Skip to main content

Can I Install a Commercial Toilet in My Home?

Can I Install a Commercial Toilet in My Home?

Many businesses and stores use commercial toilets that don't come with a tank on the back. A tankless toilet means less space is needed for the fixture, changes maintenance expectations and makes cleaning much easier. Is it possible for homeowners to install a commercial toilet or a similar model in their own houses? Let's take a closer look.

Operational differences

There's a big reason why you don't see commercial toilets in homes: The toilet you see in a typical business operates differently than a traditional model. A retail store or other commercial building’s plumbing system is usually built specifically to provide for the capabilities of a commercial grade toilet, while residential water supply lines and drains do not. Traditional residential grade toilets use a siphon to suck water and waste from the bowl and into the drain. However, water must come in fast enough to fill the siphon tube in order to create a successful flush. Residential water supply lines simply don't have the necessary water volume to allow a commercial toilet to flush with power. A residential toilet utilizes a water storage tank at the back to provide enough water to create a strong flush that will rid the bowl of waste. Water from the tank flows down into the bowl with enough force to activate the siphon and pull waste into the and down to the sewer.

A commercial toilet, on the other hand, doesn't rely on a tank of water. Instead, it receives water from a larger diameter commercial grade water supply line that delivers water at a high enough pressure to carry waste right through the drainage system. While these models often use the same amount of water as a residential toilet, commercial grade toilets must use water very suddenly and violently. And as we noted earlier, residential water supply lines aren't equipped to deliver that much volume all at once.

Is tankless completely off the table?

Although you may not be able to install a toilet exactly like ones seen in your favorite business, homeowners can take advantage of tankless toilets. Some models have been built specifically for home use, but you'll likely need a pump or other technologies to help power the flush. One thing to consider is that tankless toilets are also much noisier than traditional residential models, so a nighttime flush is likely to wake up everyone in the house! Homeowners must also check that their plumbing system uses 1 inch diameter water supply pipe in order to ensure that the toilet has enough volume and pressure to refill quickly. Most residential water supply lines are typically ½ inch or ¾ inch in diameter. Anything less than 1 inch diameter supply lines will have you waiting for the bowl to refill.

Commercial, or tankless, toilets are certainly beneficial, but there are a number of considerations that must be made in order to ensure that your residential plumbing system can adequately support them. Call a Roto-Rooter plumbing professional today to assess whether your home is compatible for an upgrade to tankless toilets.