Pressure-assist toilets are becoming increasingly popular in residential settings. Also known as power flush toilets, they have long had a stronghold in the commercial world because they effectively clean the waste in a single flush. They also use less water than a standard toilet. If you are in the market for the best pressure assist toilet, read on.
How to Choose the Best Pressure Assist Toilet
What should you be looking for when checking out a pressure assist toilet? Some are fairly plain, while others come with features that are nice to have. Let’s look at the most important features and why you would want to have them.
- Power of the flush – The main selling point of this type of toilet is its ability to clear the bowl using a minimal amount of water. If the flush power isn’t sufficient, it’s not worth the higher cost of buying and installing the toilet.
- Amount of water used – Another reason consumers choose a power flush toilet is for its water efficiency. If the toilet uses the same amount of water as a standard model, it may not be worth the extra cost.
- Size – While most pressure assist toilets are smaller than their standard counterparts, some models are smaller than others. For those who have a tiny bathroom, size is important. Always measure your space before purchasing any toilet.
- Price – The biggest downside to power flush toilets are their price. Finding models at a lower price is key for those with a smaller budget. Balancing price and features is always a challenge.
- Design – It can be difficult to find pressure assist toilet in a wide variety of styles. Design is important to make sure it fits into a number of room styles.
- Noise level – The power flush toilet is noisier than the standard model. Getting a model that’s less noisy is ideal.
- Warranty – The pressure assist toilet is expensive to repair. It’s important to get a good warranty to offset any repair costs.
Why Select a Pressure Assist Toilet Over a Standard Gravity Feed?
The main reason why consumers are looking at pressure assist toilets is their ability to keep the bowl clean with every flush. The power of the air and water clear the bowl surface of any waste. It also pushes the waste down the drain. For bulk waste removal, a power flush does the job much better than any gravity feed toilet.
A pressure assist toilet also saves water compared to a gravity feed model. It can use as little as 1.1 gallons per flush. The more efficient models of gravity feed toilets boast of using only 1.6 gallons per flush.
Most pressure assist toilets install much the same as a typical gravity feed model. Manufacturers do recommend having them installed by a professional plumber. In fact, most require it to keep the warranty valid. Always consult the manufacturer’s warranty for what is required.
Pressure assist toilets are less likely to clog compared to gravity fed toilets. The air pressure helps clear the drain of bulk waste. It also helps push the waste down into the main waste line.
How Do Pressure Assist Toilets Work?
A standard toilet uses the power of gravity to draw water down and out the drain, taking the waste with it. The pressure assist model works a bit differently.
The tank of a pressure assist toilet is completely sealed. As water enters the tank, the air trapped inside gets compressed. When you flush the toilet, the compressed air shoots the water out at accelerated force. The pressurized water clears the surface of the bowl while taking the waste down the drain.
For homes that have lower water pressure, a battery or electric pump can be used to increase the tank pressure.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Pressure Assist Toilets
Like a standard toilet, pressure assist models have their advantages and disadvantages. Some consumers love them, while others decide to go with another type of toilet. Before you make a purchase, let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of this type of toilet.
Pressure Assisted Toilet Advantages
- Powerful flush – Consumers love the power that a pressure assist toilet offers. It can clear the toilet in a single flush using less water than the most efficient gravity feed model.
- Cleaner bowl – The power of the flush clears the waste in a single flush. A standard toilet often needs a second or third flush to completely clear the waste from the bowl. In a busy household, this is a major selling point.
- Smaller and lighter – A pressure assist toilet takes up less space than a standard model. This makes it perfect for smaller bathrooms where multiple people need to use the facilities.
- Less water used – The power flush toilet can use as little as 1.1 gallons per flush, depending on the model and incoming water pressure. This is almost 1/3 less than a standard toilet that uses 1.6 gallons per flush.
- Good in humid conditions – In areas where humidity is a problem, a pressure assist toilet is a perfect choice because it creates less tank condensation. This condensation, also known as tank sweat, can drip down and damage the flooring. It also creates an environment where bacteria and mold grow.
Pressure Assisted Toilet Disadvantages
- Price – Pressure assist toilets cost more than gravity fed models. They are more complicated, which translates to a higher price. Installation costs are close to the same as that for standard toilets.
- Higher noise level – The power flush is noisier than the standard flush. The air pressure causes the water noise to increase. Manufacturers have brought the noise levels down in recent years, but they still make more noise that standard toilets.
- Fewer designs – Manufacturers make pressure assist toilets in fewer designs compared to standard models. It can be difficult for consumers who want a specific look.
- Expensive repairs – If the power flush toilet breaks down, you will need to call on a plumbing professional. Most DIY homeowners have difficulty repairing these toilets due to their complexity. Plus, the parts are more expensive than for a standard toilet.
The Best Pressure Assist Toilets
Let’s look at five pressure assist toilets and determine which one is the best.
Kohler K-3493-0 Highline Classic
The Kohler K-3493-0 Highline Classic is a two-piece white toilet with an elongated bowl. This toilet sits at Comfort Height level, which makes sitting down and getting up much easier. It offers the Pressure Assist flushing system for efficient removal of bulk waste. The toilet requires a minimum of 20 psi and runs at a maximum of 30 psi. It measures 38.2 x 25 x 23.7 inches. The lever sits on the left side of the tank. Consumer must purchase wax ring, toilet seat, and supply line separately. The toilet comes with a one-year limited warranty.
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- Classic design works well in many bathrooms
- Pressure Assist flushing system does a good job of clearing bulk waste and leaving the bowl clean
- Comfort height of toilet makes it more comfortable than standard height toilets
- Uses 1.6 gallons per flush which is the same as a standard high-efficiency toilet
- Does not come with seat, supply line, or wax ring
- Comes with one-year limited warranty
American Standard 2467.016.020 Cadet
The American Standard 2467.016.020 Cadet is a two-piece pressure assist toilet with an elongated bowl. It offers the American Standard EverClean Surface for maximum cleaning and sanitation. The pressure-assist siphon jet system expels waste with a combination of water and air. The PowerWash rim cleans the bowl with every flush. This toilet uses 1.6 gallons per flush. When installed, the toilet measures 30.2 x 20.5 x 30.8 inches. Consumer must purchase toilet seat, anchor bolts, and two wax rings for installation. It comes with a one-year warranty.
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- Easy to install
- Power fast flush makes it clear the bowl
- Less flushing required to remove bulk waste
- Comes with American Standard EverClean glazing to prevent mold and bacterial growth
- No jets in front of bowl, so toilet paper dropped there doesn’t always clear
- Does not include anchor bolts, wax ring, or toilet seat
- Comes with one-year warranty
Zurn Z5572 Dual Flush
The Zurn Z5572 Dual Flush is a two-piece, dual-flush toilet with an elongated bowl. It uses the high performance EcoFlush technology for clearing the toilet bowl of bulk waste. This toilet offers dual flush with the partial flush using 1.1 gpf and the full flush using 1.6 gpf. Pulling the lever up triggers the partial flush while pushing it down triggers the full. It measures 31 x 20.75 x 30.4 inches. It comes with a 10 year warranty.
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- Ultra quiet flush compared to other models
- Operates between 20 psi and 80 psi
- Watersense listed
- Offers two flush levels: 1.1 gpf for partial flush and 1.6 gpf for full flush
- Partial flush powerful enough for bulk waste removal in many cases
- Comes with 10 year warranty
- Is not ADA compliant
- Does not include toilet seat, wax ring, or anchor bolts
American Standard 2462.016.020 Cadet
The American Standard 2462.016.020 Cadet is a two-piece toilet with an elongated bowl. It includes the EverClean surface to keep the bowl clean and to prevent bacterial and mold growth. The toilet uses pressure-assisted siphon jet flush action to clear the bowl. It measures 30.2 x 20.5 x 29.2 inches. The toilet uses 1.6 gallons per flush. This toilet was the least expensive among those we compared. It comes with one year warranty.
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- Powerful flush that clears bowl quickly and efficiently
- Comes with installation instructions
- Include EverClean surface to prevent mold and bacteria growth
- Lowest cost among those we compared
- Seat height is lower than others compared
- Comes with one year warranty
American Standard Yorkville
The American Standard Yorkville is a two-piece toilet with an elongated bowl. It uses a pressure-assisted siphon jet system to clean the bowl and clear bulk waste. It includes American Standards’s EverClean surface that prevents the growth of mold and bacteria. This model mounts to the floor, but has the outlet coming out the back. It does require a neoprene or graphite-felt ring, which is not included. The toilet’s size is 29.8 x 20.5 x 29.2 inches. This toilet is the most expensive among those that we compared. It comes with one-year limited warranty.
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- EverClean surface keeps toilet clear of mold and bacteria
- Power flush handles bulk waste efficiently
- Rear outlet good for basement installations
- Most expensive among those we compared
- Requires more expensive neoprene or graphite felt ring, which is not included with purchase
- Comes with one-year warranty
And The Best Pressure Assist Toilet Is
The clear winner for best pressure assist toilet was the Zurn Z5572 Dual Flush. This toilet brings a powerful flush, excellent water efficiency, and an industry-leading warranty on top of it all. Its classic design allows it to fit into many bathroom designs.
What makes this model stand apart from the others is the dual flush feature. The water saving partial flush uses 1.1 gallons per flush, while the full flush meets the EPA guidelines of 1.6 gallons per flush. The power of the pressure assisted flush makes it possible to use the partial flush even for bulk waste. It does the job quickly and efficiently, leaving nothing but a clean bowl behind.
This toilet is WaterSense listed, which means it meets or exceed the EPA’s highest efficiency standards for toilets. It shows the manufacturer’s focus on producing high quality, efficient fixtures.
Another feature that sets the Zurn Z5572 Dual Flush apart is its 10 year warranty. The other toilets only came with one year warranties. With the complexity of a pressure assist toilet, this longer warranty is essential. It can save a lot of money on repair bills down the road.
While the Zurn Z5572 Dual Flush is not the least expensive toilet (the American Standard 2462.016.020 Cadet got that honor), it’s solidly in the middle price range of those we compared. For the dual flush feature and the excellent warranty, it is definitely worth the extra money.
The ultra quiet flush feature of the Zurn Z5572 Dual Flush is nice to have. While all of the toilets we compared had quieter than normal flushes, this one stood out from the rest.
One downside to this toilet is the seat height, which is 15 3/8″. This is standard toilet seating height. We would have liked to have seen the Comfort Height seating that was included with the Kohler Highline Classic. It would have made the toilet easier for adults to use.