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How to Choose an Energy-Efficient Toilet

Home Hardware
  • October 9, 2014

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Did you know that toilets account for up to 30% of indoor water use? Back in the pre-Internet era, a family of four would have used approximately 104,099 litres of water a year in flushings (circa 1994). Converting to a toilet that uses 4.8 litres per flush instead of a 13 litre model represents a 70% savings in water flushed – and it’ll cut your indoor water use by about 30%.
Water-efficient toilets don’t just help you save on utility bills; they also reduce the waste water flowing to our sewage treatment plants. And in rural areas, a low-flow toilet reduces the amount of waste flowing into your septic system and leach fields – which helps extend their life.

There are three types of water-efficient toilets:

1. Single-flush (4.8 litres per flush or less). While 6 lpf designation is now required in most new homes as well as for new bathroom renovations, high-efficiency toilets now use 4.8 lpf or less.

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2. Dual-flush (4.8 lpf/3.2 lpf)Dual-flush toilets have two options – one for solid waste and a lower-volume flush for liquid waste.Body Images - Toilet1

3. Pressure assist (3.78 lpf)These are most commonly found in commercial buildings. A pressure assist toilet uses pressure from the water supply line to compress air within the pressure tank, which forces water into the bowl when the toilet is flushed.dual flush controls

What’s MaP Score got to do with it?

A MaP (Maximum Performance) Score measures the flush performance of a toilet. The higher a toilet’s MaP Score, the more waste it will remove with a single flush. Generally speaking, a MaP score greater than 500 (grams per flush) is good.

Advancements in technology mean you don’t have to sacrifice water-efficiency for high performance. In fact, some of the most water-efficient toilets have MaP Scores as high as 1,000!

What’s EPA WaterSense?

The EPA is the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and its WaterSense label is for water-saving products designated by independent, third-party testing and certification. WaterSense products also meet the EPA’s own specifications for water efficiency and performance. WaterSense toilets, for instance, require a minimum MaP Score of 350 (grams per flush).

If a household of three replaced the older 13 L toilet in their home with a high-efficiency model, they could save about $100 a year on their water bill Over time, that’s a lot of money – and water – saved!

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