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Published on February 20th, 2012 | by Glenn Meyers


Which Toilet Works Best for Saving Water?

Okay, which is the right toilet for you, your cat, or your dog? Thanks to the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA), we provide this information on water-efficient toilets.

Here are some basics in considering which residential low-flow toilet type will work best in your home:

  • Gravity Toilets are the most common.  Water is stored in a tank and when flushed, the water is released through a flapper valve and driven by gravity to clear out the bowl.  These toilets require approximately 10-15 pounds per square inch (psi) of pressure at the connection to function properly.  Gravity toilets are relatively inexpensive, ranging from $100-$200.
  • Pressure Assisted Toilets are hybrids of gravity and flush valve toilets.  A pressurized tank placed inside the porcelain tank compresses a pocket of air and releases pressurized water into the bowl and out the trapway at high velocity.  The flushing action of these toilets is noisier than the gravity types’, and they require a minimum water pressure of 25 psi to operate properly.  Prices for these toilets are usually over $200
  • Flushometer Toilets are found in most commercial buildings.  They have no tank but rely instead on a pressure-operated valve directly connected to the building’s water supply.  They require a large supply pipe and a minimum water pressure of 23-40 psi to operate well.  These toilets are priced at about $300.

It is important to know that the toilet is the single biggest water user in your home. Flushing accounts for about 38 percent, more than a third, of the water used within your home each day. Replacing an old model toilet with a new 
low-consumption toilet could automatically and permanently cut your home water consumption by 25 percent or more.

Information provided by the EPA WaterSense Program on toilets can help. This information will be helpful, but should not substitute for the professional judgment of a licensed plumber or engineer.

Graphic: MWRA

Photo: zaskem


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About the Author

Writer, documentary producer, and director. Meyers is a contributor to CleanTechnica, and founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.

  • The newest technology is the Stealth System saving 40000 gals a year for a
    family of 3.UHET (ultra high effeciency technology)
    HET 1.28 gal toilets use 60% more water which is the new code in a few states now
    The new vaccum toilet is silent, powerful and uses just .8, gallons every flush.
    The system comes with a showerhead, kitchen aerator, bath aerator ,toilet seat, wax ring and bolts a complete erco system for saving hot and cold water.
    home owners can save 500 to 600, a year on energy and water bills.
    Return on investment is a few months

  • John Tennock

    Here in Australia (the land of drought and flooding rain), the standard is a dual flush, gravity cistern. Two buttons on top, one for full flush, one for half flush. Also, after our recent 10 year drought all faucets and shower heads were fitted with flow restictors.

  • a smart practice. may your drought soon pass. -GRM

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