What is a Dual Flush Toilet?

At first glance, a dual flush toilet looks pretty much like any other toilet you’ve seen. However, the mechanics are a bit different. Today, we’ll explore what a dual flush toilet is.

How Does a Dual Flush Toilet Work?

The opening or trapway at the bottom of the toilet is larger on a dual flush toilet. This is the point where waste and water exits the toilet into the sewer drain. This larger hole means that flushing is more efficient. It also decreases the likelihood of clogs.

When a dual flush toilet is flushed, there is no siphoning action created. Instead, a dual flush toilet uses a special flushing mechanism to regulate the amount of water that is used to remove liquid or solid waste. You can purchase one of these flush systems to be installed on an existing toilet, but you can also buy a toilet with this feature already installed. 

The first flush valve is called the toilet siphon. This is controlled using the regular toilet handle. The second is called the dual flush drop valve. You control this with a lever handle or a push button.

This means that you have a liquid waste flush and a solid waste flush mechanism. Because it doesn’t take nearly as much water to flush liquid waste, a dual flush toilet only uses about half the amount that a standard toilet would. 

When you consider that flushing liquid waste is what toilets are used for most of the time, this means that a dual flush toilet is a water-saving toilet. In fact, it can save up to thousands of gallons of water each year.

What about solid waste? These kinds of waste do require more water than a liquid flush. However, this is where the larger trapway comes into play. Because of this wider opening, these toilets still use less water than standard units to remove solid waste.

Dual Flush and Standard Toilets Compared

All toilets are designed to flush water, human waste, and toilet paper into the sewer system. The difference here is in how that is done. 

With a standard toilet, the flush action is the same no matter what is going down the drain. There is no difference in the way the waste is moved out into the drain pipes or how much water is used. Unfortunately, this means that most flushes use significantly more water than is really needed.

Dual flush commodes allow the user to determine whether they need a liquid or solid flush. This leads to less water usage in total.

How to Use a Dual Flush Toilet

You may have seen dual flush toilets in commercial bathrooms, as these systems have been popular in businesses for quite some time. 

Have you ever used a toilet that instructed you to pull the lever up for liquid waste and down for solid waste? That was a dual flush unit.

For a residential toilet, you have to follow the instructions. Toilets can be designed with varying mechanisms. Usually, there is some sort of image to indicate which is the liquid flush vs. the solid flush. 

For example, the liquid flush handle or button might have a semicircle or a few water drops. The solid waste lever will have more drops of water or a full circle.

Is a Dual Flush Toilet Right for You?

If you decide to upgrade to one of these more water-efficient toilets, you will have to make some adjustments to your habits. 

At first, some homeowners do find it difficult to remember to choose the right flush. However, over time, it can quickly become second nature. 

It’s also important to know that operating with less water can cause toilets to get dirtier more quickly, so you may have to clean a dual flush toilet more often. 

Finally, these toilets do cost more. That’s something to consider as you look at your bathroom remodeling budget.

However, you can reduce your water bill over time with a dual flush toilet. This is also an ideal solution for a household that is committed to using less water.  Are you ready to upgrade to a water-saving dual flush toilet? Before you search for plumbers near me, give Sharp Plumbing and Heating a call. We are happy to help homeowners in Milford, Natick, and surrounding areas with their plumbing needs. Just contact us for an appointment!

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