types of toilet flush

11 Types of Toilet Flush Explained in Detail

The toilet flush is a process of removing the waste laid on the toilet bowl. It is an automatic system where the stored water in the toilet tank is released into the toilet bowl, and the water goes through the trapway by cleaning the waste materials. Based on the water efficiency and cleaning efficiency, 11 types of toilet flushes are available in the market. 

Every type of toilet flush has a different working mechanism. For example, the most common flushing system is gravity flush, which uses only the gravitational force to clean the waste where the water doesn’t save efficiently.

Moreover, this mechanism requires more than one flush to clean the stick dung laid on the toilet bowl. To solve this problem, there is a pressure-assisted flushing system, tower flushing system, tornado flushing system, and double-cyclone flushing system. These systems focus on using the least water possible to clean the toilet bowl surface.

Also, the toilet flushes differ from one another to meet users’ requirements. For better understanding, the double cyclone and tornado flushing systems are focused on senior individuals and kids, where the toilet bowl will be cleaned in one flush, which is also very water efficient. This has evolved as the kids remain in a hurry and don’t clean the toilets properly, and the old persons won’t have to wait much time to clean the toilet bowl.

But while considering the toilet flush, water efficiency isn’t the only factor to consider. You must consider the place, number of users, noise level, and budget. If the toilet consists of a septic tank, pressure-assisted toilet flush won’t be a good option, which can damage the septic tank eventually, and controlling the pressure is also a matter of concern. Besides, based on the number of users, a large number of users require a more efficient toilet flush like a tornado or double-cyclone flush. 

11 types of toilet flush

What is a Toilet Flush System?

A toilet flush system is a systematic way of flushing human waste(feces and urine) from the toilet bowl to the sewer line. The flushing system activates when a handle attached to the toilet tank is activated. The activation process can be a simple push or a pull down the handle chain. Once the flush handle activates, it allows the flush valve to release the water into the toilet bowl. The water goes straight to the sewage line with the scraps laid into the toilet bowl. 

The waste further goes through a drainpipe to the septic tank to be disposed of. Thus, the process maintains a separation between humans and their waste. Making the flushing system is essential so that the toilet bowl can be cleaned properly. To ensure cleaning efficiency and save water, many types of toilet flush systems have evolved. 

Different Types of Toilet Flush Systems

The flushing system is a continuous process where the flush valve gets emptied through the flush handle and becomes filled with a refill tube to flush again later. Meanwhile, there’s a difference in how it will liberate the water and clean the toilet bowl.

Gravity Flush System

Gravity flush systems have the simplest mechanism to flush. When the trip lever is pulled down, the tank lever goes up, and the flush valve discharges the water. The water comes straight into the toilet bowl through the rims at a great speed due to the gravitational force. Once the water has been released, the lever goes down, and the refill tube fills the tank with water again.

Criteria’sSpecifications
Flush Power1.6 to 3.5 gallons of water per flush.
Flushing TimeTakes 4 to 6 seconds.
Flushing MediumUse the Gravity
Warranty1 to 10 years maximum.
Repairing Cost$50 to $200(based on which part needs to be repaired)

Benefits & Drawbacks of Gravity Flush System

Benefits of The Features Drawbacks 
Repairing cost is lower than other technologically advanced flush systems.The gravity flush system makes a loud noise when the flush handle releases the water into the toilet bowl.
Easy installation where no mechanical assistance is required to install the system.It doesn’t make an efficient flush to clean the toilet bowl where the sticky specks of dirt remain on the bowl surface. 
Buying a gravity flush-based toilet is also cheaper than other toilets available. The price range varies between $100 to $500.It doesn’t clean the bowl surface efficiently on the first attempt, so it requires more flush, which wastes a lot of water.  
gravity flush system

Dual Flush System

The dual flush system has two levers to pull on the cistern. It is an updated version of the traditional flushing system where water saving is prioritized. The tank is separated into two compartments where the water level is held. One compartment holds a small amount of water(e.g., 0.8 gallons), and another holds a larger amount (e.g., 1.28 gallons). 

A smaller and larger button will be outside the tank, indicating the amount of water to flush. If the smaller button is pressed, the miniature cell will release the water; if the larger button is used, the extensive water amount will flow down. The tiny button cleans urination, tissue drainage, or liquid wastage. The larger button will do the rest, which flushes more water to clean any solid or semi-solid wastage. 

Criteria’sSpecifications
Flush Power0.8 gallons (For liquid waste)
1.28 gallons (For liquid waste)
Flushing TimeTakes 4 to 6 seconds.
Flushing MediumUse the Gravity with Dual Commands.
Warranty1 to 10 years maximum. 
Repairing Cost$50 to $300(based on which part needs to be repaired)

Benefits & Drawbacks of Dual Flush System

Benefits of The Features Drawbacks 
Dual flush is a water-saving solution where you can flush and save the maximum amount of water according to the requirement.Dual flush system-based toilets are more expensive than traditional toilets, which range between $2000 to $600.
As it saves much water, it follows the EPA(Environmental Protection Agency) guidelines.While using the small button to release a minor amount of water can create a clog in the trapway. The clog can appear due to toilet paper. 
The dual flush mechanism is very easy to use and eco-friendly.The repairing cost of a dual flush system carries a much higher margin than any gravity flush system.
dual flush system

Single Flushing System

A single flushing system initiates with a single handle of flush to command water discharge. The water level remains constant for every flush, and the same water is liberated every time. A single flush system can also use a pressure-assisted mechanism or a simple gravity flush mechanism. The choice depends on the manufacturer and the customer’s demand. A single flush system is named after the single input lever that commands the flush. 

Criteria’sSpecifications
Flush Power1.2 gallons of water per flush.
Flushing TimeTakes 4 to 6 seconds.
Flushing MediumUse the Gravity with no mechanical assistance.
Warranty1 to 10 years maximum.
Repairing Cost$50 to $200(based on which part needs to be repaired)

Benefits & Drawbacks of Single Flushing System

Benefits of The Features Drawbacks 
It uses only 1.2 gallons of water, twice as much as any gravity flush system.Single flushing systems are less efficient while using the water, which can be a possible cause of water wastage. 
The functionality is simple with a single lever, which doesn’t confuse a dual flush system.If the gravity flush is installed in the single flushing mechanism, then it will take much time to clean the sticky dung on the toilet bowl surface.
Single flushing systems can use pressure-assisted or Gravity to work their mechanism.If the gravity flush is installed in the single flushing system, it will make loud noises. 
single flushing system

Pressure Assist System

Pressure-assisted flushing systems use air and water to make a single flush. The cistern has a powerful, airtight plastic tank that traps the pressurized air with water. Inside an airtight tank, the pressure ranges between 25 to 40 psi. When the lever is pulled down, the pressurized water is discharged, creating a higher water velocity. 

The pressure-assisted flushing system performs better when it comes to cleaning as the water flows in a direction with some extra speed, which detaches the laid dung in the toilet bowl.

Criteria’sSpecifications
Flush Power1.28 to 1.6 gallons of water per flush.
Flushing TimeTakes 4 to 6 seconds.
Flushing MediumUse the Pressurized air and water.
Warranty5 to 10 years maximum.
Repairing Cost$50 to $300(based on which part needs to be repaired)

Benefits & Drawbacks of Pressure Assist System 

Benefits of The Features Drawbacks 
Pressure-assisted flushing systems are more accurate while cleaning the toilet bowl. Pressure-assisted flushing systems are more expensive to install and repair compared to other traditional systems available in the market.
Pressure-assisted flushing systems use less water than other traditional toilets and are very useful for clearing dirt using small amounts of water.Pressure-assisted toilets are not suitable for houses with septic tanks because too much pressure in the septic system can damage the septic tank.
The pressurized air and water don’t damage the toilet bowl surface as the pressure limits within 25 to 40 psi.An assisted system consists of some parts, such as a pressure tank flapper float, which are hard to find.
pressure assist system

Vacuum Assist System

The vacuum-assisted flushing system uses an air suction mechanism to clean the toilet bowl. Here, two compartments are visible inside the tank. One holds the vacuum or air, and another holds the water. Pulling the flush lever down, the flush valve liberates the water into the toilet bowl. Meanwhile, the air becomes empty and creates a suction force beneath the toilet bowl. The suction force pulls the water and waste together into the sewer line. The suction force is about 25 to 35 inches of water gauge(WG), which is 25 to 35 times greater than the atmospheric pressure. 

Criteria’sSpecifications
Flush Power1.28 to 1.6 gallons of water per flush.
Flushing TimeTakes 4 to 6 seconds.
Flushing MediumUse the Gravity with a vacuum compartment that holds the air.
Warranty5 to 10 years maximum.
Repairing Cost$50 to $300(based on which part needs to be repaired)

Benefits & Drawbacks of Vacuum Assist System

Benefits of The Features Drawbacks 
Vacuum assist systems contain stronger flush than gravity-fed toilets, which makes a better cleaning. Vacuum assist systems contain more complex parts than gravity-fed toilets, which need qualified technicians to build. 
Due to the efficient flushing system, the water percentage is 20% less than any traditional toilets. Replacing the vacuum pump is expensive, which creates the suction for this mechanism.
These toilets have a better cleaning mechanism, so the vacuum assist system’s life span is longer than others.Vacuum-assisted flushing systems are ineffective against the large waste that carries a large bowel movement.
vacuum assist system

Siphon Flush Valve System

Siphon flush valve system consists of three major parts. 

  • Flush valve
  • A siphon jet
  • Trapway

The flush valve is located inside the cistern where the water is reserved. This flush valve holds the water until the valve opens and water is poured into the toilet bowl. When the lever is pulled, some of the water is discharged through the seat rim to clean the bowl, but most of the water flows through the siphon jet.

A siphon jet is a small hole near the bottom of the toilet bowl adjacent to the trapway. When the water flows above the siphon jet, it creates a vacuum to pull the waste from the bowl into the trapway. It is called the siphon effect because the water flows from a higher level to a lower level. Finally, the trapway connects the pipeline from the toilet bowl to the sewer line.  

Criteria’sSpecifications
Flush Power1.6 to 3.5 gallons of water per flush.
Flushing TimeTakes 3 to 5 seconds.
Flushing MediumUse the Siphon effect with no mechanical assistance.
Warranty5 to 10 years maximum.
Repairing Cost$50 to $200(based on which part needs to be repaired)

Benefits & Drawbacks of Siphon Flush Valve System

Benefits of The Features Drawbacks 
The Siphon flush valve doesn’t require any mechanical assistance. The Siphon flush valve doesn’t have any noise cancellation mechanism. Thus, there will be a loud noise while flushing.
Due to using the siphon jet, the cleaning efficiency of the siphon flush valve system is more than that of other traditional flushing systems.A Siphon flushing system can’t prevent the clog made by solid matter or excessive amounts of debris. 
Siphon flush valves require little maintenance except for the periodic cleaning of flush valves every 6 to 8 months.Toilets with low water pressure aren’t recommended to use this system as the siphon jet won’t be able to spray the water. 
siphon flush valve system

Tower Flush System

The tower flush system is named after the tower it consists of, which is made of plastic or metal. The tower is about 2 to 3 feet tall and is situated in the toilet tank. The tower is a vertical tube-like structure that connects the flush valve to the toilet bowl. When the flush valve is opened, the water is released to flow into the tower. The tower discharges the water into the toilet bowl, creating a siphoning effect that pulls the dung materials from the toilet bowl to the sewer line through the trapway. 

Criteria’sSpecifications
Flush Power1.28 to 1.6 gallons of water per flush.
Flushing TimeTakes 3 to 5 seconds.
Flushing MediumUse the Siphon effect with a vertical tower to flush.
Warranty1 to 10 years maximum.
Repairing Cost$50 to $250(based on which part needs to be repaired)

Benefits & Drawbacks of Tower Flush System

Benefits of The Features Drawbacks 
The tower flush system performs better than the siphon flush valve as it prevents the scaling and corrosion of the toilet bowl surface.The initial cost is high in tower flush systems as the price range carries between $300 to $1000.
The tower flush system is very water efficient as it releases only 1.28 to 1.6 gallons of water. Most tower flush systems release 1.6 gallons, whereas some dual-flush valves release only 1.28 gallons.Vertical tower is hard to repair if it gets damaged somehow. But as the tower is made of plastic or metal, the chances are minimal to get damaged quickly.
As it uses less amount of water, it remains eco-friendly as well.The tower flush system has more moving parts than traditional toilets, which makes it more prone to leak.
tower flush system

Ballcock Flush System

The ballcock flushing mechanism uses a floating ball to control the water level inside the tank. The floating ball is a size of 2 inches and is attached to a 12-inch float rod. This ballcock controls the water unlocking from the toilet tank to the toilet bowl. The bowl ranges in weight between 200 to 400 gm and is made of plastic. 

The ballcock is further attached to the flush handle to control it inside the tank. When the lever is pulled down, the float ball opens the toilet flush valve and allows the water to flow into the tank until the float ball reaches a predetermined level. Once the float ball reaches the level, the valve closes, and water flowing into the toilet bowl stops. 

Criteria’sSpecifications
Flush Power1.6 to 3.5 gallons of water per flush.
Flushing TimeTakes 4 to 6 seconds.
Flushing MediumUse the float ball to control the flush valve.
Warranty1 to 10 years maximum.
Repairing Cost$50 to $250(based on which part needs to be repaired)

Benefits & Drawbacks of Ballcock Flush System

Benefits of The Features Drawbacks 
Ballcock flushing systems are focused on simple designs with an easy installation process.The Ballcock flush system doesn’t focus on cleaning the toilet, which can waste more water than necessary due to the lack of a focused cleaning function.
Ballcock flush systems are less frequent to repair, and it’s easy to repair the system by replacing the ballcock. The ballcock controls the water level in the toilet tank, and it is difficult to adjust the water level precisely.
These toilets with ballcock flush systems are low maintenance and don’t require frequent checks for damage or leakage.The Ballcock system is less durable than other flushing mechanisms because the float ball and valve are made of plastic or rubber, which can wear out over time.
ballcock flush system

Double-Cyclone System

The TOTO brand, a Japanese multinational toilet manufacturing company, developed the double-cyclone flushing system in 1996. In the double cyclone mechanism, two nozzles or jets spray the water inside the bowl from the flush tank. The speedy water expelling outside the nozzle creates a vortex or cyclone inside the bowl. Thus, the vortex intensifies and gradually reaches the sewer line through the trapway. Due to the focused nozzles, a powerful flush is generated to clean the bowl’s surface.

Criteria’sSpecifications
Flush Power1.28 gallons of water per flush.
Flushing TimeTakes 4 to 6 seconds.
Flushing MediumUse the multiple nozzles to spray the water.
Warranty5 to 10 years maximum.
Repairing Cost$50 to $250(based on which part needs to be repaired)

Benefits & Drawbacks of Double-Cyclone System

Benefits of The Features Drawbacks 
The double cyclone system continues with two nozzles, which efficiently clean the sticky dirt. Double cyclone systems are more expensive to install in the toilet as they provide more water usage and cleaning efficiency. 
The double cyclone system is also water efficient, which only uses 1.28 gallons of water per flush to clean the water bowl surface.These toilets are very efficient while using water. So, larger materials or solid matters won’t flush with one click and will create the possibility of clogging.
The double cyclone flushing system is longer lasting than other traditional toilets.The flushing mechanism is loud and noisy due to the lack of any noise cancellation system.
double cyclone system

Tornado Flush System

Tornado flush uses the same mechanism as double cyclone flushing systems. However, the tornado flush system is more effective due to having a rimless cleaning design to release the flushed water from the tank. Besides, tornado flushing systems can use two or more nozzles to clean the bowl while creating a vortex. The number of nozzles depends on the user’s preference and the place of use. 

For example, in crowded places like a market or hospital where the daily users are more than average, the flushing mechanism will consist of more than two nozzles. But in places like home where the frequent users are less than average, two nozzles will be enough to sustain.  

Criteria’sSpecifications
Flush Power1.28 gallons of water per flush.
Flushing TimeTakes 4 to 6 seconds.
Flushing MediumUse 2 or more nozzles to spray the water.
Warranty5 to 10 years maximum.
Repairing Cost$50 to $300(based on which part needs to be repaired)

Benefits & Drawbacks of Tornado Flush System

Benefits of The Features Drawbacks 
Tornado flush toilets are also more efficient than any other traditional flushing mechanism.Due to their advanced functionalities, tornado flushing systems are expensive to install in the toilet.
Besides the cleaning efficiency, the tornado flushing system is quieter than other flushing mechanisms because it uses Gravity and centrifugal force to create a powerful flush.Tornado flush uses a fixed amount of water every time for the flush. That’s why much waste can’t be drained at a time. Also, it can clog the toilet in the trapway.
Tornado flush systems are more durable than other traditional toilet flushing systems.If the water supply pressure is less than 25 psi, the tornado flush toilet won’t be effective.
tornado flush system

Double Vortex Flush System

The double vortex flush system was developed in 2006 by American Standard toilet brands, where the rims and nozzles are used to release the water from the tank to the bowl. When the user pulls the lever to flush, the valve discharges the water through the rim first. The water liberated from the rim creates a curtain of water so that the waste can’t stick to the toilet bowl surface. 

Then, the nozzle appears from either of the sides and sprays the water to create a vortex. The vortex has been created from both sides, which is why it is named a double vortex flush. Thus, the water liberates and goes through the trapway with the waste materials.  

Criteria’sSpecifications
Water Usage1.28 gallons of water per flush.
Flushing TimeTakes 4 to 6 seconds.
Flushing MediumUse rims and nozzles to perform the flush.
Warranty5 to 10 years maximum.
Repairing Cost$50 to $300(based on which part needs to be repaired)

Benefits & Drawbacks of Double Vortex Flush System

Benefits of The Features Drawbacks 
Double vortex flush is water efficient and easy to clean from the sticky specks of dirt laid on the toilet bowl surface.Double vortex flushes are more expensive than most traditional toilets available in the market, varying the price range from $500 to $1200.
Double vortex flushes are quieter than any traditional toilet flushing mechanism.Double vortex flushes consist of sensitive parts like the flush valve, rim, and nozzle, which are hard to repair if damaged.
Double vortex flushes are easy to install and durable due to being made of high-quality materials.It releases a particular amount of water every time, which isn’t likely to drain large amounts of water. Thus, it can induce clog in the toilet sewer line or trapway.
double vortex flush system

Which Toilet Flush System Do You Need?

The toilet flush system that will fit your preference depends on crucial factors, such as family size, flush power, noise level, budget, and ease of use. These factors are important to consider before having a toilet flush system because every toilet flush system won’t be suitable for every home.

Family Size

The quantity of frequent users is important to consider because frequent users require a more functionally active flushing system, which is more efficient and will require less water to clean. 

Otherwise, there will be a great amount of water loss. For this reason, the best options for a large family will be a tornado flushing system or a double-cyclone flush. But if the family size is nuclear, a gravity flush toilet or pressure-assisted toilet is suitable.

Flush Power

Flush power represents the amount of water the flushing mechanism uses per flush. It is another crucial factor to consider because the less the flush power, the more worthy the flush system. To save water, your toilet must clean most of the waste in one flush. 

For this reason, the best flushing systems will be dual flush systems, pressure-assisted flush, vacuum flush, tower flush, double-cyclone flush, and tornado flushing systems. These flushing systems follow the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) guidelines to save more water.

Noise Level

Some toilet flushing systems make a high level of noise while flushing, which can disturb many users. To avoid these noises of distraction, you can choose dual flush toilets and tornado flush toilets. Besides, you can use a quiet fill valve in the tank, preventing the noise generated while flushing.

Ease of Use

Some toilets, such as double-cyclone or tornado flush toilets, are manufactured by Toto and American Standard toilet brands. These brands integrate advanced technologies into the toilet to improve the user experience.

For example, self-cleaning, motion-censored flushing, and remote-controlled flushing mechanisms. These mechanisms are very helpful for the users to adapt to and to make the bathroom experience comfortable.

Budget

The last thing to consider is your budget. The flushing mechanism based on the efficiency and feature level greatly varies on the price. Some flushing mechanisms are also costly to repair as the parts consisting of the flushing mechanism are hard to remake.

So, if you are looking for a long-lasting, easy-going flushing system that is also budget-friendly, you should choose the single flush or pressure-assisted flush. Moreover, if you are looking for a luxurious system with better performance, then tornado flush, tower flush, double vortex flush, and double cyclone will be the best option. 

Are Toilet Flush Systems Interchangeable?

Whether the toilet flush systems are interchangeable depends on the flush valve size, flush tank size, and the flushing mechanism it involves. If the flush valve carries a different size according to the manufacturing company, it won’t be possible to interchange other flushing systems without replacing the flush valve. 

For better understanding, a gravity flush toilet requires a 2 to 3 inches long gravity flush, whereas pressure-assisted toilets require 3 to 4 inches. Which means these toilets are not interchangeable. Again, the tornado flush system requires a 4-inch long flush valve, which means the tornado flush system can be interchanged with a pressure-assisted toilet flushing system.

Again, the toilet flush tank is also crucial to consider. If the toilet flush tank size is uneven, it won’t be interchangeable. For example, a pressure-assisted flushing system requires a 12-inch length for the tank to fit the mechanism inside. However, the ballcock flushing system requires a 14-inch tank size to power the mechanism. Thus, these systems won’t be interchangeable.

Thus, if you want to interchange between two flushing systems, you must consider the size of the flush valve, flush tank, and its mechanism.

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