Water Saving Toilets

Accounting for almost 30% of a home's indoor water consumption, toilets are a major source of water usage. Inefficiently designed and prone to leakage, older toilets can often use 5 or 6 gallons with every flush. Something needed to be done to better manage our planet's most important natural resource.

The federal government started mandating 'low-flow' toilets in the early 90s with the passage of the Energy Policy Act of 1992; these new toilets were required to use only 1.6 gallons of water per flush.

Toilet manufacturers rushed new toilets to the marketplace to meet the new standard, but often these new units were poorly designed and did not work well. Often requiring more than one flush to do the job, these new low-flow toilets spurred a consumer backlash against them, and negated any water savings.

Toilet manufacturers responded with improved toilets that performed better, and with greater efficiency. These 'high efficiency toilets' typically have a flush volume of 1.3 gallons per flush or less.

Another newer feature of efficient toilets is a 'dual flush' system, which allows the user to choose an ultra-low flush of under a gallonfor liquids, or a regular flush of 1.6 gallons per flush for solids.

Water Saving Toilets - WaterSense Label

The U.S. EPA in 2006 introduced a new water-efficiency program, WaterSense to spur further advancements in water conservation. Unlike the first go-around with low-flow toilets, manufacturers are accepting the WaterSense challenge and creating new toilets that work amazingly well and save large amounts of water.

The WaterSense label gives consumers the confidence that these newer toilets are going to save them water and money, while still providing an effective flush.

Advantages of a WaterSense Toilet

In order to receive the WaterSense label, a toilet must meet the stringent, independently certified criteria set forth by WaterSense. They must use at least 20% less water than the current federal standards, and undergo independent third-party laboratory testing to back up all efficiency claims. Only the most efficient, high-performing toilets will earn the WaterSense label.

How Much Water Will a Water Saving Toilet Save?

Toilets perform an important task in our modern society, removing potentially harmful wastes away from the home where they can be safely processed. We find it hard to imagine a world before the convenience of the indoor flush toilet, but we often fail to realize just how much water they actually require.

The average American will flush a toilet 140,000 times in their lifetime. Replacing just one older toilet with a new WaterSense unit can save 4,000 gallons of water every year. High-efficiency toilets are a simple, inexpensive way to go green in the home and see immediate savings.

How Much Will a WaterSense Toilet Cost Me?

Efficient WaterSense toilets are available in a wide variety of styles and price points. It's important to remember that even though there is an upfront cost that may be higher, an efficient toilet will save money with every flush. The EPA has estimated that using WaterSense toilets in a house with four people will save more than $90 per year in reduced water bills, and $2,000 over the lifetime of the toilet.

Many utilities and municipalities also offer rebates or vouchers to further lower the cost of a new, efficient toilet.

How Will a WaterSense Toilet Perform?

A new toilet can save all the water in the world, but if it doesn't 'perform,' it's not worth a cent. As mentioned before, early low-flow toilets had very weak flushes, and often needed to be flushed more than once. People want, and need, a powerful flush.

Luckily, new WaterSense toilets do their job efficiently AND do it well. New advancements allow efficient toilets to save water without giving up any power. Oftentimes, people are amazed that their new WaterSense efficient toilets work better than the older toilets they're used to.

Whether you're building a brand-new green home, or remodeling a bathroom, always look for the WaterSense label. Replacing every older, inefficient toilet in America with a WaterSense unit would save 640 Billion gallons of clean water a year. That's equal to TWO WEEKS of water flowing over Niagara Falls! We can all do our small part to conserve this vital resource.

Read about our hands-on experience with a super-efficient Niagara Stealth 0.8 gallons per flush toilet HERE.

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