I remember the first time I saw a dual-flush toilet. I was visiting family in Europe about 15 years ago and noticed that all the toilets had two buttons on top of the tank: for Number One and Number Two. At the time I thought it was a brilliant idea and wondered why these types of toilets had not made it into the U.S. At least, I had never seen one. They were actually created first in Australia in 1980 by Caroma Industries to help remedy the lack of water in the country caused by erratic rainfall and major drought, and have only recently come to the U.S.
These types of toilets handle solid and liquid waste differently depending on what button or lever is pushed. The dual-flush toilet uses a larger diameter trapway that doesn’t clog as often as a conventional toilet, needs less water to flush efficiently and saves more water than a low flow toilet when flushing liquid waste. This helps conserve water and helps with the production at water supply and treatment facilities. In 2013, he Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that by the year 2013, an estimated 36 states will experience water shortages as a result of increased water usage and inefficient water management from aging regional infrastructures.
So, what if you have a Cozy, micro, small, little or tiny house? Will a dual flush toilet help you save water and money and bring your house up to more modern, environmental standards? Dual-flush toilets are more expensive than standard American toilets, however they are similar to install and you can even install a converter that could be a fraction of the cost.
You can purchase a dual-flush toilet from manufacturers like American Standard (for about $200) and Kohler (about $350). Two new models of dual-flush, high-efficiency toilets have been realized by Toto USA. They have wall-hung (starting at $450, not including the in-wall tank) and two-piece (starting at $850) models featuring a current style that pays tribute to mid-century modern design. Push for a light flush of 0.9 GPF or pull for a full flush of 1.28 GPF on these ADA-compliant, WaterSense-compliant commodes. Toto says homeowners won’t have to worry about cleaning every solid stop either — a common complaint with some dual-flush toilets — because the SanaGloss-coated, cyclone-inspired flush system “spins away debris, matter, and bacteria, which reduces the time needed to clean the unit.”