This fact sheet is about installing a water-efficient toilet in your home. For a typical family, more water is used to flush the toilet than for any other indoor purpose!
Saving Water & Money
Replacing an older toilet with a new water-efficient toilet is one of the single best water conservation actions you can do. New toilets use 1.6 gallons per flush (GPF). Older toilets use between 3.5 and 7 GPF, depending on how old they are.
Choosing A Toilet Type
Almost all toilets found in the home are tank model toilets. There are essentially two types of water-efficient tank toilets: standard tank and pressure-assisted.
Standard Tank and Pressure-Assisted ToiletsStandard tank model toilets are just like any home toilet, but they use only 1.6 GPF. Pressure-assisted toilets look like standard toilets from the outside but have a closed vessel inside the tank, which pushes water through the bowl quickly when the toilet is flushed. If you lift the tank lid of a pressure-assisted toilet you will see the pressure vessel, instead of water. Pressure-assisted toilets may empty the bowl faster, although not necessarily better, than a standard tank toilet. Pressure-assisted toilets generally receive very positive reviews, but they are louder and tend to be more expensive than a standard tank toilet.
Choosing Quality Products
As with any product, some toilets are better than others. Research before you buy. Good sources of information include plumbers, home and hardware stores, the Internet, consumer magazines, and neighbors and friends who have recently installed a new toilet. Federal regulations requiring 1.6 GPF toilets in all new installations have been in place for almost a decade. Design improvements continue to result in toilets that are better than previous models. The vast majority of consumers using 1.6 GPF toilets are very happy with the performance – and pleased with lower water and sewer bills. Customer surveys reveal that over three-quarters of those with 1.6 GPF toilets say the new toilets flush as well or better than their old 3.5 GPF toilets. Once again, remember to research before you buy.
How Much Can You Save?
The water savings from a 1.6 gallon toilet are going to depend on how much you pay for water, how much water your current toilet uses, and how many times it is flushed each day. Toilets manufactured between 1980 and 1992 typically use 3.5 GPF. Toilets installed prior to 1980 generally use 5 GPF, and sometimes up to 7 GPF. Financial savings from a water efficient toilet for a typical family of three will generally total $30 to $60 per year. Installing a new 1.6 GPF toilet will go a long way to helping you meet your 1% goal, and will pay for itself in just a few years.