Terry Love's report on low-flow toilets for consumers, the ones that work! 
Below are my recommendations and reviews for toilets that work in today's world. find out which water efficient gravity,
 flushmate assisted, pf/2, whispervac, g-max toilets that work. new and updated reports from the plumbing field.
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Terry Love's consumer toilet reports
A report and reviews on low flow water efficient toilets

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Bothell / Seattle

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Bothell / Seattle

$100 rebate on
 WaterSense Toilets

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  • Water Districts 20, 45, 49, 90, 119, and 125
  • City of Mercer Island
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Save time, and money. Find out which toilets work in today's world.  Despite complaints of poor working toilets, these toilets, in this report have been proven by plumbers and homeowners to work! Yes, they work just fine in spite of the current standards which allow for a maximum water usage of 1.6 gallons per flush.  Terry Love

Terry Love
Bothell WA
updated 6/9/2017
 Many of the toilets in this report, have been installed in my own home.  You might say, this report has done its "in-home" testing.  
Consideration was given to plug resistance, completeness of flush, perception of sound levels, and price.  

Some testers use baby wipes, sponges, plastic balls and tubes to simulate how "we" use them.  You can forget about those limitations here.  This takes into account "miso paste" testing and  homeowner testing.  Below you will see homeowner comments and perceptions in addition to my comments.
The homeowner becomes part of the report.  

The new lower flow toilets have been mandated to save precious and limited resources. For those of us that had grown used to 7.0 GPF toilets, it comes as a shock.  The first recent evolution in toilets came the 3.5 GPF, and now 1.6 GPF.

"Switching to water-efficient plumbing fixtures could save the average household as much as $50 to $100 a year on water and wastewater bills."  George Whalen

"Because of the new low-flow toilets, Americans save $11.3 million everyday on their water bill "  David Goike

With the changes in the water usage laws of 1992, many encountered plumbing problems. The first round of low-flow toilets were not quite ready for prime-time.  Customer complaints were many and plumbers were in the bad position of installing products that nobody wanted to use.  Recently, in the wonderful world of plumbing, things have changed  with new and updated products.   Some of the new plumbing products work better than the old water wasters.  The purpose of this report, is to identify which products are:

 "Doing the job!"  

totomaxie2.jpg (3588 bytes)

Below are my recommendations and reviews
for toilets that work in today's world.
the report that homeowners prefer

FM=Flushmate,  G=Gravity, GM=G-Max flushing, PF/2,  DC=Double Cyclone,  RF=round front, EL=elongated SG= Sanagloss

Gram ratings are based on MaP testing. Anything over 500 is very good.  
I  rate toilets taking into consideration the gram ratings, quality control at the factory, ease and cost of repairs, how they sound when flushing, how well the bowl is rinsed, and perception of quality.  For many of these, it's how well I liked them in my home.  




My Price

Toto Soiree & Guinevere
12" rough or convert to 10" or 14"
Owner comments
Double Cyclone Flush
Very good bowl wash
16-1/8" high bowl
TOTO's best gravity toilet.
The best


Watersense 1.28 GPF
Owner comments
Cyclone Rinse
Five 399
TOTO Ultramax II, MS604114CEFGTOTO Ultramax II
Watersense 1.28 GPF
Owner comments
Cyclone Rinse
Recommended 525
Toto UltraMax #MS854114E

ADA Ultramax

Owner comments
Commercial Grade
Quiet. Powerful flush,  Consumer friendly. Who needs a plunger?
3" flush valve.
A homeowner favorite!
700 grams
Very good choice

RF 500
EL 527
 SG 575
ADA 585


TOTO Entrada TOTO Entrada
Universal Height
1000 grams
3" flush valve 
Good choice  RF 170
ADA 180 
Toto EL Drake CST744S
Toto RF Drake CST743S
Toto Drake ADA CST744SL
Owner comments

high quality, easy repairs
Commercial Grade flush, 3" flush valve
A homeowner favorite!
900 grams
Good choice

RF 220
EL 230
ADA 280

Dartmouth CST754SF

16-1/8" bowl height, ADA
Owner comments

A traditional style toilet with G-Max flush.
Commercial grade
Good choice 


TOTO Carlyle IIToto Carlyle II


Quiet. Powerful flush,  Consumer friendly.
12" UniFit rough-in   Optional 10" or 14"
625 grams
Comes with Sanagloss


    Works well


Clayton CST784SF

shown with SS154 seat
16-1/8" bowl height, ADA

A traditional style toilet with G-Max flush. Commercial grade
Works well


TOTO Aquia
CST416M dual-flush

A compact elongated bowl that is only 27-1/4" from front to back A green toilet. Comments
Dual Flush
Saves water
Works well


Neorest 600
Neorest 500
 Washlet included.  
Owner reviews
Cyclone Flushing system, no waiting for refill, no refill noise. Deluxe, includes bidet seat


  Works well  

wc/ge21312dt.gif (1501 bytes)Gerber,
Ultra Flush   #21-312
Handicap 17" high

Does the job!
powerful flush, some bowl wash, noise may startle, but less than before.
1000 grams

Works well, a bit startling

RF 290
EL 300
ADA 320

Kohler K-3493Kohler Highline Pressure Assist
K-3493 EL
Does the job!
powerful flush, some bowl wash, noise may startle, but less than before.
Commercial Grade
Works well ADA 399

American Stand. RF, #2172.100 Cadet PA
American Stand. EL
Glenwall wall-hung

Good quality, noise may startle, but less than before.
Commercial Grade
750 grams

Works well, could be better quality


Toto Ultimate #MS854114 one piece EL Power gravity flush
3" flush valve.
Works well

RF 444
EL 469

Caroma  Washdown
Round bowl, 28-1/2" long

Owner comments

Dual flush
Saves the most water.
plug resistant
550 grams
Some splash

15" RF 399
17" RF 499
17" EL 539

K-3609Kohler Cimarron Comfort height.
16-1/8" bowl height

Owner comments

AquaPiston Flush valve
Good performance
800 grams
Could be better EL 278
RF 246
American Standard
16-1/8" bowl height ADA
Owner comments
3" Flush valve
Good performance
Could be better quality 299
    Not recommended


Owner comments

Not recommended
WDI Technology
Gerber DF-21-318
Gerber DF-21-312
Gerber DF-21-302
Mansfield 148-119
One Ecoflush

Bidet seats
 on sale!
a perfect gift

If you ask plumbers and homeowners about toilets, you will get different answers depending on what is available in their part of the country. I have asked plumbers and homeowners to write in with the latest information as it happens in the field.   lovesplumbing@comcast.net

Installing a new toilet, instructions by James Love

For many plumbers, G-Max and pressure assist toilets are the way to go.  Most of the assisted toilets use the Sloan Flushmate. Note: Small children may be startled by the sudden action of the Flushmate and PF/2 equipped toilets.  For those that like to sit down when you flush, consider toilets that are listed as quiet.  

totomaxie3.jpg (1236 bytes) My favorite toilet is the UltraMax by Toto. The model number is MS604114CEFG.  It is a good looking one-piece that incorporates a 3" flush valve instead of the standard 2".  The fill valve can be found in any hardware store. It meets commercial requirements, works well in a home and is quieter than the air assisted models.  The long sweeping trapway is good prevention against clogging from stuck objects that can get caught in the standard shapes. This is a homeowner favorite too.  

Some of the gravity toilets  work very well with one flush.
Excellent are the Toto Drake and Ultramax series. 
Also good are the Caroma,

Briggs has a model called the Vacuity, that uses the WhisperVac flushing system. (WhisperVac is a patented vacuum assist) The water surface area is 10"x12".   This model in real word conditions may require a second flush to evacuate everything. 

Handicap style toilets with the higher bowl height (16.5"" instead of 15") seem to perform better than the standard height toilets.

Some of the low flow toilets, such as the Kohler Rialto have little water in the bowl.  Low water depth prevents the waste from dropping below the water line. A toilet that has good water depth, will prevent "outhouse smell". 

A few comments sent to me by other plumbers:

"I used to have these same problems with the 1.6gal toilets. Time to tell the customer to bite the bullet and get a new TOTO or one of the other brand toilets that work! Since switching several of our customers to TOTO we no longer have the standard call backs on toilets that don't flush."  Moshe Levine, Tonasket, WA

"I think the Toto is one of the big trade secrets out there."
Rod Lampert, Phoenix, Arizona

"The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California has co-funded the replacement of about 1.5 million 3.5, 5.0 and 7.0 gallon toilets in their service area.  If you are within their water district, The Standard rebate is $60.  Installing dual-flush toilets in your home can earn you $80 rebate on the purchase price. 

A few comments sent to me by homeowners:

"I chose the TOTO Ultramax and I am 100% satisfied with my new toilet." Joan T.

"I've had a Toto Ultramax for a year now after replacing my low-flow Kohler which took two or three flushes to do anything. One flush and it's gone." Bob

"I just installed two Toto Drakes in my house about 3 months ago. They replaced two Eljer Patriots. I have no complaints with the Toto's.....they work flawlessly." Ron

wc/savonadt.gif (942 bytes)If a client asks me, which brands have the most variety in styles and models,  I point out Kohler and American Standard

Below are some quotes from Fine Homebuilding, Oct/Nov 1997 that may amuse owners of the early 1.6 toilets.

Terry Love of Love Plumbing & Remodel in Redmond, Washington, says, "Most customers who get builder grade 1.6-gal. toilets for the first time have to learn to use a plunger, and believe it or not, a lot of people don't know how to use a plunger."

According to Love, there's a right way to plunge a toilet. "Put the plunger in with water in bowl, and after a series of short, quick strokes, pull up until everything sucks down. Usually people do big strokes up and down. Using that method, some blockages won't move."

The recommended list of toilets above work very well and would rarely need a plunger.  

Al Dietemann,  of the Seattle Utilities Department, concerned  that many of the new toilets are coming  with inexpensive flappers that deteriorate and go bad in a very short time.   He feels that if the manufacturers would spend just a little more on the flapper, replacements would be needed much less often. Leaking flappers are a source of wasted water in a home.  The city of Seattle engaged in a water study to determine savings of the new water efficient fixtures.  click here for more information and pictures.  

"Fluidmaster and Coast now manufacturing some excellent product that withstands the in-tank bowl cleaners.  The latest problem is that of replacement (after-market) flappers and the fact that most will not maintain 1.6 gpf in the toilets tested."  John Koeller, P.E.

flushmate503.gif (11230 bytes)

FLUSHMATE-equipped toilets use pressure (not gravity) 

"noise may startle, but less than before with the new 503 series tank made from resin instead of stainless steel." Terry Love

Sloan Flushmate Flushometer-Tank Systems
 30075 Research Drive
 New Hudson,  Michigan 48165


note:  Toto, Gerber and Western can be purchased from plumbing contractors. Brands like American Standard, Briggs, Crane, Eljer, Kohler, Mansfield, and Universal Rundle can be purchased from both plumbing contractors and in many hardware stores.

A special thanks to the plumbing contractors that helped in this report.

New items

Caroma is now bringing in their dual flush toilets from Australia.  These will flush with either 1.6 or .8 gallons per flush.  You will note that they are marked with the half and full markings on the buttons.  
TOTO has their Aquia Dual Flush, in three models, the Aquia I and II, and the taller bowl III.  
I've been selling and installing a lot of the HET Watersense Toto dual flush over the last two years and they have proved to have a very good track record.  

TOTO Carlyle IIToto has several toilets that are skirted with concealed trapways. This allows it to be field adjustable from 10" to 14".   The bowl has a non-stick finish called SanaGloss.  The one on the left is the Carlyle II


Also the new ADA compliant handicap two piece toilet called the Drake with the 3" G-Max flushing system. The standard and ADA version of the Drake expect to be a top performer for commercial and residential use.


American Standard has a Flushmate equipped wall hung #2093.100 Glenwall toilet now available.  This should be a good replacement for aging or broken wall hung toilets.  



Gerber has a gravity model for wall hung installation.  20-021 Gerber Maxwell Wall Hung

Pictures of the Gerber here


Poor toilets

Some new homes come with what I call "builder grade" toilets. A builder may only be making 5% on the total sale of the home, so some of the product, is what I call starter grade, or in construction terms, Competive. Competitive means that sub contractors are competing to get the job. That makes for a pretty inexpensive product to stay competitive with other contractors. Often, in the "after market", we just haul those new toilets out, and "recycle" them. They make good roadways when crushed.

 Against the Flow

Toilet paper Poll

Bidet seats

Toto makes toilets seats with a warm water wash called a Jasmin Washlet bidet seat.  The seat portion is also heated seats in both the Chloe and the Jasmin Washlets.


Sewage Ejectors

In cases where there is a need to add plumbing below the height of the existing sewer, a sewage ejector can be installed which pumps the liquid and solids up to the waste lines.

2/14/2020 Terry Love
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