Gravity flush toilets are tried and true when it comes to consistent performance. It is still the most recognizable type of toilet in the world at home, businesses, and even in apartment buildings. The design has been improved on, so is still considered a top choice when buying a new toilet even compared to the new pressure assisted toilets. Along with having less mechanical parts than other types of toilets, the simplistic materials lead to a lower buying price.
A Guide to Gravity Feed Toilets
Toto, Dometic, and Kohler are the popular names to look for in the industry. Kohler and Toto toilets in particular have huge influence, with the former branching out into multiple home appliances. There are a lot of benefits of being surrounded by Kohler toilets, which not only offer an excellent warranty, but tend to last longer than the average brand. Toto has an endless catalog of gravity-feed toilets, giving you several options when one model isn’t to your liking. Their versatility is a huge plus in a market where some of the toilets have similar features.
Gravity-feed toilets are low priced compared to toilets that use different mechanics. This is one of the main benefits of purchasing one, especially in bulk. Buying gravity-feed toilets in bulk saves businesses tons of money without lessening the quality of the product. It is a win-win for all involved, and it is also one of the reasons why such a traditional toilet type is still mainstream. Pricing, even for the high-end gravity-feed models, remains low, so any modern improvements made to the design won’t affect the average price.
Pros And Cons Of Gravity-Feed Toilets
Over the years, gravity-feed toilets have undergone significant improvements and innovation. This can be seen with brands like Toto who goes all out with models such as the Neorest 550 and the Toto Ultramax II. With so much new tech attempting to challenge the old design, it is important to list all of the great benefits of having a gravity-feed toilet.
Lowest Price – Gravity-feed toilets have the lowest prices available when bought as a single unit or as a set. This is the first thing that separates them from the rest of the pack. Homes that are just looking for a minor or large upgrade can save a lot of money on full renovations by getting a gravity-feed toilet. Businesses that need to buy in bulk will also benefit from the low price of gravity-feed toilets. Even if you want a high end model, it will be fairly priced.
Proven Technology – If there is one thing you want with a toilet, it’s reliability. The technology used for gravity-feed toilets is decades old, and continues to improve. That means failure rates are low if you go with a reputable brand. And with years of documentation available for the repair of gravity-feed toilets, home repair options are useful when something goes wrong. And since the parts are inexpensive, repairs won’t burn your wallet.
More Designs – Gravity-Feed toilets have more models to choose from than any other type. Buyers who are going for a certain look can match their bathrooms up easy by choosing from the many gravity-feed designs. This includes modern and traditional setups, with many color variations between them. Bathrooms that have an alternative design will have a better chance of finding a match with gravity-feed toilets.
Improvements Are Possible – With a little know-how you can make massive improvements to a gravity-feed toilet. Users that know how to modify appliances around the home can really give an extra boost to their new or old toilet if it’s gravity-feed. This is possible with other types, but not all come with the instructions and associated low costs.
Water Consumption – Gravity-Feed toilets use a lot more water than other toilet types. In homes that already have a high water bill (or low water pressure), this can be a problem. It leads to ‘multiple flushes’ to get the bowl clean. The problem is expanded when you have multiple gravity-feed toilets in one home or setting, where a hit to the low water pressure is annoying. Buyers should look at average flushes per month to get a visual of how much extra water is used with gravity-feed toilets.
Size – In small bathrooms, having a toilet that fits in with the rest of the decor matters. You don’t want a large toilet in a small bathroom. Huddling up due to lack of space ruins the bathroom experience. Gravity-feed toilets are always the largest type of toilets, although smaller versions exist. But by default, the tank mechanics mean it is a little larger than other toilet types. Small bathrooms that are set up to have the door swing open to the front or the side of the toilet will face the most problems with gravity-feed types.
Multiple Users/One Toilet – This isn’t a problem on its own, but it points more towards homes or apartments with one bathroom. Water consumption was mentioned before, and now you have to combine that with individual usage. Then include low water pressure in a large home full of multiple people and appliances. Think of this as the perfect storm, not always likely, yet something that could spell trouble when using a gravity-feed toilet. Buyers should consider a pressure-assisted toilet in large dwellings with multiple people, low water pressure, and-higher-than average water consumption.
The long list of features of gravity-feed toilets can be applied to most models. Some of these features stand out more than others, and are considered a priority when making a purchase. Consumers who want a short list of what separates a good gravity-feed toilet from a great one will enjoy this wrap up.
- Insulated tanks stop condensation and water leakage. There is also a lower chance of mold or mildew developing around the areas where the water travels.
- Double Cyclone Technology gets waste down the first time with one flush. This combines the effectiveness of the gravity method with an extra burst of water to help get contents down without having to re-flush. It saves you time and, of course, keeps the water bill low.
- Quiet Flush is available on select gravity-feed toilets. Without compromising on power, it flushes and still remains quiet. This is a useful feature in apartments or smaller homes.
- Nozzles in place of rim holes is a better design choice when going for a thorough flush. Consumers can find this on most of the cutting edge toilets, so seeing it with gravity-feed is no surprise. When used with the right setup, nozzles thoroughly clear the bowl with one flush.
- Chrome tips/accents give the toilet class and distinction. You’ll often see chrome tipped levers on premium gravity-feed models. Not only do they look great, but they hold their shine over the years.
- Flapperless Systems are made to reduce refill noise in toilets. If your toilet has a quiet flush system in place, then the flapperless design is even more intriguing. It makes the toilet as quiet as possible without reducing the effectiveness of the flush.
- Bolt installation means a brand has fast install options. It’s still the easiest way to put together a gravity-feed tank and still have it in a perfectly balanced position.
- Left handed levers are rare but a useful feature that goes beyond a simple design decision. Buyers may find it beneficial based on the placement of the toilet. At the very least, left-handed individuals will get a toilet made with their proficiency in mind.
Why Choose A Gravity-Feed Toilet Over Pressure-Assisted?
Gravity-feed systems come with a lot of great advantages that separate them from pressure-assisted toilets. To sum up, there are four aspects that make gravity-feed superior to pressure-assisted; price, repairs, modifications, and design. Pricing and repairs can be grouped together, as they are in the same category. You’ll spend less to purchase, maintain, and fix a gravity-feed toilet. With enough know-how, you can even order replacement parts and fix it yourself. The purchase and repair of a gravity-feed toilet will come at a lower price than buying a high-end pressure-assisted toilet outright.
Modifications are another reason to consider this type, even if it is something that not a lot of people consider. Modifying your gravity-feed toilet to work more efficiently (or for more power) is a quick way to boost its usefulness. A simple guidebook will show you how to do it, with no downside when the modifications are done properly. Design is the last reason to choose gravity-feed over pressure-assisted, although that advantage is not as significant anymore. Because they’ve been around for decades, gravity-feed toilets naturally have more design options.
How Does A Gravity-Feed Toilet Work?
Gravity-feed is also known as gravity-flush or gravity-assisted. It’s still the most common type of toilet in the world. Once you pull the lever (or push a button) the flush valve lifts. This process specifically flushes waste into the waste pipe and then the septic tank. But that is behind the scenes, and in the actual bowl you’ll simultaneously see fresh water filling in as the waste gets pulled down. A vital part to all of this is the floater in the tank. Without it functioning properly, the water would keep going until the water overflowed. With the tank lid off, you can see all of this in action (and check for any problems).
Are Repairs Easy?
Yes, and users should be able to do most minor repairs by themselves. A lot of overflow or flushing issues are fixed by checking the fill and flush valves for inconsistencies. Users need to be careful when taking off the tank top. If something really goes wrong, then you could get sprayed with water while taking the lid off the tank. Always move slowly when removing the top, and put it on a steady surface. The last thing you want is to have the lid drop and break after all your hard work of fixing the actual problem. When fixes don’t fall in the DIY range, then turn off the water to the toilet until it’s fixed. If the problem isn’t a clog, then you can force it to flush by emptying a bucket of water into the bowl.
Cleaning A Gravity-Feed Toilet
When cleaning a gravity-feed toilet, the inside is just as important as the outside. Weekly maintenance will keep everything in tip-top shape if you have the right materials. Skipping regular cleanings won’t do much harm unless the water is specifically harsh. Here are the type of cleaning products that are regularly used with gravity-feed toilets.
- Bowl cleaners are used to coat the bowl in a liquid, usually with a nice smell. The bottle is made so that you squirt it up where the nozzles are, forcing it into the hard to reach parts of the bowl and then letting it naturally drip down and coat the rest.
- A must-have for any gravity-feed toilet is drop-in tablets. You put them in the tank and they continuously clean both the tank and bowl for months. These are extremely strong solutions that need to be handled carefully, and will usually turn your water blue so that you know it’s working.
- Gel stamps are popular and a great alternative to drop-in tablets. You stamp them on the inside of the bowl so that each flush cleans it thoroughly. The stamp gets small with each usage to give you a visual indicator of when it needs to be replaced.
- And of course, full cleanings with a toilet brush and your favorite cleaner will be needed weekly when possible. Lysol and Scrubbing Bubbles are two of the more popular brands on the market for this.
Gravity-feed toilets are old-school and still one of the best types of toilets you can buy. They’re dependable, low maintenance, and come at a price that is hard to say no to.