What Is a Dual Flush Toilet?

December 07, 2015

A toilet has only one job, and that is handling human waste and safely flushing it away from the home. This one job handles two types of waste: solid and liquid. For most toilets, both types of waste are handled the exact same way. The toilet bowl starts full of water, and when it’s flushed it takes whatever is with it down the drain, and the bowl is then refilled with water. The problem with this is that while you may need all that water to flush solid waste, liquid waste is more common and requires much less water per flush. Normal toilets can’t adjust to the type of waste being flushed, but dual flush toilets are a new trend in plumbing. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with dual flush toilets and what they offer, call a local plumber in Virginia Beach to have one installed.

The Dual Flush Toilet

From the outside, a dual flush toilet looks like a regular toilet, but it is different in a couple of key ways. There is no siphoning action when the toilet is flushed. The trapway, the hole at the bottom of the bowl through which waste and water exits, is larger in a dual flush toilet. This makes it easier for waste to be flushed, and also reduces the likelihood of clogs. Of course, the most important difference with dual flush toilets is that they have a special flush for each type of waste.

Liquid Waste

When you need to flush away liquid waste in a double flush toilet, you hit the liquid flush button. Because liquid waste needs much less help to exit the toilet bowl, it also needs much less water. A liquid waste flush is about a half flush, and in most models, it uses less than a gallon of water per flush. Because liquid waste is the most common job for the toilet, this leads to a lot of half flushes and many hundreds or even thousands of gallons saved in a year.

Solid Waste

When you need to evacuate solid waste, you trigger the larger flush, because solid waste needs more water to help it down the drain. It uses about twice the water of the toilet’s lesser flush, but this water use is necessary. Because of the larger trapway, these solid waste flushes still use less water than most traditional toilets.

Other Factors

Dual flush toilets are a great way to conserve water, but they may take some getting used to. These toilets usually get dirtier faster and cost a bit more to install, but that shouldn’t stop people who are serious about water conservation.


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