Another Look at the 'Porcelain Throne'

August 8, 2018
Toilet paper and holder
Photo: Pexels

Since 1992, low-flow toilets are the standard. A new article discerns the overall big- and small-picture benefits of this water-saving solution.

Toilets require about 30 percent of all residential indoor water usage, per Mr. Rooter Plumbing, and using a low-flow toilet can save $2,200 over the lifetime of the unit, translating to $110 annual savings on the water bill, according to the Department of EnergyRealtor.com points out that low-flow does not necessarily mean less power, "thanks to fancy improvements like better bowl contours (who knew?) and pressure-assisted flushers, any low-flow you buy these days should be as competent as any old, water-wasting porcelain throne."

Once upon a time, back when people smoked in airplanes and thought preservatives made food taste better, toilets used as much as 7 gallons of water per flush. Then, in 1992, someone somewhere thought, “Uh guys? Is this really a good idea?" The Energy Policy Act was signed into law, and low-flush (aka "low flow") toilets that use no more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush were declared the new standard in the U.S. Instead of relying on gravity—and lots of H2O—to wash things down, low-flow toilets use pressurized air to do the dirty work of pushing waste into the pipes.

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