Archive for low flow toilet

The low flow toilet debate is in the news once again thanks to Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, whose recent outburst about his dissatisfaction with water-saving toilets during an Energy & Natural Resources Committee hearing has generated a great deal of (largely bemused) news and blog coverage.

The Professor is sad to hear that Senator Paul has been enduring toilet troubles for the past 19 years, but believes his comments were a bit off base, to say the least. It’s true that in 1994, which was the first time that all new homes and bathroom remodeling work were required to included low flow 1.6 gallon per flush (gpf) toilets, the technology wasn’t quite there yet. Most manufacturers simply produced toilets with smaller tanks that were prone to clogs and staining because there wasn’t enough power to fully clear the bowl.

Cadet 3 High Efficiency Toilet from American StandardNowadays, however, there are countless high-performance toilet models to choose from, some of which require as little as 1.28 gpf. As far as the Professor can tell, if Senator Paul and other low flow toilet doubters took advantage of the many resources available to help them make wise “consumer choices” it would be an easy task to find a water-saving toilet that would meet their needs. Toilet manufacturers can apply for independent, third party verification of their claims related to toilet flushing power, for example. Also, as Bill Scher pointed out on OurFuture.org, Consumer Reports is one of many great resources of objective, thoroughly researched product reviews available to help Paul find a low-flow toilet that works.

A writer for Grist agreed that Senator Paul should simply purchase a new toilet, although the Professor is skeptical about their specific recommendation, which features a small water spot and an old-fashioned washdown flush, making the toilet likely to have clogs and stains. Instead, the Professor would suggest American Standard‘s “Made in America” Cadet 3 or the Champion 4, which has recently garnered media attention for reducing maintenance calls by 80% at the Loews hotel locations that installed the new toilets last year.

In closing, the Professor absolutely concurs with the many critics whose response has been “Go buy a new toilet!” Better yet, find a rebate for upgrading to a low flow toilet in your area to save even more money while you conserve water.

The Professor always enjoys seeing a big company do positive community work, so it was very pleasing to hear that American Standard recently donated six new toilets to a Plano, Texas-based charity called My Possibilities that offers a year-long educational program for adults with disabilities like autism, Down Syndrome, Aspergers, and Prader-Willi who have “aged out” of the public school system. My Possibilities offers programs designed to help them build independence and pre-vocational skills in a safe and nurturing environment – a meaningful and necessary service for any community.

The staff at My Possibilities knew they were in serious need of a plumbing upgrade and were hoping to replace their existing toilets with high-performance toilets that used only 1.28 gallons of water per flush to help reduce water use at the school. American Standard was happy to assist them and promptly donated six Cadet 3 FloWise High-Efficiency toilets (HETs). The donated toilets featured an EverClean finish to help keep the toilets cleaner, and were also “Right Height” toilets, so their taller height made them more comfortable and easy to use. Right Height fixtures are ADA-compliant, another reason why that size was chosen for this particular donation.

The Professor was lucky enough to speak with some of the staff at My Possibilities about this toilet donation. Finance Manager Robin LeoGrande explained that toilet performance was a special concern of theirs, as the number of foreign objects that make their way into the center’s toilets is often considerable. In a conversation a few weeks after the donation, Board Member Charmaine Solomon said the new toilets were “a hit and an absolute godsend┬ásolution to a frequent problem that we have been experiencing.” She also confirmed that since the installation they had experienced no blockages or overflowing, both of which had been a regular occurrence with their old toilets.

Plumbing problems can become a serious and unfortunate distraction, as the Professor well knows. It is good to hear that the staff at My Possibilities can now remain focused on their excellent programs instead of constantly running for a plunger.