Each time you flush your toilet, over a gallon of water empties the bowl with a gravity-fed system. Sometimes it takes gallons. Federal and local rules reduce the flow significantly. 1.28 and 1.6 gpf. Is this significant to do the job? Remember multiple flushes don’t always work and toilet drains may clog. Is new science and technology necessary?
GPF means gallons of water required to empty a toilet of waste. The old chamber pots were causes of disease especially in urban areas. It was only by the dawn of the 1900’s that flushing toilets were mandatory in residential homes and commercial buildings. These gravity fed devices, using flushometers or water tanks delivered 3 to 5 gallons of water per flushing task. Conserving water became necessary by the 1980’s. GPF limits were necessary.
In the 1800’s, England addressed their massive sewage system, a remnant from Roman occupation. A water limiter was required. In the late-19th century, a London plumbing impresario named Thomas Crapper manufactured one of the first widely successful lines of flush toilets. Crapper did not invent the toilet, but he did develop the ballcock, an improved tank-filling mechanism still used in toilets today.
As we moved to the 21st century, USA limits were mandated to reduce gpf. When it comes to flushing toilets, is a 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf) toilet better than a 1.28 gallon per flush toilet?
When it comes to flushing with pride, you need a liberal amount of water to assure movement into pipes and sewer systems. Yet conservative approaches feel 1.28 gpf is enough. Is it? This is hotly debated. Are the 0.32 gpf differences really conserving water?
Federal law currently mandates that all toilets manufactured in the United States use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush, but WaterSense-labeled models only require 1.28 gallons or less per flush. Toilets made from the early 1980s to 1992 typically used 3.5 gallons per flush (13.2 liters) or more. Some cities, such as New York, only allow 1.28 gpf.
Among residential living, flushing is the biggest water hog in the house. Older, conventional toilets can use 5 to 7 gallons per flush, but low-flow models use as little as 1.6 gallons. Since the average person flushes five times a day, the gallons can really add up. Yet a 1.28 gpf may require8 flushes to kinetically move the mass.
Reason dictates that more water permits a better flush. The 1.6 GPF toilets use more water, thus flush better than the 1.28 GPF toilets. They flush down a heavy mass of waste and do not leave stains on the bowl. They are little chance of clogs too. Hence, you save water when you use the 1.6 GPF toilets.While a 1.6 gpf uses one flush to remove flushable matter, a 1.28 gpf typical gravity fed toilet might require 2 or more flushes and are likely to clog.
Maximum performance (MaP) testing conducted by independent agencies determines how much solid waste a toilet can handle. A rating of 350 to 600 grams for a 1.6-gallon flush is good, although some toilets can handle up to 1,000 grams (2.2 pounds!) using only 1.28 gpf.
Recent advancements have allowed toilets to use 1.28 gallons per flush or less while still providing equal or superior performance. This is 20 percent less water than the current federal standard of 1.6 gallons per flush. The WaterSense label is used on toilets that are independently certified to meet rigorous criteria for both performance and efficiency. Only water-saving toilets that complete the certification process can earn the WaterSense label. Is it really sensible? Maybe. Using hydraulic technologies 1.28 gpf may do the job.
The first modern flushable toilet was described in 1596 by Sir John Harington, an English courtier and the godson of Queen Elizabeth I. Harington’s device called for a 2-foot-deep oval bowl waterproofed with pitch, resin and wax and fed by water from an upstairs cistern, according to the History Channel.
The idea of today is to push gravity feed with technology to move waste with 1.28 gpf efficiently, without clogs. New toilets were the children of invention. Leading manufacturers are Kohler, American Standard, Toto, and Gerber. Of course all these deviate from normal Crapper designs,and require special service if repair is required.
These new flushing systems must meet a Class 5 standard. The Class Five flushing system is designed for extraordinary bulk flushing performance. Its large flush valve allows rapid release of water combined with a direct fed jet and maximizes water flow.
Kohler has aquapiston. The engine behind Kohler’s powerful toilets is our patented AquaPiston flush canister.
Water enters the canister from 360 degrees for a flush that packs a powerful punch to eliminate clogs without wasting water.
Toto According to TOTO, TORNADO FLUSH: the powerful toilet flushing. TORNADO FLUSH is an essential feature of every TOTO toilet. Depending on the model, two or three jets create a powerful, circulating whirlpool of water that cleans every inch of the bowl – for effective, efficient cleaning inspired by a tornado.
American-Standard uses 6 different flushing systems developed for light-duty, home, and commercial use. The Champion® 4 Flushing System: This top-of-the-line system is virtually clog-free, so you’ll never have to plunge again. It’s packed with innovative features that make it ideal for busy and/or large households. Flushes up to 200 feet of toilet paper at a time, according to American-Standard.
Gerber seems to be the plumbers favorite. In response to customer complaints, Gerber developed UltraFlush to Class 5 standards. Gerber’s pressure-assist Ultra Flush claims it can flush 1 gpf and even 0.8 gpf toilets.
Toto tends to make sleek toilets and claim a siphon jet flush of 1 gpf. All brands have a model that is ADA compliant… meaning comfortable for people with disabilities but choices may be limited.
The real problem with Class-5 toilets is it isn’t Do-It-Yourself friendly. The flushing mechanisms are brand-specific. If you need service for your toilet, you really need local, factory-authorized plumbers convenient to your location. Sometimes this is hard to do.
Toilets usually lack flushing power because the waste pipe, siphon jet, or rim jets are partially clogged, or the water level in the tank or bowl is too low. In those cases, blockage needs to be cleared and adjust the system to correct the water levels.
Toilets are necessary in each home. They must easily move mass in one flush for flow efficiency. If they don’t, unsavory clogs will develop repeatedly. Ask questions and learn about technologies and how they work best for you.
Unfortunately vendors do not have operational toilets at demonstration centers or stores like Home Depot or similar. You want to be satisfied with your toilet for many years. Ask, ask, and ask again before you order a new toilet. While drain clogs may happen, they should be rare.
1.28 or less gpf systems can work. They save water. They help maintain sewers and cesspools. They reduce water taxes. Some are even self-cleaning! A good toilet means flushing with pride and love.