Plumbers in Grand Rapids, MN often assist homeowners in making upgrades that help save them money on water use. One such option is the low-flush toilet. Since the typical toilet uses about 3.5 gallons per flush, that use can add up quickly and show up on your water bill. In contrast, the low-flush toilet only uses 1.6 gallons or less per flush. However, as the earlier models did not work as well as their less-efficient counterparts, many homeowners dread installing these water-saving devices. Fortunately, they have come a long way since the earliest models. Here is why you no longer need to avoid the low-flush toilet.
Early efforts in water conservation
The earliest toilets used seven gallons of water per flush as the mid-19th Century was not exactly an ecologically minded time. As the toilet advanced, it required only about half as much water, but at nearly four gallons per flush, that was still enough to put pressure on utility providers and water supplies in dry areas.
In 1994, water conservation laws required lower water usage from toilets and the low-flush toilet was born. The limit was 1.6 gallons of water per flush, which was half again as much as the usual usage. New homes came with them installed and people needing replacements found them as the only option. Unfortunately, these early low-flush toilets did not work as efficiently. Consumers were so frustrated that they sought toilets made before 1994 from yard sales and scrap yards.
Time for new ideas
Toilet manufacturers were not popular with consumers at this time. So they started modifying the design to see if they could produce a low-flush toilet that met customer expectations.
The problem was that toilet technology changed little since the 19th Century. Like the toilets of days gone by, modern toilets used gravity and atmospheric pressure to move water from the tank to the bowl. From there, waste went through a snake-shaped trap-way before disposal at a sewage treatment. This was the invention of the siphon flush that revolutionized bathrooms and displaced outhouses.
However, gravity cannot grab onto 1.6 gallons of water as well as 3.6 to seven gallons. This meant less power and, in the minds of consumers, less sanitary conditions. While gravity is still a mainstay of toilet operation, new designs included wide flapper valves (hole in the center bottom of the tank) and larger trap-ways. Glazing the trap-way also prevented friction that often slowed flushing as well.
The fancy low-flush
These minor design adjustments quickly made the low-flush toilet much more popular. Water bills stayed low and bathrooms were free of embarrassment. But toilet companies were not satisfied. Manufacturers pursued other means to create the best high-performance toilet.
Pressure-assisted toilets gave the 1.6 gallons a fast ride by using pressurized air. Everything was effectively forced down the bowl but with a lot of noise. Some models with this feature require an electrical power source too, which means more planning on bathroom layout.
If pressurized air just does not give you the power you desire, Kohler has a toilet model with a 2 horsepower pump. It requires a power source but makes quick work out of every low-flush use. Who knows—you may never have to scrub your toilet again with that power!
The plumbers in Grand Rapids, MN at Rapids Plumbing & Heating Inc. can repair, replace, or install your low-flush toilet. Give us a call today to help you upgrade your plumbing for better water conservation.