Which Toilets Deliver?

May/June 2005
A version of this article appears in the May/June 2005 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
Click here to read more articles about Water Efficiency
May 01, 2005
A new testing procedure gives researchers a valuable tool to evaluate the effectiveness of low-flow toilets.
        When builders install new toilets in new construction or in existing homes, they need to be able to trust the stated efficiency and effectiveness of those toilets, since their reputations and businesses depend on the trust of their customers. Conventional 3.5-gallon (13-liter) toilets consume approximately 33% of all household water. More water-efficient toilets can reduce that figure to18%. So, in an effort to conserve water, many consumers are choosing water-efficient 1.6-gallon (6- liter) ultralow-flush (ULF) toilets when building or remodeling their homes. In fact, many municipalities across North America now offer financial rebates for ULF retrofits, and the United States, the Province of Ontario, and some cities in Canada mandate such toilets in all new construction. But are those toilets actually delivering the promised water savings?         Virtually all the toilet models sold in North America meet both the flush volume and the performance requirements of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and the American National Standards Institute/American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ANSI/ASME). However, recent research in Canada and the United States has shown that some certified and commercially available models do not flush effectively, leading to customer complaints ...

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