Common plumbing term explained by Oakland CA plumbers: Low-flow Toilets
These water-efficient toilets use less water for flushing than standard toilets. The federal government requires that standard toilets use 1.6 gallons of water per flush or less. Low-flow toilets use as little as .8 to 1.28 gallons of water per flush.
FAQ for Oakland plumbers: Are there any plumbing issues involved in installing a low-flow toilet in my home?
While most homes can easily handle a low-flow toilet’s mechanisms, some older homes may have a few issues to address. If you have an older home, check with your plumber to ensure that your pipes slope between 1/8-in. and 1/4-in. per foot so that your system can adequately carry solid waste to the sewer. If your pipes have a more level slope, you’ll need a toilet with a pressure-assisted flush that uses compressed air to force waste into the sewer drain
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It’s difficult to think of toilets as beautiful or artistic, but today’s models offer an appealing array of options that blend form and function. From glowing night light toilets to artistically shaped toilets, the wide range of products makes shopping for a new toilet far more interesting that you would think. A few tips about today’s toilets can help you find the toilet that is just right for your bathroom.
First, talk to your knowledgeable Oakland plumbing contractor about your bathroom’s configuration. Be sure to find out how much space you have available and what the “rough-in” distance is. The rough-in distance relates to the space between the center of your sewer drain and your finished wall. The usual rough-in distance for most homes is 12 inches. Since your new toilet will need to match up to your particular rough-in distance, you definitely want to double-check your measurements with your plumber.
Next, consider your space and comfort needs. Many toilets are available with round or elongated seats. Most people prefer the elongated toilet for its comfort, but round toilet seats can save you several inches of space. If your bathroom is very small, a round-seated toilet may be your best choice.
For higher-end space saving, consider the newest trend of wall-mounted toilets. A designer’s dream, wall-mounted toilets are visually appealing and take up far less bathroom space than typical floor-mounted versions. This space-saving is possible because the tank, controls and mounting apparatus are all housed behind the wall. A nice side benefit of these floating toilets is that they are extremely easy to clean around. While aesthetically appealing, wall-mounted toilets do offer some drawbacks. Installation can be more expensive because walls need to be thicker and stronger to withstand the toilet’s weight, and fixing the toilet may require opening up the wall.
The height of your toilet is important as well. The standard toilet height is 14 inches, but many models offer the option for a taller toilet height that is easier for taller people and people with mobility issues to use.
The plumbers at Berkeley Plumbing and Heating of Oakland CA can assist with any questions regarding radiant heating or water heaters.
With California’s continual concern about water, you may also want to consider water-saving toilets. If you’ve heard or experienced less-than-positive results from early versions of low-flow toilets, rest assured that today’s low-flow toilets offer excellent flushing capacity. Look for toilets labeled with the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense label that verifies the toilet’s water-saving properties. Using a WaterSense-labeled toilet can save about 13,000 gallons of water and about $110 each year.
For even greater water savings, consider dual-flush toilets. These dual-flush toilets give users the option to flush with a super-low .8 gallons of water or stronger 1.6 gallons of water by pressing one or both of the flushing mechanisms.
Once you’ve considered space needs and water efficiency, it’s time to think about the aesthetics and extra comforts you would like from your toilet. Technology and innovation make modern toilets a veritable buffet of features and styles. If you want to move beyond the standard two-piece toilet, consider a sleek, one-piece model. One-piece toilets integrate the tank and bowl into a streamlined, easy-to-clean form.
For a little visual pizzazz, browse through the many designer-friendly models that offer everything from colorful LED lighting to toilets hidden within an attractive sliding bench. Several toilet manufacturers present state-of-the-art toilets that provide beautiful, compact form and countless features. Some of these high-end features include motion-sensor covers and lids, water-saving mechanisms, bidet functions, integrated air dryers, heated seats and foot warmers, Bluetooth-enabled music systems and programmable illuminated panels in many color choices.
Hundreds of advanced options can make shopping for a new toilet a fun experience. Armed with a little knowledge about your bathroom’s measurements and requirements and an understanding of market offerings, you can choose a toilet that enhances your bathroom’s function and design.