What is a Flushometer and What Is It Used For?

A flush-o-what-now?

Believe it or not, a flushometer is something you’ve probably used many times before. It may not be in your house, but there are plenty in other places you frequent.

You’ve used them before in restaurants, schools, and office buildings. You may have even used one the last time you went to see a movie. It’s even possible that you’ve used one at the airport. 

We’re talking about toilets in commercial, institutional, or industrial restrooms.

What is the flushometer, exactly? Well, you need to keep on reading to find out.

The Difference Between Residential Toilets and Flushometer-Valve Toilets

Most residential toilets use a water tank and gravity to flush everything inside the toilet bowl.

Unlike the toilet in your home, those with flushometers flush using water pressure from the water source itself. The flushometer allows them to do this. 

A flushometer is a commercial flush valve. You typically find them in public restrooms on tankless toilets and urinals. 

Flushometer History

William Elivs Sloan founded the Sloan Valve Company in 1906. This is when he created the Royal Flushometer.

The valve was more efficient than standard toilet valves. However, it wasn’t an immediate success. People realized it wasn’t compatible with many toilets.

They were hesitant to overhaul their entire plumbing systems. In two years, he sold a grand total of two units.

It wasn’t until 1908 when he had a breakthrough. Flushometer sales reached 150.

Now, the flushometer is known as a revolutionary product. By saving several gallons of water, it can save businesses several thousands of dollars. 

Types of Flushometers

There are two types of flushometers typically used. 

  • Piston Valves: Have a molded cup (or piston) between high-pressure and low-pressure chambers
  • Diaphragm Valves: Have a rubber diaphragm between high-pressure and low-pressure chambers

Both types have both a high-pressure chamber and a low-pressure chamber. When you flush the toilet, either the piston or a diaphragm is displaced. Water gets released from the valve with the change of pressure within the chambers.

Types of Activation Mechanisms

The activation mechanism is what you press, move, push, or pull to flush the toilet. Usually, you’ll find one of three different ways to activate a flushometer:

  • Lever
  • Button
  • Motion Sensors
  • Dual-Flush

In some electric models, you might find a mechanical override for a motion sensor. Motion sensors in older models may be battery powered.

The problem is that some motion sensors are overly sensitive. You’ll know which ones are. They flush prematurely or over and over multiple times.

Some models provide the option for a dual flush. On these, you’re given the option of two different flush volumes. Solid waste requires more water to dispose of than liquid waste.

In this case, you can choose the correct volume you need to flush the toilet. 

Why Have a Flushometer?

A flushometer-valve toilet can help save on a tremendous amount of water usage. Most old toilets have high flush volumes, using as much as 7 gallons per flush.

There is a federal standard of 1.6 gpf. Those old toilets are literally flushing gallons of water down the drain unnecessarily. 

Almost 30 million of these toilets have been replaced as they reach the end of their lifespan. Flushometer-valve toilets have taken their place.

These toilets use no more than the federal standard of 1.6 gpf. Their minimum is 1 gpf, ensuring that there is enough water for the toilet to function effectively. These newer toilets are using far less water while taking care of waste. 

How Much Could You Save?

Let’s talk real numbers. Let’s say you have a 10-story office building.

Inside that building, you have 1,000 employees. No doubt, each of those employees will use a building restroom every day, sometimes more than once.

You could replace the toilets in just the women’s restrooms with flushometer-valve toilets. Doing that alone could save nearly 870,000 gallons of water. It can also save $7,600 in water costs every year.

Now, if you wanted to replace both the women’s and the men’s restrooms, you’re looking at saving almost $10,000 and 1.2 million gallons of water.

Do you know how much water we would save as a nation if every commercial facility replaced every old toilet? Every day, we would save as much water as there is in Niagara Falls

That’s a lot of water!

Are There Any Drawbacks to Using a Flushometer?

Unfortunately, there are a few small drawbacks to using flushometers.

Not every plumbing system is compatible with them. The toilet itself needs to be able to function a lower flush volume. Older toilets might need as much as 5 gallons to properly flush. 

The piping needs to be able to allow a water pressure of at least 20-25 psi. Most homes have 3/4 inch piping, meaning they can’t handle that kind of pressure. 

You need to be careful using flushometers on low consumption in china. The high pressure and volume could vent through the vacuum breaker assembly. It could break all together or upset the valve’s balance.

On low consumption china, the rubber bumper on the back-check stop will wear out a lot faster.

Are Flushometers Worth It?

World-wide water conservation has become a huge priority. Professionals are realizing its importance. They are learning more about how using less water can benefit our world and their pockets.

Older style commercial toilets are simply inefficient. They waste gallons of water with every flush.

They cost you thousands of dollars a year to operate and maintain. You might as well be flushing your money along with it.

Replacing these old, outdated toilets with flushometer-valve toilets is worth considering. They have a high rate of performance and are water-efficient, saving you money with every flush.

For more information on having a flushometer installed in your own home, contact us today to learn about how we can help. 

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