Archive for water saving toilets

Do you know how much water you consume on a daily basis? Every drop of water you use can have a deep impact on the water supply of your community and region! This week, Professor Toilet will be quizzing our fans on the impact of water (and the lack thereof) locally, regionally and statewide.  Do you have what it takes to earn a Ph. D. in water savings? Join the conversation on the American Standard Facebook page. See the cheatsheet infographic below to quickly find out how you and your family can make a significant difference in water usage through WaterSense Certified faucets and toilets!

Saving Water with Watersense Faucets and Toilets with Professor Toilet

When the Professor talks water-saving toilets, the focus tends to be on whether or not it has the flushing power to effectively clean the bowl and avoid household clogs. But every now and then there is a reminder that all that waste has to GO somewhere. A toilet flush not only needs to clear the bowl, but also keep waste moving through the sewer system.

Older 3.5 gallon per flush (gpf) toilets used plenty of (you might even say too much) water to move waste through drainlines down to the sewer system, but as 1.6 and even 1.28 gpf toilets become the norm, some reports emerged questioning whether the reduced amount of water was enough to power waste effectively through the pipes underground.

Studies to date have found that the reduced water flow is not to blame. A drainline carry study performed in Australia at locations deemed to be of “above average” difficulty in terms of drainline length and slope (or lack there of) found that water saving toilets caused no blockages. Other studies have demonstrated that poor drainline installation is the main cause of sewer back-ups, including rough joints, debris from construction being left in the pipe, and even lengths of pipe that slope the wrong way.

A new study by the Plumbing Efficiency Research Coalition is scheduled to begin early this year, thanks in part to a generous donation of test apparatus by American Standard Brands. With water shortages critical in many parts of the world, and drought forecast for the entire southern tier of the US in 2012, any study that helps build end-user confidence in high-efficiency plumbing will enable this significant water savings to continue, rather than literally sending technical advances in flushing performance “down the drain.”

Smart commercial restroom innovations are, in the Professor’s experience, few and far between. The status quo is so readily accepted that many manufacturers of plumbing fixtures have little incentive to invest in attractive designs and technological innovations. That’s why the Professor is so impressed by the latest commercial offerings from American Standard. From smart, water-saving technology to sleek, unexpected shapes, here are a few of the commercial toilets, sinks, and urinals that are transforming modern restrooms.

  • If you’ll pardon the pun, the Professor’s hands-down favorite innovation is American Standard’s hands-free dual flush toilet valve. The way it works is that the Selectronic dual flush toilet valve releases a light flush of 1.1 gallons when motion is detected for less than 60 seconds. A standard 1.6 gpf volume is used when motion is detected for 60 seconds or longer.
  • The Lucia Lavatory Sink from American Standard

    The Lucia wall-hung lavatory sink is a great solution
    for commercial spaces in need of extra storage areas for soaps, toiletries, and accessories but have little space to spare in the restroom. The sink has a graceful, upscale appearance and offers a surprising amount of usable storage surface for such a small fixture.

  • The strikingly modern Decorum high-efficiency urinalwould not be out of place in spaces like an art museum or a luxury resort. Decorum only uses 0.5 gallons of water per flush (gpf) and also features the EverClean permanent finish that inhibits the growth of stain and odor-causing bacteria, mold and mildew on the surface – making it ideal for commercial, institutional and other high-use, public installations.
  • The surprisingly smart Ceratronic proximity faucet that allows users to control water temperature in addition to the on/off function, all without touching the faucet. Ideal for hospitals and other settings where spreading germs is a concern, the faucet’s detection range and time variables can be customized with the touch of a button from an optional remote control.

What’s most exciting to the Professor about all these creative, problem-solving products is the knowledge that even more transformative innovations are still to come. Here’s to a future of cleaner, smarter, more beautiful restrooms for us all.

Note: This post is part of the 2011 Bathroom Blogfest, now in its sixth year. The Professor is thrilled to participate in the blogfest for a third year this year. For more information about the blogfest, visit Bathroom Blogfest. Look for the tag “#BathroomEXP” on flickr,, Technorati, Twitter and Google, or ‘Like’ on Facebook.  A list of participants is below.



Name Blog Name Blog URL
Susan Abbott Customer Experience Crossroads
Paul Anater Kitchen and Residential Design
Shannon Bilby From the Floors Up
Toby Bloomberg Diva Marketing
Laurence Borel Blog Till You Drop
Bill Buyok Avente Tile Talk
Jeanne Byington The Importance of Earnest Service
Becky Carroll Customers Rock!
Katie Clark Practical Katie
Nora DePalma O’Reilly DePalma: The Blog
Paul Friederichsen The BrandBiz Blog
Tish Grier The Constant Observer
Elizabeth Hise Flooring The Consumer
Emily Hooper Floor Covering News Blog
Diane Kazan Urban Design Renovation http//
Joseph Michelli Dr. Joseph Michelli’s Blog
Veronika Miller Modenus Blog
Arpi Nalbandian Tile Magazine Editors’ Blog
David Polinchock Polinchock’s Ponderings
Professor Toilet American Standard’s Professor
David Reich my 2 cents
Victoria Redshaw & Shelley Pond Scarlet Opus Trends Blog
Sandy Renshaw Purple Wren
Bethany Richmond Carpet and Rug Institute Blog
Bruce D. Sanders RIMtailing
Paige Smith Neuse Tile Service blog
Stephanie Weaver Experienceology
Christine B. Whittemore Content Talks Business
Christine B. Whittemore Smoke Rise & Kinnelon
Christine B. Whittemore Simple Marketing Blog
Ted Whittemore Working Computers
Chris Woelfel Artcraft Granite, Marble & Tile
Patty Woodland Broken Teepee
Denise Lee Yohn brand as business bites

The new Selectronic Hands-Free Dual Flush Toilet from American StandardThere is no question that dual flush toilets are a simple and increasingly popular way to reduce water use at home. Now, thanks to a recent innovation from American Standard, a new line of hands-free, dual flush toilet valves are bringing the same water-saving technology to commercial applications.

How does it work? The new Selectronic dual flush toilet valve releases a light flush, or 1.1 gallons per flush (gpf), when motion is detected for less than 60 seconds. A standard 1.6 gpf volume is used when motion is detected for 60 seconds or longer.

All in all, the Professor is impressed by the ingenuity of this new line of commercial flush valves, which require 20 percent less water than standard toilets. The valves were designed to work perfectly as a retrofit for use with existing plumbing, so it’s easy for commercial facilities to make this water conservation-friendly upgrade. Here’s to an eco-friendly and very high tech future!

Earlier this week, the Professor posted video clips from a recent interview with Brian Richter, the Director of the Global Freshwater Program at the Nature Conservancy. Just in time for Earth Day, here are the remaining segments of the interview.

In this clip Brian discusses rates of water use on a national level and both he and the Professor share their recommendations for how to save water at home without sacrificing performance or style.

Next, Brian talks about how his interest in water conservation developed on a personal and professional level.

Brian concludes by sharing 3 sensible tips for saving water around your home and explains the connection between saving water and saving electricity. He and the Professor talk about replacing toilets, faucets, and showerheads and agree that most modern water-saving products are designed to be easy to install without the help of a professional.

The Professor would like to thank Brian Richter for sharing his knowledge and insights, and sends Earth Day wishes to everyone at the Nature Conservancy.


Toilets: Get Comfy

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When selecting a toilet, homeowners have the choice between round and elongated bowl designs.

Round-front toilets have been around the longest and typically extend 25 to 28 inches from the wall. Newer to the scene and designed to be more comfortable, elongated bowls typically extend 29 to 31 inches from the wall.

Because the toilet sits opposite the door in many smaller bathrooms, a regular elongated toilet can restrict the size of the door or its swing – or just make navigating small powder rooms difficult.

Compact Cadet 3 Toilet

A third option is called compact elongated, which combine the best of both worlds: comfort and space savings. Compact elongated toilets, such as the Compact Cadet 3, offer the comfort of an elongated bowl in same 27½-inch footprint as a conventional round-front bowl.

This space-saving feat is accomplished by reengineering the trapway so that it is closer to the wall but still fits standard 12-inch rough in designs.

It is important not to confuse bowl size (distance from the wall to the front of the bowl) with a toilet’s rough-in dimensions, which denotes the distance from the wall to the center of the toilet flange in the floor).

colin mcenroe

Colin McEnroe hosts a talk show on the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network and today, it’s all about toilets.

But first, Professor Toilet turned the tables and asked Colin a few questions:

Professor Toilet:  How do you feel about the toilets in your home?  Do your toilets work well?

Colin McEnroe:  NO! I have a nagging, epic sense of of what Goethe called Toiletteschmerz (toilet sadness.) Neither one of my toilets really gets the job done. In fact, there’s a huge undocumented class of Americans who have to flush the toilet twice every time they poop. The U.S. Census Bureau should be asking about this.

My toilets are not cutting edge eco-toilets. They’re sort of the opposite. They’re old toilets that don’t work that well. Of course I, as toilet depositor, am old and don’t work that well either. So it’s the Circle of Life.

Professor Toilet:  Indeed it is.  What do you think of toilets that use less water?

Colin McEnroe: You mean really good toilets that flush with less water, right? See above. Asking me that is like asking some Neanderthal who hasn’t really mastered the art of making fire what he thinks of gas grills. I’m stuck in a previous toilet evolutionary period from the one you’re talking about.

I totally approve of water saving toilets, but they are, right now, a distant dream for me, like flying cars.

PlungerProfessor Toilet:  Do you own a plunger? And why, for Pete’s sake?

Colin McEnroe: I own a plunger for the same reason everyone else does: in case I am ever called up, hastily, to audition for a Three Stooges remake.

Actually, I’m pretty good with a plunger. I don’t want to go into details, but there’s something kind of orgasmic about the release that comes at the moment when effective plunging realizes its goal.

I can’t believe I wrote that.

Professor Toilet:  Neither can we. And far be it from us to suggest other ways to achieve orgasmic release.  Just so you know,  you don’t really need a plunger when toilets like the Champion 4 can take down 1,000 grams in one flush.  That’s 2.2 pounds, equal to about 66 chicken nuggets.

Tell us, does your toilet suffer from skid marks?

Colin McEnroe:  I’m not sure toilets can suffer.  But if they do suffer, that raises the question of whose fault it is. Is there something wrong with the way the mark-maker poops? (Bad angle?)

I’m dodging the question.

Professor Toilet:  It can happen in the best of families when they are stuck with the worst of toilets.

Finally, you say your show  is about “Giving you something new to laugh about in your car and talk about over dinner.”  Will you make an exception on the dinner thing for this topic?

Colin McEnroe: My recommendation would be that this topic should be resolved, one way or another, in the car.

Listen live today at about 1:20 ET for Colin McEnroe and James Walsh to continue the toilet talk.

Even as architects report doing more modest kitchens and baths, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported demand for certain products had risen significantly, particularly for those that promote energy and water efficiency.

Professor Toilet thanks Supply House Times for pointing out that demand for low-flow (high efficiency) toilets showed a particularly impressive jump in demand – requested in 63% of 2009 bathroom remodels; up from 57% in 2008 according to the  AIA 2009 Home Design Trends Survey.

Once viewed with skepticism, as we learned a few lessons ago in The Day Bad Flushing Began, low-flow toilets have greatly increased in popularity as homeowners become more economically and environmentally minded. Those who try out the latest models know that double-flushing is not at all necessary, and enjoy significant savings on their water bills immediately.

H2Option toilet American Standard

American Standard, for instance, recently conducted a test retrofitting of its newest low-flow toilet, the H2Option, in the Chastain Lakes neighborhood of Kennesaw, GA and the reviews were overwhelmingly positive. The H2Option offers a dual-flush system that allows users to choose between a 1 gallon and a standard 1.6 gallon “turbo flush.” Chastain Lakes homeowner and real estate agent Peg Grady said she told her guests to “trust [her] on the turbo flush!” and noted that there was “no comparison” between her old traditional toilet and the H2Option. Neighbor Rene Merritt agreed, telling us she was “super satisfied by everything that has happened.”

Replacing a standard toilet with a dual flush system can save more than 29,000 gallons of water per year, which can translate to big savings on water bills. With so many new low-flow toilets available on the market, it’s no wonder that more and more consumers are embracing siphonic dual-flush toilets.

perez hilton

Perez Hilton has American Standard water saving toilets on his website.

The toilets’ brush with celebrity, so to speak, was thanks to the clean water advocacy work of Mandy Moore and Alexandra Cousteau, that included Congressional visits on March 23.   More on on Moore, Cousteau and water at

More coverage for World Water Day activities of Moore and Cousteau.

american standard low flow toilets urinals pint urinal

The American Standard Pint Urinal is among the advanced technologies featured on today’s blog.

The Water-Saving Toilets of the Future |