Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Toto Review

A few years ago, perhaps four or five, we replaced our toilet in order to save water. I decided to wait a reasonable amount of time before writing about our experience to insure no problems developed. It's been more than a reasonable amount of time.

The toilet that was in the house when we purchased it was manufactured in 1992 or 1993. It was an old siphon vortex model that used three and one half gallons per flush. Newer models are required to use 1.6 gallons or less.

We researched dual flush models which have two buttons or two handles, one for a full flush and one for a half flush. I heard complaints about dual flush models that they didn't work efficiently and that they tended to clog waste lines. Interesting, only one person who belittled dual flush models actually owned one.

We selected a model manufactured by Toto. There were three reasons for our choice. First, it was available in Flagstaff and did not require a special order. Second, it has a skirt that makes cleaning easy. Third, it was rated high on the MaP tests (Maximum Performance Testing). In other words, it was tested and found to work well.

One of the complaints I read in reviews was the difficulty of installation. Due to the skirt the installation is different from older models; different but not more difficult in my opinion.

Toto Dual Flush.
Toto Dual Flush.

Though not required I installed a water meter six years ago in an effort to manage water usage. In theory the toilet was set at the factory to eight-tenths and one point six gallons for half and full flushes. I've tested the Toto. It used seven-tenths of a gallon for a half flush and twice that (1.4 gallons) for a full flush. This is adjustable in the tank but I've never adjusted it.

Is it reliable? Definitely! Works first time every time. Fast and efficient.

This cost was somewhere between $300 and $400. Our costs for water are high when compared to municipal water costs since we pay for water and have to haul it which necessitates a trailer, tank, fuel, maintenance and miscellaneous costs. I estimate the Toto will pay for itself within six years.

Once we get rainwater harvesting completed the dual flush toilet will help minimize the size of storage tanks which can be expensive (40 to 70 cents or more per gallon).

The Toto was a good purchase.


Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Interesting. My minimal experience with low flush toilets has not been good, but I guess they can work after all.

2/08/2011 07:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Alex Pendragon said...

Did you consider composting toilets at all?

2/08/2011 06:41:00 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

Michael, short answer is no. They are expensive and require more work than a conventional toilet. Eventually we can collect enough rainwater to support the dual flush Toto.

2/08/2011 07:13:00 PM  

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