Many modern toilets now feature a power flush or powered flushing system. But is this type of high-performance flush really necessary, or is it an unnecessary extra expense? There are pros and cons to consider when deciding if paying more for a power flush toilet is worthwhile.
How Power Flush Toilets Work
Power flush toilets use a high-velocity water flush created by an electric pump or pressurized tank system. They generate significantly more siphon power than gravity-based flush systems. The key benefits of this extra flush power include:
- Improved waste removal, even with low-flow water usage
- Reduced likelihood of clogs
- Better cleaning of bowl with each flush
- Ability to move waste further through drainage pipes
- But the motorized pumping does add cost over basic gravity flush toilets.
Pros of a Power Flush Toilet
Here are some of the most compelling reasons to consider paying extra for the power flush feature:
Better Flushing Performance
The high-velocity water burst can effectively remove solid waste and paper with reduced need for double flushing. Bowl surfaces stay cleaner.
The added flush strength helps prevent clogs by moving waste further through drainage pipes. This can reduce the need for snaking blockages.
Some power flush models produce less noise than noisy gravity flush systems prone to gurgling pipes.
Works with Low-Flow Plumbing
Power flushing provides the needed force even with low-flow toilet water usage below 1.6 gpf. It maintains performance with water-saving plumbing.
Many power flush toilets include conveniences like heated seats, automatic opening/closing lids, and touchless flushing.
Cons of a Power Flush Toilet
However, there are some potential downsides that can make a power flush toilet not worth the extra cost in certain situations:
Expect to pay $400-600 more compared to basic gravity flush toilet models.
Power flush mechanisms may be more complex to install properly compared to gravity models. Professional expertise is recommended.
Ongoing Electric Costs
There is added expense of electricity to run the flushing pump motor and heated features. Can add over $100 per year to utility bills.
Some power flush models are quite loud when operating, an annoyance for some bathrooms.
More Things to Break
With more mechanical parts, there’s increased potential for repairs and issues compared to simple gravity flush.
Is a Power Flush Toilet Worth the Extra Cost?
Here are some factors to consider when deciding if it’s worth paying more for a power flush toilet:
For New Construction
If doing a full remodel or building a new home, the added upfront cost of a power flush toilet is usually worth it for the benefits. Better to include one initially than retrofit later.
For Heavy Usage Bathrooms
For high-traffic bathrooms in a large family home or business, a power flush can help deal with heavy usage and prevent clogs.
For Bathrooms Far from Sewer Lines
A power flush helps move waste further to reduce backups with bathrooms located far from the main sewer connection.
If You Experience Frequent Clogs
For existing bathrooms with recurring clog and drainage issues, a power flush toilet can provide a solution. May be cheaper than repeated snaking.
If Replacing Toilet Anyway
Consider a power flush model if you need to replace an existing toilet soon. Minimal added cost to upgrade at that point.
For Water-Saving Home
In a household focused on water conservation, a power flush lets you save water without sacrificing flushing performance.
FAQs About Power Flush Toilets
How do power flush toilets save water?
They provide increased flushing power with less water usage down to 1.0 gpf, compared to 1.6 gpf with gravity flush models.
Do all new toilets have power flush?
No, most low-cost toilet models still rely on basic gravity flush. Power flush is an upgrade option on higher-end models.
Is a pressure-assisted flush the same as power flush?
A pressure-assisted flush toilet uses an internal pressurized tank for increased flush pressure. This is one type of powered flushing system.
How much electricity do power flush toilets use?
Estimates range from around 30-60 kWh per year for the flushing motor, depending on usage. Additional usage for heated features.
What’s the difference between single flush and dual flush power toilets?
Single flush uses the same volume every flush, while dual flush offers a reduced volume liquid flush option to further conserve water.
Are there power flush toilets without electricity?
Some models use a pressurized tank and do not require an electrical hookup. But most pump-based power flush toilets do require electric.
For new construction or bathroom remodels where budget allows, a power flush toilet can provide beneficial flushing performance and convenience. But for existing bathrooms with basic gravity flush toilets, the high upgrade cost may not be justified, especially if current flushing works adequately. Assessing your specific needs and bathroom issues can determine whether paying extra for a power flush toilet is the right choice.