Low Flow Toilets – The Basics

How Low (flow) Can You Go? 

As strange as it seems in such a lush a city as Vancouver, water conservation is important.   In fact, if you live – or are looking to live – in West Vancouver or the UBC Endowment Lands, you are already a part of a residential water meter plan.  Paying for the water you use, can really bring the conservation issue “home”.

Also in support of efficient water use is the BC Building Code.  As of October 2011 it requires low flow toilets to be installed for any new construction or renovation application.  The North Shore Toilet Replacement Program supports this initiative with a $50 credit.

The problem? 

Not all low flow toilets work well. The question is:  How low can you go before the process becomes inefficient?   In researching this question, I came to learn that it’s not the volume of water that makes the difference.  The shape of the bowl, flow of water around it, and the exit out the bottom all contribute to the effectiveness of waste removal without clogs.  Some manufactures and models are poor in quality and they consistently require two or more flushes to get the job done, and clog easily.

In the low flow toilet blog series I will review how to get the best buy for your money.  And remember, we’ve taken out many bad ones and replaced them with good ones;  all you need to do is call and ask!

How low (flow) can you go?

It turns out you can go very low, 4 liters per flush, and still get excellent results. How to choose the best low flow toilet comes down to, how do you know what toilets will work? You have two options. You can go with a R&B recommended brand like Kholer, American Standard, or Toto, which are locally accessible, excellently rated and good quality. Or, if you have a different model in mind, you can check its function online. The name of the program is Maximum Performance or MaP for short. It is a website and organization lead by the Canadian Water and Waste Water Association, dedicated to testing and rating low flow toilets. You can search by manufacturer, model or type, and see how your prospect measures up. Look for a rating of 600 grams of waste removed or better. I looked up some brands that we have removed for customers like Eago and Cascadian; 250 grams for Cascade, and non-existent in the case of Eago. Eago toilets were not tested because the manufacturer chooses not to participate in the evaluation process. 

Still want to shop around?

MaP has a report called MaP Premium List of Qualified Toilet Fixtures. This report has a list of the top rated toilets. Whether you go with the recommendation of an experienced professional, or research your own choices, you can now be sure that your compliance with ‘low flow’ doesn’t mean ‘no flow’. Remember to phone R&B when you’re ready to buy from our toilet supply and install a warranty program.