Flushometer toilet: What to know about installing

Being an Atlanta resident, you know bathrooms are one of the first places guests look when determining...

Being an Atlanta resident, you know bathrooms are one of the first places guests look when determining or grading your home interior style. Creating a unique and individualistic bathroom includes installing an uncommon toilet such as a flushometer toilet, but there are some things you should know. It's not a common residential toilet option, but Atlanta bathrooms aren't actually known for being conventional. Before you run to your local home improvement store to purchase one, there are some things you should know. For example, you should determine if the flushometer system is one you can install yourself or if you need to hire a professional plumber.

The flushometer design

The name sounds strange: flushometer. However, you've seen this type of toilet in many public Atlanta restrooms. Your current toilet is like most that are installed in area homes and apartments. The traditional cistern, or tank, holds water used each time you flush the toilet. The purpose of the tank is to use gravity to force the content out of the bowl.

However, this toilet doesn't have a tank. Instead, it has pipes where the tank would be located. Thus, it relies on water pressure, not gravity, to empty the contents. Instead, once it is activated, a flush valve opens, allowing mains pressure water to enter the bowl. This pneumatic mechanism closes after the high pressured water exits the bowl. Therefore, there is no need for a storage tank filled with water. Over time, this toilet may save you money on your water bill. It uses less water than the traditional tank toilet, which uses gallons of water with each flush.

Besides being a retro-style toilet (it was invented in 1907), it also helps your bathroom design. For instance, it's perfect for small bathrooms. Without a tank, it's smaller and more compact. So, you can place it in a tiny master or half-bath with no problem. Another plus is the flushometer toilet conceals access to toilet valves. This prevents malicious or nosy individuals from tampering with or destroying the valves.

Cool activation options

Maybe the word "cool" sounds a little too trendy to use in Atlanta, but the flushometer system does include state-of-the-art activation options. The traditional tank toilet flushes useing a handle. This toilet does, too. However, you can wow your guests with other options as well. For example, you can pull a knob or press a button to flush the toilet.

The latest technology allows you to install an infrared beam. You've probably seen this in public restrooms. The toilet automatically flushes based on a sensor that detects movement. This way you and/or your guests do not have to touch the toilet to flush it. However, some infrared beam systems do have a button just in case it doesn't automatically flush.

Potential installation problems

The flushometer system isn't compatible with plumbing systems installed in homes or apartments. For instance, your plumbing system is designed to accommodate approximately five gallons of water to flush your toilet. However, the tankless toilet requires less water (approximately 1.28 GPG) than your current system. Another incompatibility is the amount of force used to flush the flushometer.

Most Atlanta residential properties have traditional piping. This piping size does not allow for the water pressure needed to flush properly. You need at least a 3/4-inch pipe. A 1-inch pipe is preferred. Unless you're a licensed plumber, you need a professional plumber to change the piping to accommodate this toilet.

Potential flushometer drawbacks

Although the flushometer system saves money over time and requires less cleaning, it does have major drawbacks. The toilet can leak around the seal. Once the toilet flushes, it automatically shuts off until the next use. When a leak occurs, the system continuously runs. It sounds like a tank toilet filling up with water after a flush. However, the leaky seal doesn't allow it to stop running. A professional plumber can correct a leaky seal. While you wait for a plumber, you should shut the water supply off to avoid running up your water bill.

Installing the flushometer in your bathroom

This toilet has many advantages. You can install it in a small bathroom. You can create a uniquely designed bathroom and impress your guests. You can even use the state-of-the-art technology. Of course, there are some disadvantages with the flushometer, such as changing the plumbing. The final decision on whether to install this type of toilet or stick with a tank toilet depends on you and the professional plumber you choose to help with the installation.

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