How to choose a new water-efficient toilet

When it comes to your home’s toilet, you likely don’t think about it too often as long as it’s working the way it should. For many of us, that’s the case. But toilets age and over time, they do need to be replaced. How can you tell if your toilet has reached the end of the road?

Ask yourself these questions to help tell if it’s time to invest in a new toilet:

  • Is it more than 20 years old?
  • Does it leak a lot?
  • Does it need 2 flushes (or more) to clear the bowl?  

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, chances are, you may need a new toilet. Purchasing a new potty might seem like it would leave you feeling pooped, but it doesn’t have to as long as you know what to look for.

Labels & Ratings:

WaterSense label – The EPA’s WaterSense label indicates that a toilet uses 1.28 gallons per flush (gpf) or less and has met independently verified performance standards.

MaP PREMIUM – MaP PREMIUM rated toilets are the most efficient available, have met high performance standards, and use 1.1 gpf or less. Commonly available PREMIUM toilets. You may be eligible for a rebate if you replace an old toilet with a MaP PREMIUM toilet.

Other Considerations:

Water efficiency: A toilet’s “gallons per flush” (gpf) rating in the product specifications will tell you how efficient the toilet is. Most toilets sold in stores use 1.28 gpf.

Flush power: Low-flow toilets got a bad reputation in the 1990s for poor performance and the dreaded double flush. Thanks to better design, today’s low-flow toilets work better and use even less water. You can look up the flush rating for most toilets at map-testing.com.

Dual vs single flush: “Dual flush,” is an option where you can choose to flush with a low or high volume of water. This has become synonymous with low-flow toilets, but that’s not necessarily the case anymore. Single flush toilets that have met performance standards are designed to work well with a smaller volume of water. They save water and clear the bowl on every flush, not just when you choose that option.

The right fit: Toilets come in all shapes and sizes: elongated or round bowl, lever or button, tall or short. Consider whether you have a door that will swing near the toilet, whether you’ll be able to access the top of your toilet to push a button, or if a member of your household needs a taller toilet to make it easier to use. If you have an older home or unique bathroom design, you might have some special considerations like the height of the tank or the distance of the toilet from the wall.

Rebates: If your toilet was made before 2004, you may be eligible for a $100 rebate if you replace it with an eligible model through the Saving Water Partnership. Similarly, you may also be eligible to receive a free toilet if you meet income qualifications. Click the links to find out more about the Saving Water Partnership $100 rebate and Seattle Public Utilities Free Toilet Program.

Toilets are the biggest water-user in most homes. Replacing an older toilet with a new, water-efficient toilet will help keep your water and sewer bill as low as possible.

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