When new water conservation laws went into effect in the US in the early 90s, manufacturers had to rush to comply, dramatically slashing the amount of water toilets used per flush, often by more than half. Now, at the time, and for a good while after, most people weren’t exactly eager to jump on the low-flow bandwagon for the simple reason that these new low flow toilets just didn’t work. The technology hadn’t had time to catch up with the new regulations, and people often ended up using more water, having to flush multiple times to get the job done. Unfortunately, that stigma has stuck, despite the fact that quality low flow toilets can now use far less than the mandated 1.6 gallons per flush and work just as well as older models. Still don’t believe me? INAX has four unique types of low flow toilets, each of them offering a different type of flush – all of them powerful, and none of them using more than 1.6 gallons per flush.
Double Vortex Flush
Traditional toilets transfer some of the stored water in the toilet tank into the bowl through a series of tiny holes inside the rim of the toilet bowl. This not only lessens the force of the water, but it can also cause staining as the holes dribble and rust over time. More importantly, the bulk of the “flush” actually comes up from an opening in the bottom of the toilet, with the goal of forcing waste down that way. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work so well without enough water, so INAX has redesigned low flow toilets from the ground up. Double vortex flush toilets like this Dover Dual Flush release 100% of the flush water all at once from two large openings in the top of the bowl The rim and bowl are both shaped to create a vortex out of the water, cleaning the entire interior of the bowl as it cycles through and creating an increasing downward force that powerfully removes waste.
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On the outside, double vortex flushing toilets look just like any other kind of toilet. This Saint Clair Dual Flush toilet is a good example, with a single piece construction and simple, traditional white porcelain surface. The only thing unique about it is that instead of a traditional trip lever, it has two buttons on top of the tank. Which brings me to the other important difference between INAX low flow toilets and other brands: you actually have two flush options. For this particular design, the “big flush” is a lean, mean, 1.28 gallons per flush, and the “little flush” a mere .9 gallons, which means that not only is it more efficient at flushing, it’s also much, much more water efficient than even extremely low flow toilets with only a single flush option.
The kissing cousin of the double vortex flush, INAX’s vortex flush is similar in design in the way you might expect. It, too, releases all the water at once from a large opening at the top of the bowl, but has only one instead of the double-vortex’s two, and a slightly differently shaped bowl to help facilitate the creation of a vortex to purge waste while washing clean the entire inside of the bowl. The biggest difference here is that the toilets in this series, like this Rio Grande Dual Flush are two-piece toilets (with separating tanks) rather than the single-piece low flow toilets in the double vortex series. As well, while their “big flush” uses the same 1.28 gpf, the “little flush” uses a slightly lower .8 gallons, which can make a difference over time.
Silent Stream Flush
The really great thing about INAX’s Eco-X low flow toilets is that their wide variety of designs aren’t made solely to flush more efficiently – they’re also designed to fit specific needs and situations. Take their Silent Stream collection – it consists of only one toilet, the futuristic-looking Regio Toilet, available in either black or white, and is designed pretty much exclusively for master bath suites. How do I mean? Well, at 1.6/1.1 gallons per flush, it isn’t nearly as water saving as many of INAX’s other models, but what it does do is flush almost completely silently. The bowl is designed much like the others, to facilitate a swirling, cleansing flush from the top down. But instead of using the vortex of water to force waste out of the toilet, the Silent Stream toilets use a specially designed air pressure regulator to silently pull waste down and out through the plumbing. That means, if you have to flush late at night, whoever’s in the next room won’t know it, and you won’t accidentally wake your partner.
Jet Stream Flush
Some of their toilets are designed for, uh, well, more mundane needs. The jet stream flush toilets, like this Elegante Toilet, are INAX’s highest-flow toilets (and the only type listed here with only a single flush), but are designed to dispose efficiently of large amounts of solid waste in a single flush. It isn’t quiet and it isn’t nearly as water efficient as some of the other toilets on this list, but it complies with American federal regulations, and offers the most powerful flush in INAX’s collection. So if you have a problem with incomplete flushes or clogged toilets, jet stream flush low flow toilets can actually be a better option than older, higher water consumption models because it’s specifically designed to accommodate large amounts of waste.
Hyper Clean Finish
In addition to innovative bowl designs and unique types of water flow, there is one other thing that makes INAX low flow toilets like this work so much better than your average old fashioned toilet. Simply put, the inside of the toilet is covered in a smooth, hard, anti-bacterial glazing they refer to as a Hyper Clean. This coating not only makes the toilets like this Cedar Toilet incredibly easy to clean (and resistant to staining), but it also helps prevent waste from clinging to the sides of the toilet, ensuring that the sweeping vortex of water that their various low flow toilets create wash waste away completely – and on the first flush!
What are your concerns about getting a low flow toilet? Any specific features you’re looking for, or problems you need your toilet to address?