7 On Your Side

Rating the top toilets

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Mandatory water rationing is underway for more than one million East Bay MUD customers. So we wondered how much water we could save by switching to low flow toilets.

The number one source of indoor water use in most homes is in the toilet.

"Toilets account for 30 percent of indoor water use and the government in 1992 mandated that new toilets can use a maximum of just about one and a half gallons. If you have an old toilet, you could be using twice that, or even four times that. So making that switch will really conserve water," said Todd Kent, Good Housekeeping Institute.

Good Housekeeping put 15 new toilets to the test-finding out how well they flushed and how easily they clogged.

The magazine used golf balls, sponges - anything they thought might clog a toilet.

A panel of consumers gave its highest rating to the Gerber Ultra Dual Flush. You can get a large flush by pulling the handle up. And a small one if you pull it down.

"It seemed easy to clean. I also like the angular shape of the bowl," said Christina Peterson, tester.

Another dual flush toilet is the Toto Aquia it was the overall winner in the clog test.

"This toilet is gravity fed, which is the old fashioned way where the water just sits in the bowl and it lifts a flapper and the water just makes its way through the bowl off of gravity," said Todd Kent, Good Housekeeping Institute.

The panel of experts rated the Kohler's Highline Comfort Height tops for appearance.

Good Housekeeping says low flow toilets have come a long ways since the first models came out. Today's low flow toilets are much more efficient.

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