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#Bathroom #Toilets

Pressure assisted toilets

David Kent

  • Pressure assisted toilets have been used for decades in commercial settings.
  • They have more powerful flush and use less water, but they also have a few downsides that are impossible to overlook.
  • We picked the Kohler K-3505-0 Wellworth Classic with Pressure Lite system as the best pressure assisted toilet money can buy right now.

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If you are in the process of buying a toilet with pressure assisted flushing system, you are probably asking yourself at least one of these questions.

  • Are pressure assisted toilets worth the money?
  • Are there any disadvantages of owning one?
  • Are they more expensive?

Quote from the expert

"The (pressure assisted) toilet is exceptionally stronger than traditional, gravity flow models and flushes more waste using less water." - thepinkplumber.com

How does a pressure assisted toilet work?

Pressure assisted toilets don’t look much different than traditional gravity assisted ones at first sight. There’s a bowl that’s usually made of ceramic, a toilet seat that’s made of plastic or wood, and a tank that holds water.

However, pressure-assisted toilets also have a compression tank that’s located inside of the water tank. It allows toilet to use a combination of water and pressurized air to produce more powerful flushing action instead of relying just on the force of the gravity alone.

How does it flush?

While the tank is filling up with water, the air is getting compressed in the cylinder. The cylinder is usually made of metal and is located inside of the water tank.

Once the flushing process starts, the bowl gets filled with water and the pressurized air pushes the water down the bowl through through the trapway.

This combination generates more force than traditional flushing systems which allows the toilet to use less water while flushing down more waste at once.

Advantages of pressure assisted toilets

  • Efficiency. Because combination of water and pressurized air provides more force, pressure-assisted toilets can flush more waste through the trapway at the same time.
  • Less water needed. Because pressure assisted toilets require less water for efficient flushing, they can reduce your water bills at the end of each month.

What about the downsides?

When something seems to good to be true, it usually is. Pressure assisted toilets are no exception and here are some of their most common downsides.

  • Despite the fact that pressure assisted toilets are advertised as having the most efficient flushing system, the truth is that today’s gravity toilets are at least equally effective and they consume similar amounts of water;  1.0, 1.28 or 1.6 gallons per flush.
  • Flushing action of the pressure assisted toilets creates noise. Sometimes a lot of noise. It’s something no manufacturer can go completely around and even if toilet with pressure system is advertised as being quiet, it nearly impossible that it’s more quiet than modern high-end gravity-fed toilets.
  • The final downside that is impossible to overlook is the price. Despite the fact that a toilet with pressure assisted flushing system can cost the same as a toilet with gravity-fed system, it can cost much more on the long run because wherever there’s a unnecessary technology involved, it creates more chances of something to start malfunctioning.
  • Spare parts of the pressurized air tank are often relatively expensive and they require more than just basic DIY skills to be replaced. If something starts malfunctioning, you will spend money on professional plumbing service and you will probably have to wait on factory parts to get delivered.

Are pressure-assisted toilets really worth it?

We believe that pressure assisted flushing systems are overrated and their disadvantages outweigh the advantages. They never got as popular as toilets with gravity-fed flushing systems and there’s a good reason for that.

When the U.S. government decided that every toilet sold in the U.S. has to consume 1.6 gallons of water per flush or less, manufacturers had two options; Either redesign their line of gravity-fed toilets from scratch, or equip them with pressure-assisted flushing system.

Equipping them with pressure-assisted flushing system was the cheaper and faster solution and because the solution was made in a hurry, many pressure-assisted toilets had plenty of downsides.

Reviews

If you still believe that a toilet with pressure-assisted flushing system is the way to go, here are a few brief reviews of what we consider the most interesting toilets on the market today.

1. Kohler K-3505-0 Wellworth Classic Pressure Lite

The Kohler K-3505-0 Wellworth is an elegant two-piece toilet that comes with Kohler’s Pressure Lite, a flushing system designed for bulk flushing performance. Although it has been on the market for over 8 years, it’s still a toilet that offers a lot for the money.

  •  Style: Two piece
  • Color: White
  • Flushing System: Pressure assisted
  • Water consumption: 1.4 GPF
  • Height: 15 inches
  • Bowl: Elongated

Design

The Wellworth K-3505-0 is a two piece toilet that has the tank and the bowl separated. The trapway is half exposed and could be a little more concealed, but the curvy tank completes its looks into an elegant looking toilet.

The K-3505-0 comes in several different designs to choose from. Most homeowners will probably opt for the standard white while some might prefer biscuit or almond color option.

Flushing system

The K-3505-0 Wellworth features the Kohler’s Pressure Lite flushing system. It has an internal vessel that’s built into the water tank which pressurizes the water and provides exceptionally powerful commercial-grade flush.

One of the main downsides of the pressure assisted flushing system is the noise. These types of flushing systems can get really loud. However, the Wellworth’s flushing performance is very reasonably quiet. The secret is in the advanced noise-mapping that suppresses most of the noise that would otherwise come out.

  • Pros: Low water consumption – 1.6 GPF, pressure Lite flushing system, comfort height, one-year limited warranty
  • Cons:  Exposed trapway

2. Zurn Z5572

The next in line of our favorite pressure-assisted toilets is none other than the Zurn Z5572, a two-piece toilet with dual flush system. It looks similar to the Kohler Wellworth and shares many of its features. The reason why we ranked Wellworth over the Zurn Z5572 is because Kohler toilets have been on the market longer.

  • Style: Two piece
  • Color: White
  • Flushing System: Pressure assisted dual flush
  • Water consumption: 1.0 / 1.6 GPF
  • Height: 15 3/8″ inches
  • Bowl: Elongated

Design

The Z5572 looks similar as most toilets on the market. The bowl is elongated which means that it offers more comfort and the height of the bowl is compliant with the standard ADA act.

The trapway is fully glazed, the tank looks elegant, and the pneumatic lever is plated with Chrome finish.

Flushing system

The Z5572 features dual flushing system with EcoFlushTM technology . You can use partial flush which uses 1 gallon of water for flushing down liquid waste, and full flush which uses 1.6 gallons of water for solid waste.

With that said, the partial flush of the Z5572 is often powerful enough even for flushing down solid waste which makes this toilet ultra efficient.

  • Pros: Dual flush – 1.0 / 1.6 GPF, 10-year warranty, EcoFlushTM technology, elongated bowl
  • Cons: The toilet seat is not included

3. American Standard 2462.016.020 Cadet

The third in line is the American Standard 2462.016.020 Cadet. It offers commercial-grade flushing performance and it’s one of the most affordable toilets on our list of pressure assisted toilets.

  • Style: Two piece
  • Color: White
  • Flushing System: Pressure assisted
  • Water consumption: 1.6 GPF
  • Height: –
  • Bowl: Elongated

Design

The Cadet toilet comes in two-piece design which means that the tank and the bowl come as two separate units which need to be mounted together. The bowl is made of vitreous china with Everclean surface and is elongated which makes it more comfortable to sit on. The Everclean surface is less sticky than traditional materials which means that it helps keep itself clean longer.

Unfortunately the toilet seat is sold separately so you will need to buy it as an addition if you decide to buy the Cadet.

Flushing system

The flushing system of the American Standard Cadet uses 1.6 gallons of water per flush which is on the higher side of today’s high efficiency toilets. However if you are switching from an older toilet that uses 3.5 gallons of water per each flush, you will definitely spot the difference on your water bills.

  • Pros:  Water consumption – 1.6 GPF, everclean surface, elongated bowl, commercial-grade performance
  • Cons: The toilet seat is sold separately

4. American Standard 2876.016.020 Yorkville

The American Standard Yorkville is another two piece toilet that offers pressure-assisted siphon jet flushing action with commercial-grade performance.

  • Style: Two piece
  • Color: White
  • Flushing System: Pressure assisted
  • Water consumption: 1.6 GPF
  • Height: –
  • Bowl: Elongated

Design

Just like the American Standard Cadet, the bowl of the Yorkville is finished with Everclean surface that inhibits the growth of bacteria that causes odor and stains. It has a fully glazed 2-1/8-inch trapway and it comes in two-piece design.

The downside of the Yorkville is that it is mounted with four bolts instead of standard two. This makes it more stable, but the two extra bolts need to be screwed into the wall which might turn a lot of people away from buying it.

Flushing system

The pressure-assisted flushing system of the Yorkville uses 1.6 gallons of water per flush.

  • Pros: Water consumption – 1.6 GPF, elongated bowl, EverClean surface
  • Cons: Comes with a single year limited warranty, doesn’t include a toilet seat
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