Archive for toilets

Today, November 19th, 2012, marks World Toilet Day – a day celebrated annually that is dedicated to breaking the taboo around the toilet discussion and spreading awareness of issues surrounding waste management on a global scale.

So why should you give a $h!t? Imagine life without a toilet or sewage system. Imagine having to defecate in the open. While this is nearly unthinkable for those of us living in the developed world, this is an unfortunate reality for the 2.5 billion people in the world who lack access to a clean toilet and the 1.1 billion that practice open defecation. Why does this matter? Illness and disease that are spread through human waste is the second largest killer amongst children living in developing countries; that’s more than HIV/AIDS, measles and malaria combined or 1 death every 20 seconds!

How can you help? The World Toilet Organization, the group that organizes World Toilet Day, offers several suggestions on how you can get involved including signing the Keep Your Promises Petition and contacting your local media to get involved in the discussion. Learn more ways to get involved here.

Learn how American Standard has teamed up with the Gates Foundation earlier this year to make the world better one toilet at a time by developing a new, low-cost yet efficient, toilet system that was exhibited at the 2012 Reinvent the Toilet Fair.

Follow the conversation; Follow @WorldToiletDay and #IGiveaShit via Twitter today!

American Standard recently made toilet history with a new line of high efficiency commercial toilet flushing systems that conserve nearly one-third the amount of water used by a standard toilet. This new line is the first to offer this degree of water savings in a “single flush” flushometer toilet system.

The high-efficiency toilet (HET) system combines FloWise water-saving technology and innovative hands-free Selectronic controls – ideally suited to the American Standard Madera or Afwall commercial toilets – to efficiently clear the bowl using just 1.1 gallons per flush (gpf), a savings of 31 percent over a standard 1.6 gpf toilet. Compared to a standard 1.28 gpf HET, these new systems yield an additional 11 percent water savings.

Engineered to deliver a powerful flush, these 1.1 gpf flushometer toilet systems have been third-party certified to flush 800 grams of solid waste in the Maximum Performance (MaP) test, an independent report of toilet bulk removal performance, while also attaining the maximum drain line carry.

For more information on this announcement, view the complete press release for the 1.1 gpf High Efficiency Flushometer Toilet Systems.

November 19th is World Toilet Day, which is naturally one of the Professor’s favorite holidays. Today NPR is helping to raise awareness about the lack of access to sanitation around the world by devoting a portion of this week’s Science Friday show to World Toilet Day. Guests will include Jim McHale, vice president of engineering at American Standard as well as several experts on global sanitation issues and civil engineering.

Catch the entire Science Friday episode from 2-4 pm. The World Toilet Day feature will start at 3 o’clock.

Follow the link above to find out what stations in your area will be broadcasting the show, or to listen online. In the meantime, check out the great toilet videos that are already posted on the website. And check back soon for the Professor’s recap on the show.

One hot new trend in modern bathroom design is toilets with a concealed trapway. The Professor is a big fan of this style not only because it looks so clean and attractive, but because the straight sides are easier to keep clean and attractive. Some manufacturers even add special surfaces – like American Standard‘s EverClean finish – that inhibit the growth of stain and odor-causing bacteria, mold and mildew on the surface for even easier cleaning.

These toilets do tend to be a bit more costly than traditional toilets because it is necessary to add an additional layer of chinaware that acts as a curtain surrounding the trapway. Additionally, firing chinaware in one piece is tricky: it takes a lot of detail and engineering to get good final pieces out of the kiln.

The extra cost can be well worth it if you shop carefully, however. The Professor especially likes American Standard’s new Studio and Boulevard models, both of them dual flush luxury performance (LXP) toilets. The toilets are beautifully designed and offer superior performance thanks to their innovative PowerWash technology that ensures both a powerful flush and thorough bowl cleaning, every time. Both the Boulevard and Studio dual flush toilets have been independently rated to flush as much as 1,000 grams of solid waste —the highest possible score in the Maximum Performance (MaP) test, an independent report of toilet bulk removal performance.

With so many great features, the Professor is certain that the slightly higher price tag is well worth it.

The Professor’s obsession with issues of toilet performance is world renowned, but it must also be acknowledged that many other factors are involved in having a pleasant (or unpleasant) bathroom experience. The most frustrating and frequently debated issue of them all must be toilet paper orientation: over or under?

The debate itself is as old as the rolls of toilet paper themselves (which, incidentally, date back to 1871) but the Professor was delighted to find an informative article loaded with detailed infographics illustrating the advantages of each orientation as well as important moments in toilet paper history. It’s an interesting article that just might give you pause the next time you need to change the roll.


High Efficiency Toilet Donation Solves a Unique Plumbing Challenge

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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 solution 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.

Great news out of New York City, where the City Council just passed a bill aimed at improving water efficiency in the five boroughs. One provision of the bill, which is expected to save a whopping 1 billion gallons of water per year, has the Professor especially excited: all homes and apartments that are being built new or remodeled would be required to install dual flush toilets.

A recent post on Gothamist, the ultimate NYC Blog, celebrates the announcement by posting one of the ever-entertaining videos of a flushing demonstration of the H2Option from American Standard.

The Professor offers a tip o’the hat to the City Council for taking this bold action to improve water efficiency in New York, and hopes that all NYC residents enjoy the dual flushes in their future!