Our home seems to be cursed. We always have one toilet out of order due to leaks or improper closing of flaps, or any number of weird and wonderful problems. It has been such since we moved here over 4 years ago. I recently had the sublime experience of sitting upon a truly royal throne at my friend’s place. Not only was the seat comfortable – gently hugs my ample butt without leaving any line indentations, but it didn’t have those little annoying screws at the bottom that are pee and rust magnets. Its base goes right to the floor. No fuss and/or muss. These features, however wonderful, pale in comparison to the round, segmented button on top of the tank; a dual flush toilet. I need only press the left button if yellow and the right button if brown. More water and greater suction are supplied if more.. er.. matter finds itself needing to be disposed of.
The dual flush toilet came about as a result of consumers demanding water conserving toilets, but not at the expense of having to flush more than once for everything to go down the tube. The initial low flow toilets used a mere 6 liters of water (about one and a half gallons) per flush. Rudimentary designs by manufacturers simply swapped the standard 13 liter tank for a 6 liter tank, while leaving everything else the same. The problem with this design is that the pushing power of 13 liters is far greater than the pushing power of 6 liters, necessitating multiple flushes to do away with waste. Many municipalities enacted codes that made installation of these toilets mandatory in all new building projects. Most early model low flow toilets ended up using more water than their 13 liter brethren because it took 2-3 flushes to remove all traces of a bowel movement from the toilet.
A great man, an engineer, who suffered at the hands of these streaky 6 liter toilets knew there had to be a better way. He began a company called Veritec Consulting, whose soul purpose is to evaluate water loss in municipalities and work with government to find ways to conserve water. His company has rated over 700 different toilets using Maximum Performance testing (MaP). The potty mind in me finds the testing media interesting. Obviously, for safety and hygeine reasons, using real human feces for testing purposes was a no go, but Veritec came up with a suitable alternative after testing the average male and average female fecal output eating a regular diet: textured, extruded soy fake poo. Is there anythingt the soy bean can’t do? These tests resulted in the design of the dual flush toilets; many of which use suction rather than mere gravity to push the waste down.
Who makes these toilets and how much do they cost?
American Standard makes the FloWise ™ toilet that retails for $300 and up.
Toto makes several different models of dual flush toilets between $300 and $600 dollars.
Caroma, the pioneers of this technology carry an extensive line of dual flush toilets that vary wildly in cost.