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Consumer Reports tests toilets for efficiency

Posted April 4, 2012

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— Having an efficient toilet isn't something most people think about often, but given the fact that the average person flushes a toilet more than 140,000 times in their life, maybe it should be. 

Consumer Reports tested different models to see which ones can help keep money from going down the drain. 

"Toilets that use less water can save you more than $90 a year on your utility bills," Consumer Reports' Bob Markovich said. 

Testers inspected dual-flush models that allow consumers to use more or less water as needed and others that have the federal government's WaterSense label.

Products bearing the WaterSense label are up to 20 percent more water efficient than average products in that category and provide measurable water savings results.

 

While efficiency was a main focus of Consumer Reports' tests, models were also inspected for water power. Testers flushed a variety of objects, including sponges and plastic balls. 

"As for liquid waste, all the toilets rated excellent," Markovich said. "That's a first."

Testers also compared noise levels. 

When all the tests were done, Consumer Reports named two best buys, the AquaSource available at Lowe's Home Improvement and the Glacier Bay dual-flush model sold at Home Depot. Both models cost $100.

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  • common tater Apr 10, 2012

    It seems to me that the efficiency is more about the flushing mechanism than the toilet itself. I can tell you firsthand that the dual-flush retrofit kits are JUNK. Don't waste your money and time. I have 2 different types, and after months of trying to adjust/repair them, I'm getting ready to replace them with conventional flush. I think one of the kits was AquaSource.

  • LuvLivingInCary Apr 10, 2012

    composting toilet...lol...is that the same as an out house.

  • baracus Apr 9, 2012

    "Ironically, MORE water is used by these low-flow toilets because they can't handle what a toilet is supposed to handle. So, you have to flush about 5 times what took an older toilet 1 flush. Not very "green" if you ask me."

    That may have been true when they first came out, but your assertion is pretty much out of date at this point. Or you need more fiber. In either case, I don't think most people are needing to flush 5 times every time they use the bathroom.

  • thewayitis Apr 9, 2012

    Pseudonym -- I highly recommend Toto brand. They may not be cheap, but they are highly effective. Last year we installed the Eco Drake with only 1.28 gallon per flush. It has never clogged up on us -- it is that powerful. Previously we had those first generation low flush toilets, and my husband was unclogging them weekly (sometimes more) with two boys in the house. :-)

  • Pseudonym Apr 6, 2012

    Ironically, MORE water is used by these low-flow toilets because they can't handle what a toilet is supposed to handle. So, you have to flush about 5 times what took an older toilet 1 flush. Not very "green" if you ask me.

    My primary question when buying a toilet is this: Can it handle a #2 effectively without having to use a plunger or flush more than once?

  • atellisx Apr 5, 2012

    Save the most money with a composting toilet. A DIY setup would cost less and work better than expensive models.

  • warbirdlover Apr 4, 2012

    We just put a new Aquasource in our house. It works great.

  • jb22 Apr 4, 2012

    the only glacier bay listed @ my local h.d. cost $198