How a Pressure-Assisted Toilet Works

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    pressure assisted toilet tank cutaway
    Sloan Flushmate&trade pressure-assisted toilet. Sloan

    Pressure-assisted toilets have come a long way in the past few years, with improvements in efficiency and noise reduction.

    Unlike standard gravity-fed toilets that depend on the force of gravity to flush when water in a tank is released, a pressure-assisted toilet uses compressed air or a small water pump to significantly bolster the flushing power.

    The benefits to you include less water consumption (about 1.1 to 1.4 gallons/flush)—making it a low-consumption toilet that actually flushes—and lower...MORE water bills.

    It is estimated by the EPA that these high-efficiency toilets can save several thousands of gallons of water per year for a family of four  when compared to  over the standard 1.6 gallon-per-flush toilet.

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  • 02 of 03

    How Pressure-Assisted Toilets Work

    pressure assisted toilet cutaway
    Kohler Pressure Lite&trade. Kohler

    The only thing visual difference you'll you'll notice about a pressure-assisted toilet becomes apparent when you open the toilet tank. There is no water— just a sealed plastic inner tank vessel.

    A pressure-assisted toilet works by compressing air in the storage tank as pressurized water from your home plumbing system fills the storage tank. Then, once the storage tank is charged, the compressed air blows the water out under pressure when you depress the flush lever—the action is like...MORE blowing water from a straw. 

    This creates a strong flow of water that cleans the bowl better, removes waste better, and flushes further than a gravity-fed system. In fact, pressure-assisted toilets can flush 50% further than gravity toilets, resulting in cleaner waste pipes and less chance of clogs down the road.

    This is much more successful than other methods for reducing water usage in a standard-design toilet—such as placing bricks or a filled 2-liter bottle in the tank to displace water. Such methods often result in a partial flush, in which the waste material may not be carried fully out to your vertical soil stack. 

    Some higher-end, more expensive models use a small electric pump instead of compressed air to boost flushing pressure. Expect to pay two to three times as much for these electric-powered versions as compared to a compressed-air model.

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    Manufacturers and Models of Pressure-Assisted Toilets

    Manufacturers of pressure-assisted toilets are as varied as the models available. However, here are two popular brands starting at less than $350:

    Compare Prices Pressure Assist Toilets