Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Problems with Lo-Flo Toilets in Older Houses?

Options
Mark Hunt
Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
that you didn't REALLY take your wife to see toilets on your vacation!!

I'm beggin' ya'!!!

(Full disclosure.........I took my wife on a deep sea fishing trip while we were on our honeymoon.......she was sick the entire trip.)

MEN!!

Mark H

<A HREF="http://www.heatinghelp.com/getListed.cfm?id=238&Step=30">To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"</A>

Comments

  • D107
    D107 Member Posts: 1,852
    Options
    Two plumbers have told me they're wary of lo-flows

    in some older houses where waste lines innards are pitted, etc. That even with copper lines, if they weren't smoothed out before installation (forget the name of the process he mentioned)...Ours is over 80 years old, with a house line being connected to the then-new sewer system 50 years ago. My current plumber mentioned he prefers one of the Kohler units that can be adjusted to use more water if a problem develops.

    A wall post on the Gerber products made me look into the product lines. Gerber makes a 1.0 gallon ultra-flush and 1.6/1.0 gallon dual flush. Toto as well makes a dual flush. This is very common in Europe apparently. That seems like a way to really save water.

    Back in the city a decade ago when our coop replaced all the toilets under the city's plan, an excellent plumber did evince some reservations about possible backups due to the combo of lo-flow shower heads and toilets in that 1904 system. As far as I know there were no problems, but I've been gone for awhile. From the user's point of view the Niagara low-flows we installed then actually functioned better than the old 3.5 adn 5 gallon units.

    Anyone have any adverse experiences with this?

    Or with the noise of these pressure-assisted ultra-low flow units for residences?

    Love to cut down on water waste if possible.

    Thanks,

    David
  • The Wire Nut
    The Wire Nut Member Posts: 420
    Options
    Hi David,

    I can't comment on retrofitting low-flows into older plumbing, but the Toto Drake had the best performance a couple of years ago among toilets that flush with 1.6 gpf, yet did not rely on (noisy) pressure assist. Steamhead recently posted a link to updated ratings, which is what I'd search for.

    I'd wager that as long as the plumbing stack was in good condition (i.e. not busted and leaking like in my house when I bought it) that the stuff would pass just fine. My recollection from the research articles I've read over the years is that the extra water didn't necessarily improve the flushing performance either inside or downstream from the toilet.

    Oh, and our municipal sewer is from 1880-1890. Little has changed in our specific section of the neighborhood... no storm sewer, it's all combined, and when the brick tubes collapse, my neighbors have flooded basements... (yuck!). Thankfully, they've only had to reline the sewer once due to a collapse (which was mirrored by a bump in the street above).
    "Let me control you"

    Lost in SOHO NYC and Balmy Whites Valley PA
  • Bob Gagnon plumbing and heating
    Options
    In 30 years

    I only know of one customer who had a sewer problem, that he thought was caused by a low flow toilet. They said the same thing about the 3.5 gallon flush toilets when they first came out and they said the same thing about the 1.6 when they first came out. A few months ago I put in a .8 gallon dual flush and it works great. The manufacturer is Sterling and the model is rockport. It hasn't clogged once yet. Many people think of water as a renewable resource, and it is, but much of the cost of water is the electricity to get the water to your house, so if you save water you are saving electricity. Thanks, Bob Gagnon

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • D107
    D107 Member Posts: 1,852
    Options
    thanks; so apparently noise is not an issue for that

    residence with the .8 gallon--must be pressure assisted.

    I am attaching a recent comparison chart of rated units, though they do not list all the measurable factors.
  • D107
    D107 Member Posts: 1,852
    Options
    thanks; so apparently noise is not an issue for that

    residence with the .8 gallon--must be pressure assisted. It was Steamhead's post that originally caught my attention.

    I am including a link to a recent comparison chart of rated units, though they do not list all the measurable factors.

    http://www.cwwa.ca/pdf_files/freepub_6Ltoiletreport04.pdf

    Also a west-coast plumber http://www.terrylove.com/crtoilet.htm and http://terrylove.com/forums/ has apparently based much of his very informative website on these low-flow units.

    Thanks Bob and Constantin,

    David
  • mtfallsmikey
    mtfallsmikey Member Posts: 765
    Options
    Supposedly...

    The issue with low-flow johns on older drain lines was the grade...1/4" per foot or more, solids separating from liquid as they traveled down the line. No / little problems with 1/8" per foot grade.
  • Steverino
    Steverino Member Posts: 140
    Options
    Low flow...

    the problem from low flow toilets not working properly is a bit outdated. I've sold literally hundreds and hundreds without any problems. A few years back most manufacturers increased the size of the trapway from 1-1/2" top 2" AND began to glaze the trapway as well. These 2 upgrades, along with the change in bowl design/flushing technology, have all but eliminated the issue of waste not passing all the way through the piping.

    What you REALLY NEED TO KEEP IN MIND is this; be very aware of the "water footprint" inside the bowl. Often times the dual-flush toilets have a smaller footprint, hence, your "aim" from your, uh...backdoor, has be directly above the water footprint. Otherwise, the job of cleaning the bowl becomes not too glamorous.
  • laurence salvatore_2
    laurence salvatore_2 Member Posts: 86
    Options
    solid seperation

    You claim that a pitch of 1/4" and greater seperates the solids from the liquids. This is an old plumber's tail. Let me ask you this is there a greater pitch than 90 degrees? How many millions of waste stacks are in existance around the world? How long have they been there? If what you think, were true, I think we would have heard somethin by now. As for low flows and old plumbing, Kholer, Gerber, Toto, and American Standard all have excellent wide and glazed trapway models. They also continue to make the questionable older designs, which tend to maniferst themselves in the form of the more stylized models. Make sure you get one of the new models and expect to pay around $200.00. Also be aware that the .8 gal. flush does not flush so much as dilute which in most cases are adaquate when no solids are involved. Another thing to remember is no group of people exists on the face of the globe that abhors change more than plumbers. I have yet to see old drains properly installed that failed to get along with the new water closets. If somthing has sagged or was not pitched right in the first place you may have a problem, and you may not.
  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
    Options
    A 90° stack


    has gravity working for it so the solids fall. Friction in horizontal waste lines will slow the solids which is why we need the water to move them along. Excessive pitch on a horizontal line will cause the liquid to pass the solid. I have seen this happen.

    Mark H

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
    Options
    you shouldn't have a problem

    i've a gerber viper in my house and its a fantastic toilet.. i've tried to plug it up just to see its limits and haven't been able to..my sewer is a 6'' 80 year old clay pipe and i've no problems at all..i've put in many 1.6 gallon toilets for my customers..no problems seen yet..been years..almost all with old 6'' sewers..i'd recommend gerber vipor or pretty much any of the toto line..the only kohler i would recommend is the cimmarron.

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • EJW_3
    EJW_3 Member Posts: 69
    Options
    Low Flow

    I install the American Standard Cadet3. It is the best flushing unit I have used to date. I have 2 in my own house with zero problems. You will not go wrong buying this toilet.

    EJW
  • Bob Gagnon plumbing and heating
    Options
    .8 gallon dual flush toilet

    My sterling toilet, which is a Kohler company now, is NOT a power flush, I don't like power flush toilets. It doesn't dulite the liquid waste on the .8 gallon flush, it will take paper down with it every time, and even solids. Use the 1.6 button on it and you can't clog it, me and all of my fat friends have tried. The water spot is very small and I thought that would be a problem, but it has steep sides and stays very clean. Cleaner than my old 3.5 flush. Water saving toilets got a bad rap years ago because some manufacturers didn't change the design of their toilts to work with the low water requirements, some just limited the amount of water that would flush the toilet. They sold them for years at the big box stores. I don't know why people would expect a fifty dollar toilet to work as good as a $200- $300 dollar one. Thanks for saving water, Bob Gagnon

    P.S. I'm hoping to install a waterless urinal in my house next, Kohler is coming out with one that won't have to be maintained for months.

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • Jim Bennett
    Jim Bennett Member Posts: 607
    Options
    Wow...

    A.S. That is one brand I personally avoid. I admit I have not tried the Cadet 3, but only because of the problems with the original a few years back.

    This caused us to remove many relatively new toilets and replace them with Toto. I'm looking forward to trying the Gerber Viper in my own house though.

    My favorite (so far)is the Toto Dalton (enlongated, universal height)

    Jim

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • Robert O'Connor_12
    Robert O'Connor_12 Member Posts: 728
    Options
    laurence

    Here is an old thread started by GrandPAH.


    http://forums.invision.net/Thread.cfm?CFApp=2&&Message_ID=292657&_#Message292657


    I think you will find the referenced material differs from the "just an ol' plumber's tale" mindset.


    Robert O'Connor/NJ
  • Geo_24
    Geo_24 Member Posts: 1
    Options
  • laurence salvatore_2
    laurence salvatore_2 Member Posts: 86
    Options
    Cadet 3

    I ate my share of A.S. Champions and switched to Kholer Cimmeron. Those wacky flush towers were hard to fix and self destructed after 6 months to a year. They flushed great when they worked. I just put a Cadedt3 in for a customer and its now a giant flapper like Toto and Kholer. Still has the 32 golf ball flush.
  • D107
    D107 Member Posts: 1,852
    Options
    thanks George, note that my july 3 post containts the link

    for the latest 2007 version of that report.

    Also, thanks for the all the other informative posts; note that our sewer line is only 4" inside diameter as far as we know.

    Thanks,

    David
  • Gary_15
    Gary_15 Member Posts: 22
    Options
    My experience

    I too have been using the A.S. Cadet 3 in both residential and commercial applications (where possible). It's become my standard when customers are looking for a plain looking toilet. I've had no callbacks and all report a big improvement over what they had (mostly early generation low flows). I'm interested in that Gerber Viper after reading some Wall posts. May have to take a look at that one. The A.S. is readily available here, so that's a big selling point as well.
  • Jim Bennett
    Jim Bennett Member Posts: 607
    Options
    AS Champion

    Laurence,

    I was sent to a job Friday, four recently installed AS Champions one year old.

    Two of four have broken flush valves. Went to supply house for parts only to be told that they are obsolete and there is a new flush valve available for retrofit.

    Completely different, simpler and with a LARGE flapper like Toto. Counter guys told me they had MANY returns on old flush valve.

    Jim

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    Options
    Here's the link

    to my earlier thread, which contains the Viper video link and a couple links in a subsequent post to some articles on testing and results.

    http://forums.invision.net/Thread.cfm?CFApp=2&Thread_ID=47949&mc=30

    TLN and I just visited the Toto showroom at their complex in Kokura, Japan (where they also have a museum) and saw their new Cyclone bowl design in action there. That blew me away, it's head and shoulders above anything else I've seen- same powerful siphon as on their G-Max units but with a much more effective sidewall wash. Plus, it does away with the usual hollow rim so it should stay cleaner.

    I think the Cyclone will be our top-of-the-line model, after we test one of course.....

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    Options
    TLN was looking at the kitchen equipment (pics!)

    most of which is not available here, like a ductless range hood that uses centrifugal force to separate the oil and grease from the air. So you don't need a filter, just drain the sump every so often. Also a ceiling-high cabinet that lowers itself to counter height so you don't need a ladder to get to it.

    This is as good a place to start posting pics as any.

    The Toto people have set up their display toilets on what I think is a recirculation system, so you can actually see them flush without wasting water. I don't know of any American showroom with that much imagination.

    You can also see that the display toilets have "Washlet" seats on them. Every hotel we stayed in had these, as well as many public restrooms. So I tried them and found they really do get you cleaner. I'm putting at least one of these in my house, that's how much I like them.

    There was also a display of the Neorest toilet that was made with transparent plastic so you could see it work.

    There is also a museum at the Toto complex in Kokura, but they didn't want us taking pics there. If you go to Japan, you can go there and see where General MacArthur sat.

    This afternoon I stopped by the local supply house that carries Toto, and learned that the only two Toto toilets with the Cyclone system are the Soiree and the Guinevere, both one-piece units. C'mon, Toto- how about a Cyclone Drake?

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Christian Egli_2
    Christian Egli_2 Member Posts: 812
    Options
    Michelangelo did it in blue too, in the Sistine Chapel

    I don't understand Japanese of course, nonetheless I instantaneously pick up on the meaning of the blue pictogram with the number three on its back and the jet d'eau... it must prevent the guests from screaming in surprise but I am wondering whether it shouldn't be covered up by a modest bit of black tape, should it? We are talking about the water closet. Photo no. 35.

    ;)

    Thanks for the pictures, we all knew they would be good. Yup, Mark, he did.
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    Options
    On the Washlets I encountered

    that blue pictogram was on a button that you press to activate the spray. You can also adjust the water temperature and pressure, and make the nozzle oscillate slightly. And of course there is an "off" button ;-)

    Some Washlets even have seat heaters. Talk about the lap of luxury.....

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    Options
    Pretty much any toilet

    with a 3-inch flapper will flush well. A-S Cadet 3, Eljer Titan (only 3-incher available with a corner tank that I know of) Gerber Avalanche (only available in ADA height), Kohler Cimarron, and any Toto with the G-Max flush system like the Drake, are the ones I know of. The Gerber Viper is the only decent flusher I've seen with a standard 2-inch flapper.

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Christian Egli_2
    Christian Egli_2 Member Posts: 812
    Options
    What else is tourism for

    Yeah these machines are so personal, I feel it gets a little crowded in there, plus it's not like they just hand you a towel and discreetly turn their back on you, no... these bowls pretend to be emotionless.

    Did you experience the non Westernized squat deal? - where the human has to be motionless.

    All this is so interesting, the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry has a waterized display of a whole house plumbing with see-through pipes. I took pictures of that... and the steam radiators.
This discussion has been closed.