Low Flow vs Regular Toilets: Which One Should You Pick?

Written by

Paulk Webb


Freddie J. Hagopian

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low flow vs regular toilets

Various technologies and features are applied in making toilets nowadays. There are some considerations in production like water conservation, which is also regulated by the authority. Thus, buyers think about low flow vs regular toilets when deciding which toilet to buy.

Low flow toilets are appealing to homeowners who want to save water. It also allows you to cut down your water bill. Before the introduction of low-flow toilets, the regular toilets would need 3.5 to 7 gallons for every flush. In 1992, the US government made a law that requires toilets to consume not more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush.

The numbers show a big difference. To know more about the comparison of low flow toilets vs regular toilets, spare some time reading this article.

What You Need to Know About Low Flow Toilets


In the comparison of low-flush toilets vs regular toilets, the former is the center of attention due to the modified features. Initially, you will spend more money on installation. In the long run, however, you’ll realize that you save money by conserving water.

Before deciding on switching to low-flow toilets, you have to know the important details to ensure that they work properly.

Components of a low flow toilet

  • Flapper
  • Float
  • Flush lever
  • Lift chain
  • Overflow tube
  • Rim holes
  • Siphon jet
  • Rim holes

When flushing a low flow toilet

The flushing systems that work with low-flow toilets are pressure-assisted and gravity-fed. A pressure tank is found in pressure-assisted toilets and it works like an air-filled balloon.

Water fills the tank as it’s being held by the pressure. In this setup, a powerful flush is released upon the opening of the flush valve. Take the ZURN Z5571 toilet as an example of the pressure-assisted toilet.

Waste is removed through the movement of the flapper inside the toilet tank. What you will see is flowing water from the tank to remove the content. The impact of gravity sends the waste to the pipes.

Amount of water used in a low flow toilet

Low-flow toilets or low-flush toilets conserve water. They abide by the 1.6 GPF set by the Federal government. Some low-flush toilets only need 1.3 or 0.8 gallons per flush.

The design of these toilets is primarily focused on sustainability. You can save a thousand gallons of water in a year and cut down water bills. Just imagine saving a hundred dollars every year! Because of this, these toilets are EPA Watersense approved.

Low flow toilets can also be with single flush and dual flush systems. These creations end the hype of multiple gallons when flushing a toilet. Single flush, low-flow toilets are suitable for those who don’t have heavy traffic in their bathrooms.

You can check Niagara Stealth Toilet which has 0.8 GPF, and Kohler Memoirs Stately Toilet which works with 1.28 GPF. You may also want to avail one with an ultra-strong tornado flush, such as the Toto Vespin with 1.0 GPF.

A dual flush system on low-flow toilets further helps minimize water consumption. There are two levers or buttons to choose the amount of water needed to discard liquid and solid waste. There’s an array of these toilets that you can choose from.

The first example is the Toto Drake Dual Washlet two-piece. You may or may not avail of it with a bidet seat. Next is the American Standard H2Option which prides itself with a hassle-free EverClean surface.

Are Low Flow Toilets Perfect?


The description of low-flow toilets doesn’t stop with what’s mentioned above. You must continue reading this part for details on low-flow toilets pros and cons. It’s best to know everything about an item before buying it.


  • Since you can save water from every flush, your low-flow toilet can leave a big impact in the long run. You can either have the gravity or pressure assisted one as both systems can save
  • From the moment you use a low-flush toilet, you save money right away. EPA or Environmental Protection Agency estimates that $110 can be cut from the water bills of those who use low-flow toilets.
  • It’s possible to regain your initial investment when buying a low-flow toilet because it can last for 30 years. In case you sell your house, this toilet can help increase resale value.
  • When building a new house, it won’t be a problem to find one of these toilets as availability is plentiful. You may even avail of rebates in some states.


  • Be aware that low-flow toilets use less volume and pressure when flushing compared to regular toilets. Therefore, they sometimes can’t flush down heavy waste or eliminate heavy traffic in a single flushing.
  • When it happens, you have to flush twice or thrice. In this case, the water-saving ability of these toilets may not come to fruition.
  • Unfortunately, people who live in an older house may have plumbing that is not compatible with low-flow toilets. Since they work either with gravity and pressure, the pipes should be placed at an appropriate angle and slope.

If you reside in an older building, you may need to make adjustments or replace some parts in the plumbing. As a result, you have to pay more and spend a lot of time on installation.

You can’t just ignore this as you will face low-flow toilets problems if you pursue the incorrect installation. Houses built around two decades ago can accommodate these toilets without the need for alteration in plumbing.

How Can You Recognize a Low Flow Toilet From a Regular Toilet

Outlet and bowl differences

The outlet of a low-flow toilet is located at the center of the bowl and the back section of a regular toilet. The set-up entails a lower amount of water being released.


You’ll notice that there’s more water contained in the bowl’s front part of a low-flow toilet. With a sufficient amount of water, the waste can easily go down to the base.

Toilet tank

A large flush valve is not present in low-flow toilets since it’s designed for water conservation.

Flushing mechanism

As mentioned, low-flow toilets use less water to flush down waste. To establish power, a water supply hole is added near the outlet.

Closing Words

The main difference between low flow vs regular toilets is water conservation. But you’ll be able to gain other benefits apart from going green. It gives you a chance to cut down on your water bill. However, you may need to spend more money on adjustments to obtain a functional low-flow toilet. If you think it’s not practical, stick with a regular toilet that spares you from trouble.

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