Clog prevention, water efficiency and flushing noises all affect the performance of toilets, and even the best-performing toilets have some drawbacks. Therefore, determining which toilet works best involves more than choosing a certain brand. The best-working toilets are the ones that include features that are most important to you and fit the needs of your household.
A pressure-assisted toilet may be the best option if several people live in your home, especially if toilet clogs are a frequent problem. Pressure-assisted toilets use compressed air to push waste out of a toilet bowl forcefully. ConsumerReports.org indicates that pressure-assisted toilets had the fewest clogs in its toilet tests. The downside is that the forceful flush of these toilets makes them noisy, and they're likely to be at the high end of toilet prices. As of 2011, more than 90 percent of all toilets fall in the price range of $100 to $400, according to CostOwl.com.
You can expect quieter flushing from gravity-fed toilets because they function with less water pressure than pressure-assisted varieties do. Furthermore, ConsumerReports.org notes that the flushing performance of some gravity-fed toilets matches pressure-assisted ones, but they're also likely to cost just as much as pressure-assisted models. "Mother Earth News" recommends looking for toilets that have a gram rating of more than 500 grams, because they usually work the best. Gram ratings result from manufacturers' tests that determine the number of grams of solid waste a toilet effectively flushes.
Water-efficient toilets use just 1.6 gallons of water to clear a toilet bowl of waste. "Mother Earth News" estimates a family of four could save about 14,000 gallons of water per year by using a water-efficient toilet. The estimate is based on American Water Works Association data, indicating that each person living in a home flushes a toilet about five times per day. Inexpensive water-efficient models may hamper your conservation efforts by requiring a couple of flushes to clear the toilet bowl. Spending extra to get a water-efficient toilet with a gram rating above 500 can help avoid such problems.
Dual-flush toilets have separate flushing options for solid and liquid waste. These toilets help conserve water by using less water to flush liquids, but ConsumerReports.org found the flush mode used for liquids is inadequate in some cases. Still, "Mother Earth News" indicates that dual-flush toilets save about 1,200 gallons of water per person each year. You may even qualify for a rebate from your local water department if you install a dual-flush or water-efficient toilet in your home, especially if you live in an area that has water shortages.
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