Back to Wall toilets for tiny spaces

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by winnie_, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. winnie_

    winnie_ New Member

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    Mar 6, 2017
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    It seems that this forum has lots of discussions about toilets to fit small spaces. I want to thank you all for the advice so far....but I think I am looking for something new.

    As many others, I have an old house with small bathroom spaces. One bathroom was clearly a converted coat closet, with very little knee room.

    Rather than trying to find a very compact close coupled toilet, I started wondering if I could somehow move the tank to a more convenient location, and move the bowl back toward the wall.

    I was wondering if I could somehow use a 'spud toilet' and put the tank off to the side and high up.

    For example, using something like https://s3.amazonaws.com/gerber-gh/579a4f24818af64912fbbb79/25-642-30.pdf it would seem that if I could arrange the water supply piping correctly, and deal with what would become a 6" rough, I could end up with 21" of extension from the wall.

    I know that there are wall mount toilets available, with the tank and plumbing hidden in the wall; this would be a bad idea for me since this is an outside wall (freezing).

    What I would really like to find is a 'back to wall' bowl with a spud connection for the tank and a standard 12" rough.

    Does such a beastie exist?

    Many thanks
    Jon
     
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Flushometer only.
    That means you change out your water meter, your water service, and repipe the home with 1" going to the Flushometer.

    Most homes plumb the toilet tank with 1/2". There is no way that bowl would work in a home.
     
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  4. winnie_

    winnie_ New Member

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    Mar 6, 2017
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    Thanks! Okay I see how that bowl requires a flushometer valve, and I didn't realize the implications.

    My follow on questions:
    Do there currently exist spud bowls for tank toilets? Clearly they did exist; the existing toilet has a spud bowl connected to the tank by an elbow.

    Do there exist any spud bowls made for 'back to wall' positioning, either for tanks or for flushometers?

    Could a flushometer be used in a residential setting with some sort of local reservoir such as a well pressure tank? Something that could provide the high pressure and flow for the flush but would then refill with a normal residential supply?

    I guess a flushometer combined with a reservoir is essentially a more expensive home built flushmate system. Do there exist any flushmate 'high tank' toilets?

    Again many thanks for hosting this forum.
    -Jon
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    IL
    I think you could use a pressure tank for a well to provide the high GPM for the flush. About a 6 to 8 gallon tank would be big enough. You would run 1 inch to the Flushometer from the tank.
     
  6. Stuff

    Stuff Well-Known Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2017
  7. winnie_

    winnie_ New Member

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    Massachusetts
    Stuff, the diagram shows 25" extension with a 10" rough.

    But the back of the toilet would just hit the wall with a 4.5" rough and 19.5" extension. Doing this would require some major non-standard plumbing shenanigans.

    But I think a 6" rough and 21" extension would be possible with normal components. That is why I was asking about exploring this possibility. Terry hit on the major problem: making a flushometer system work in a residence. Other issues would be the very non-standard rough and needing to come up with the sideways flushometer connection.

    That is why I was presenting the idea and asking about better ways to hack this :)

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    -Jon
     
  8. Stuff

    Stuff Well-Known Member

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    Most of us hear hack and cringe. Or maybe the pro's hear a cash register? What size closet, toilet, knee room do you have now?
     
  9. winnie_

    winnie_ New Member

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    Mar 6, 2017
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    Massachusetts
    The bowl from this toilet is similar in size to the gerber one that I mentioned above:
    http://www.barclayproducts.com/Barclay/Spec Sheets/2-413 Victoria High tank.pdf

    Question: can one add additional elbows to the flush pipe of a high tank toilet so that the tank can go to the side and the bowl can move back closer to the wall, presuming a reduced rough dimension? My goal really is a 'back to wall' toilet rather than a standard 'back to tank'.

    Thanks
    Jon
     
  10. winnie_

    winnie_ New Member

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    Massachusetts
    The existing toilet is has 26" extension.

    The space is 37" from wall to door, meaning only 11" in front of the toilet with the door closed.

    Lots of room if I use the can with the door open, but there are aesthetic issues with that approach.

    I was trying to use 'hack' in its positive meaning of 'clever use of existing components in a sensible and effective solution to a non-standard situation', as opposed to 'figure out the cheapest way to do something wrong so that someone else has to pay twice as much to fix it'.

    This just seems such a common need (too small a space for a toilet) that I would think there was a standard solution. What I would love to see is a something like a side spud bowl with the 'unifit' setup, combined with a high tank option.

    -Jon
     
  11. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Occupation:
    Plumber
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    What you want is a wall hung elongated bowl with an in-wall tank.
    http://www.totousa.com/filemanager_uploads/product_assets/SS-00456_CT418FG.pdf

    21-1/16" to the end of the bowl.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There is an option for a in-wall tank that fits in a 2x4 wall.
    Most of the carriers are for 2x6 walls.
    If this were a round bowl, it would be like the end of the bowl would be at 19.5"
    The elongated is 1.5" longer, but the sitting postion is the same as for a round bowl.
    You would pick up 5" of space in front, and the sitting postion would be 6.5" further back.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
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  12. winnie_

    winnie_ New Member

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    That is exactly the sort of bowl dimensions that I want.

    The problem with using an in-wall tank is that this is a 2x4 _exterior_ wall, so the tank would be at risk of freezing in the winter, and the soil pipe would need to be routed through the rim and foundation area.

    It seems that using an in-wall tank solution would mean that I need to modify (hack) at least the soil pipe routing, coming out of the wall and under the bowl _above_ the floor. The freezing tank issue could probably be dealt with by adding insulating siding and possibly a back-up heat source.

    Thanks
    Jon
     
  13. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Plumber
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    You could bump the wall out a bit there and insulate the wall behind it.
    By code, what you have now is too small.
     
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  14. winnie_

    winnie_ New Member

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    Mar 6, 2017
    Location:
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    Agreed and thanks. The bathroom is too small.

    Even with the Aquia toilet the distance in front of the toilet still 16", not the 21" required. Still a huge improvement (6.5" more knee room).

    Making the room larger is not feasible, in that once I am looking at that level of structural modification to the building, then I am probably better off making a larger addition and moving the bathroom entirely.

    -Jon
     
  15. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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  16. winnie_

    winnie_ New Member

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    Massachusetts
    I know that this is a 4 year old thread, but I figured it was worth an update. About 3 years of health issues got in the way of this project but while it is not finished it is functional.

    I ended up using the Gerber flushometer toilet that I was originally considering, and it is actually working quite well.

    What I did was to open up a single 'stud bay' behind the toilet. I insulated that section of wall with 1" thick EPS and then covered with 1/4" cement board, giving me several more inches to work with. The flushometer fits nicely into the stud bay, permitting the toilet to be installed with about a 5.5" rough to the original wall surface.

    The drain connections and floor were rotten and patched several times over and simply needed to be replaced, and were above exposed basement, so adjusting the rough was trivial. After I had the new subfloor down and level I made a cardboard print of all the bits that had to fit, and played until I figured out the minimum rough that would work.

    This give a 20.5" extension from the original wall, which gives me about 6" additional leg room in this undersized bathroom. Still not up to current codes, but much better than what previously existed.

    To make the flushometer work in my home, I added a well pressure tank in the basement under the bathroom. The smallest tank I could get with a 1" outlet has significantly more volume then necessary for the bowl. Flush performance is acceptable but still needs some tuning. With the pressure tank connected, the flow rate actually seems too high, and sometimes material swirls around the bowl very rapidly instead of going down the drain. I am partially closing the tank valve to reduce the flow just a bit, but what I may need to do is add a pressure reducing valve to reduce the pressure in the tank.

    With the pressure tank valve closed, the system does actually work on my plumbing even though I don't have 1" from the street. But flush performance is poor, and the flush takes all the capacity of the line from the street. Water flow in the upstairs shower drops to zero when the downstairs toilet flushes. With the pressure tank in the system I get more reliable flushing without impacting the rest of the house.

    If I could have anything different, I would much prefer an elongated bowl, but I couldn't find one that had the combination of rear dimensions that would make this work. My ideal would be a bowl that was an elongated version of the 25-642.

    In any case I wanted to thank everyone who posted and gave me ideas to consider, and helped me understand what I'd be facing trying to use this flushometer spud bowl.

    -Jon
     
    Reach4 likes this.
  17. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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