A year ago my municipal water department in Portland, OR, offered a $100 rebate to anyone who replaced a conventional toilet with a WaterSense (EPA designation) qualified toilet. A review of my water bill encouraged me to give it a try. I’d heard that low-flow toilets don’ flush well. As someone — I’ll try to be discrete about this — who was a master of the plunger through frequent use, I didn’t want a toilet that would get clogged as much as my standard model. After some online research and a trip to a local green building supply store, I settled on a Toto Eco Drake, cheaper and more efficient than the previously reviewed Toto UltraMax.
The good news items: Water use is down through reduced flush waste. The SoftClose seat option has made a banging toilet seat a thing of the past. I haven’t used the plunger since I installed the toilet. The bad news item: I should have gotten the round seat, rather than the oval model I purchased. It isn’t as comfortable for extended-reading sessions.
Really, though, the flush mechanism on this toilet is amazing. It performs faster than the previous toilet I had, with less water and 100% reliability. Even if it used the same amount per handle press as my old toilet I’d be ahead; no more repeated flushes to finish a job. Yet it uses 1.28 Gal/flush and works the first time, every time. There are more expensive low-flow models available, but I’m quite pleased with the Eco Drake. The water savings are real and don’t have to come at the expense of flush performance.
[Note: Those interested in learning about toilet performance should check out MaP Testing, a site dedicated to evaluating toilet flushing.--OH]