Screw the Green Movement, I’ve got a Bowel Movement, Your Guide to the Best HET Toilets.
Screw The Green Movement, I’ve Got a Bowel Movement! Your Guide to Picking the Best Water Efficient Toilet Considering that the average person can spend over 3 years of their life on the toilet, it’s pretty important to find the perfect throne for your bathroom. With the emphasis on the green movement, and the call to be more “eco-friendly” in every day life, water-efficient toilets are the latest and greatest trend in bathroom appliances. After all, saving water not only helps the environment, it can save you a nice chunk of change every month on your water bill, especially considering just one person will flush a toilet about 140,000 times in their life. Multiply that by a family of four, and you might start seeing cold hard cash swirling around that toilet bowel instead of just water. Your toilet often accounts for over 30% of your home’s water usage! It seems to be a no brainer – buy a water efficient toilet, save water, save the earth, and save some money while you’re at it. Unfortunately, high efficiency toilets (HETs) might be great for the green movement, but they don’t always take care of your bowel movement.
The Different Between Water Efficient Toilets and “Old School” Models
The demand for water-saving toilets began in the early 1994, when new laws limited new toilets to 1.6 gallons per flush (GPFs). HET (High Efficiency Toilets) Toilets that meet the EPA’s WaterSense requirements today use just 1.28 gallons or less per flush and must remove 350 grams or more of solid waste per flush. Toilets with 1.6 GPFs typically average between 500 & 1000 grams of solid waste per flush. Therein lies the problem – and the start of the common misconception that water- saving toilets just don’t have the “oomph” needed to get rid of your waste, be it a big ol’ number two, the toy your toddler decided wanted to “go for a swim,” or that facial wipe your teenager figured was easier to flush than trash. Some HETs take 2 or more flushes to completely clean out the bowl, doubling your water usage – which is exactly why we’re providing this guide to the best and worst water-efficient toilets on the market. We’ve done the research so you don’t have to. The toilets below were rated based on consumer tests, online reviews and ratings, and price points. Take a look to see which toilets reign supreme and which ones belong, well, in the crapper.
Top Rated Water Saving Toilets
American Standard H2Option Dual Flush RF Combo 2889.216.020
List Price: $415.00 – $567.00 (Pricing depends on round front or elongated bowl and color)
Description: Please call your local licensed plumbing contractor for professional installation. The dual flush feature on this toilet allows you to choose between 1.0 GPF or a standard 1.6 GPF. It features a two-button actuator, which gives it a unique look compared to most toilets, and fits perfectly in more narrow bathrooms. It also features an EverClean antimicrobial surface, which inhibits the growth of stain and odor causing bacteria, mold, and mildew.
- Quick and easy installation
- 1 GPF button is usually enough to flush most waste, both solid and liquid
- Powerful yet quiet flush
- It is a smaller toilet, so fits perfectly in narrow bathrooms
- There is enough space and water areas that “skid marks” are rarely a problem
- The 1.0 GPF option is lower even than EPA standards for water efficiency
- The space-saving design isn’t ideal for all bathrooms
- Not the cheapest HET toilet on the block, it’s from a brand you can trust.
American Standard Compact Cadet 3 FlowWise One-Piece 2403.128
List Price: $379.00 – $735.00
Description: The Cadet 3 series comes in a variety of styles and colors. The toilet has a dependable one-flush performance to take on your biggest “producers”. It’s ADA compliant, water-efficient, and comes with a 5-year warranty that covers everything.
- Flush uses only 1.28 GPF but can fully remove up to 1000 grams of solid waste
- Anti-bacterial glaze inhibits growth of bacteria
- ADA-compliant with a “comfort-height” seat of at least 17 inches
- Comes with a 5 year warranty, which is longer than most
- Comes with a no-slam toilet seat Comes with five different color choices
- Flush is less effective at complete bowl cleaning
- Higher priced than some models
- Because this is a one-piece toilet it is pretty heavy so installation should be performed by a licensed plumbing professional.
Kohler Cimarron Comfort Height 1.28 Elongated Toilet (K-3589 Two-Piece, K-3828 One-Piece)
List Price: $295.60 – $678.00 (This model comes in both and one-piece and two-piece design so in addition to color the type is the cause for the price difference.)
Description: The newly redesigned Kohler Cimarron (with new Class Five flushing technology) ,with its stylish design, 1.28 GPF, Comfort Height toilet seat, and power flush, this higher-end toilet is quickly becoming a favorite among consumers.
- Flush is fast and powerful, but quiet
- 1.28 GPF saves water
- Gets rid of bulk waste in one flush
- “Comfort-Height” seat is ADA-compliant and very comfy
- Comes in a variety of colors
- Sleek, modern styles fits well in most bathrooms
- Easy installation
- More expensive than many models
Worst Rated High Efficiency Toilets
Unfortunately, some water efficient toilets just don’t work well. Here’s a list of 5 of the worst rated high efficiency toilets you may want to avoid.
AquaSource 1.28 High Efficiency Elongated (Lowes Home Center Brand) – Customer reviews show you get what you pay for with this $99 model:
- Clogs frequently
- Flimsy toilet seat (However, you can always purchase a better one separately)
- Leaves solid waste stains in the bowl because of where the water spot sits
- Sometimes needs multiple flushes to get everything down
- Because it is a home center toilet, good luck trying to find someone to fix it should it fail. You can always uninstall take it back to Lowes and then reinstall it yourself. Service is a premium, if you pay for it you’ll never have to worry about these kinds of issues.
TOTO Guinevere – for a toilet that costs almost $600, the biggest complaints about the Toto Guinevere are:
- The very small water spot in the bowl leads to stuck-on waste stains.
- The toilet drips and trickles in between flushing (due to an auto-balancing feature)
Kohler Wellworth Classic – With a list price hovering around $228.00, this toilet is priced right, but complaints include:
- The toilet clogs rather easily
- The irregular bowl design makes it hard to find a plunger that works right
- Flushing doesn’t clean the bowl very well (stains were left over)
Jacuzzi Perfecta PowerChoice Dual-Flush HET – The $139 buy price looks nice, but complaints about the Jacuzzi Perfecta include:
- Toilet paper and waste sticks to the bowl, even with the more powerful flush
- Flush handle breaks easily
- It’s rather contemporary design won’t fit well in some bathrooms.
- Uncomfortable toilet seat
Foremost or Pegasus Nitra Comfort Height – Stylish design aside, this $450 toilet disappointed buyers because:
- The flush handle breaks easily and has to be held down during the flush
- This is again more of a home center toilet and is branded under two names. Which means it’s a private label toilet.
- Try having it fixed if it fails, it become an “epic” fail.
- Even though the design is fairly unique it may not fit in some bathrooms.
- The flush isn’t powerful enough to clean toilet bowel
- It’s over priced for its performance