pipes need to be orientated at a specific slope and angle to work efficiently. So, some extra plumbing work may be needed to get your new low-flow toilet working as intended.

If you’re interested in a low-flow toilet for your home, contact your local certified plumber for expert help and advice today.