If your toilet was installed before 1992, you probably have an inefficient model that use between 3.5 to 7 gallons per flush (gpf). New high efficiency models use 1.6 to 1.3 gpf.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, high efficiency models use 60-80 percent less water than their inefficient counterparts.
Toilets consume an average of 20.1 gallons of water per person, per day with no water-conserving features. That’s nearly 30 percent of an average home’s daily per-person indoor water use. Replacing a 3.5 gpf toilet with a 1.6 gpf model will reduce a person’s annual water use from 27,300 gallons to 12,500 gallons. Along with conserving water, low-flow toilets save money, too
So whether your motivation is environmental responsibility, saving money or meeting the latest building codes, installing a more efficient toilet is an effective and easy way to upgrade your home.
When low-flow toilets were first introduced after Congress passed legislation requiring all toilets meet a new water conservation standard of 1.6 gpf in 1992, stories of double flushing and clogging were widespread.
Since then, low-flow toilets have improved dramatically, and the latest models meet a new High Efficiency Toilet (HET) standard – the fixture flushes 20 percent below the 1.6 gpf maximum or 1.3 gpf - to maximize water and money savings.
When shopping for a new toilet, keep in mind that there is little correlation between price and performance. Paying more for a toilet will not guarantee better flush performance, but may affect comfort and style.
Along with different colors, toilets are available in varying heights, seat shapes and rim designs. Consider 17- to 19-inch toilets, which have become popular in universal design and are marketed as “comfort height.” Bowls can be elongated or round and space is always a consideration. Generally, older homes with smaller bathrooms accommodate a 10-inch rough-in, while newer homes have a 12-inch rough-in.