If you decided to buy a new toilet, you might have noticed that terms such as “1.28 GPF” and “1.6 GPF” are mentioned quite often. These are related to how much water a toilet needs per flush. Although the difference is less than half a gallon, it’s still important to mention the upsides and downsides of both rates.
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Introduction to Low Water Consumption Toilets
Both 1.28 and 1.6 GPF toilets are low-water-consumption units. These units were introduced back in 1994 after American President George Bush signed the EPA into law, which demanded that toilets may not use over 1.6 gallons of water per flush. Since the technology wasn’t as developed as it is today, most toilets had tanks mounted up high to produce more force.
Since some units required more than one flush to clean the waste, manufacturers had to find the solution to make low water consumption more effective. Not only did they improve toilet efficiency, but they managed to find a way to build an effective toilet that uses less than 1.28 gallons per flush by implementing bigger flush valves and redesigning the bowls.
The Difference Between 1.28 GPF and 1.6 GPF Toilets
The primary difference between these two types of units is related to their flushing power. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that 1.6 GPF units are more powerful. Let’s take a look at the Toto Ultramax II (1.28 GPF) and the American Standard Champion 4 (1.6 GPF). These toilets come at a very similar price and are both one-piece models. However, the Toto Ultramax II is more powerful, although it consumes only 1.28 gallons per flush. The main reason is because the Ultramax II features powerful Tornado Flush Technology which is very powerful even with a small amount of water.
Another thing that sets these two types of units apart is their water efficiency. The difference between 1.28 and 1.6 gallons doesn’t seem to be significant, so you might be wondering whether 1.28 units really save water. But it adds up. Since you would spend 0.32 gallons of water less with every flush, you’ll use 20% less water. Annually, you can save over $100 just by using a 1.28 GPF toilet over its 1.6 GPF counterpart. Of course, you will save even more if you live in a family with four or more people.
In turn, 1.28 GPF units are more eco-friendly. For example, an average family can save over 2300 gallons of water annually by installing a 1.28 GPF model.
How Manufacturers Managed to Create High-Efficiency Toilets with Low Water Consumption
Since they were pretty much limited, manufacturers had to find a way to make the most of 1.28 gallons of water. One of the first things they added to their toilets was a bigger flush valve. With a bigger flush valve, the water creates greater force, which directly improves efficiency. Also, manufacturers had to redesign their toilets’ bowls. While older units usually had rim holes for water to pass, newer models feature technologies such as Tornado Flush. Instead of rim holes, these models have two nozzles at each side of the bowl, which creates a powerful action.
Some manufacturers also noticed that the toilet flapper restricts water flow. To remedy this, instead of the flapper flush valve, they installed canister flush valves. Their main advantage is that they allow the water to flow to the tank from an angle of 36-degrees. Some toilets even have pressure vessels, which compress the air and forces the water at a higher speed.
Pros and Cons
To sum it up, obviously 1.28 GPF units use less water and save you money in the long term. Plus, they make an excellent choice if you are looking for a quiet model. In theory, 1.28 GPF models can create a very effective flush, despite the low amount of water they use. However, it’s true only when it comes to popular brands, such as Toto and American Standard. Other less popular manufacturers usually don’t implement high-end flushing technologies, which leads to less powerful flushes that may leave skid marks behind.
When it comes to their 1.6 GPF counterparts, there is no doubt in their flush efficiency. Due to their effective flush, you will also spend less time maintaining the toilet. On the other hand, they use more water which leads to increased costs in the long term, and they can be quite loud.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are 1.6 Gpf Toilets Allowed in California?
No, they are not. Due to the California Energy Commission, all units that are sold in California use 1.28 gallons per flush or less.
What Toilet Brands Should I Look For?
Buying a toilet from a popular brand is a great way to be sure about what you are paying for. We strongly advise you to check out the units manufactured by Toto, Kohler, American Standard, and Saniflo.
What Is the Highest Gpf Toilet?
Most toilets today use up to 1.6 gallons per flush. However, some older models use over 4 gallons, which leads to lots of money wasted at the end of the year, especially if you live in a large family.
As you can see, 1.28 GPF units have numerous advantages. If you are looking for a quiet, eco-friendly toilet that uses a minimal amount of water but performs well, buying a 1.28 GPF model is an excellent choice. However, consider buying from the popular brands that we mentioned above to ensure top quality for a decent amount of money.