August 7, 2015

Low-flush and water-saving toilets: the MKM guide

If you’ve been planning a bathroom renovation then you’ve probably seen some references to low-flush or water-saving toilets. If you’re not sure of the difference, then we’re here to help.

Did you know, toilets can account for about a third of the home’s water usage, and even more in an office, where the figure is over three-quarters. Toilets used to use about 13 litres of water per flush – the equivalent of 40 cans of pop, if you can’t quite visualise it – and it wasn’t until 2001 when some regulations came in on toilet water use. New toilets installed since then use about six litres, because the law says they have to, so even if you by a toilet that isn’t advertised as low flush, it still will be.

Low-flush toilets save water and are more efficient – you’re using less than half as much water per flush, which will obviously be reflected in your water bills.

You might be surprised to learn that not all low-flush toilets work the same way. There are two main types of flush mechanism, each with its pros and cons, but it’s not the biggest difference in the world – nothing you should worry about too much during your renovation! If you’re unsure about what to choose then you can always get in touch with one of the experts at MKM, but we’ll take a quick look at the different kinds:

Dual-flush valves

A dual-flush toilet will have two buttons that each flush a different amount of water – you’ll have seen toilets with button flushes that have those two little tessellating buttons instead of one large one. One is intended for liquid waste and the other for solid. They requires less water to operate, and allows for much greater water efficiency. They also have a larger trapway, meaning water comes out faster. However, with less water used, they will require a bit more manual cleaning.

Tank-style siphon-flush

These toilets use a storage tank – when the lever is pulled, water is forced up in to the tank and then empties in to the bowl. It uses the same amount of water per flush, so is a bit less efficient, although it’s a bit better at cleaning the bowl with the flush. Without the need for valves, it’s less likely to leak too.

So don’t be put off if you see low-flush or water-saving toilets advertised – if you’re buying a new one, that’s what you’re getting – and it’s not a bad thing. It conserves water, saves you money – which can only be a good thing! – and you still have a couple of options to get the flush you want.

View our range of toilets now