HETs – High-Efficiency Toilets-Take Flushing To The Next Level

Posted on February 15, 2011. Filed under: -- Energy/Being GREEN, Conservation | Tags: , , , , , |

I work for the City of Austin (Texas)  and I wanted to share some information I was reading about HET toilets from our water division’s website. These toilets save thousand of gallons of water per year when used in place of traditional or even low flush toilets, so pay attention. At just 1.28 gallons per flush, they use less than half the water of a standard non-efficient toilet. Dual flush high efficiency toilets typically offer both 0.8 gallon and 1.6 gallon flushes. Have fun flushing!

What is a high-efficiency toilet (HET)?

An HET is a fixture with an average flush volume of 1.28 gallons per flush (GPF) or less. That’s 20 percent less than most toilets on the market today.

How long have HETs been available in the U.S.?

The first HET (a gravity-fed, dual-flush fixture) was introduced in the U.S. in late 1998 by Caroma. At that time, the dual-flush technology had been proven and available in the Australian marketplace for about 10 years. Prototypes of the second category of HETs (1.0-gallon pressure-assist fixtures) were field tested in 2001, but results weren’t ideal. Improved, effective technology hit the marketplace in 2003.

Today, a total of 86 different HET fixture models are available from 16 different manufacturers. The market is expected to grow by 50% in the next year as major manufacturers shift their focus to these exceptionally efficient, high-performance toilets.

Do HETs meet customer performance expectations?

Until recently, most of the HETs installed have been part of pilot programs developed by water utilities, and don’t necessarily represent the range of models available in the marketplace today. However, HETs perform better in laboratory tests than most of their “regular” counterparts, thanks to extensive development and engineering. As with any equipment purchase, we recommend that you research the issue before buying to find the model that best fits your needs and budget. (See Maximum Performance (MaP) Testing of Popular Toilet Models, Veritec Consulting and Koeller and Company, to compare toilet performance.)

What about moving waste in the drainline?

Some customers are concerned about drainline transport (clogging and backups) with ultra-low (e.g., 1 gallon) flush volumes. Unlike some first-generation, “low-flow” toilets, WaterSense labeled toilets combine high efficiency with high performance. Design advances enable WaterSense labeled toilets to save water with no trade-off in flushing power. In fact, many perform better than standard toilets in consumer testing.

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