Having been in the plumbing field for over 15, I see a lot of calls for under performing toilets. The basic function of a toilet hasn’t changed basically since the invention of the toilet. Water goes into the tank and is then released when flush lever is pushed causing a certain amount of water (anywhere from 7 to .8 gallons depending on how old the toilet is) to fall by gravity into the bowl causing a clockwise (unless you live south of the equator LoL) whirlpool to flush the contents.
Flapper goes up, water goes down Typical plumbing system connection
But since the invention of the toilet. Toilets have been doing more with less. In the 1930’s toilets used as much as 7 gallons of water to make waste go down! 7 gallons! And they didn’t do a good job with that 7 gallons either. Could you imagine the water damage on a overflowing 7 gallon toilet! Yikes!
That dropped to 3.2 in the 70’s and then to the 1.6 gallons per flush standard we have today, that came in the mid 80.s. It’s been 1.6 gallons per flush for awhile and that is because it seems to be the magic number. There is these newer .8 gallon per flush toilets. The so called “duel flush toilets” that in my opinion don’t seem to even make a complete flush half the time and are a complete waste of money. It’s pretty save to say that somewhere around 98% of houses and businesses today are using a 1.6 toilet. Even if they had a older toilet at one time or another. The obvious reason for that is the federal requirement. But when the requirement went into effect manufacturers were making the new 1.6 toilets on the same design as the 3.2’s and that was a outdated design.
It wasn’t until the early 21st century that some engineer finally decided to rethink the system. All’s it took was smoother more efficient water passage ways and a bigger flapper to really slam the water down. Everything else stayed the same (like the ballcock assembly). A couple years later most the rest of the industry caught up, and now (unless you spend under $100) you can get a toilet that flushes at least 2 times better then your old one.
So it seems pretty obvious to me, and it should you now too. That if you have a pre 21st century toilet and it runs constantly or has developed a leak. Then instead of throwing new parts at it like a old beater car. Dropping a few extra $$$ will be worth it. You might even forget where your plunger is. Besides it’s always a good idea to pull that toilet that’s been set for awhile cause more often then not, that old wax ring seal underneath it has dried up and might be rotting your sub-floor.
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