Although the term “upflush toilet” might be new to you, these units were invented by SaniFlo almost seven decades ago to offer a cheaper alternative to installing a brand new bathroom. The costs of a new bathroom can be unaffordable, mainly due to expensive piping systems. In comparison, upflush toilets are a cheaper, easier solution if adding bathroom drainage pipes are too expensive or you. So, what is an upflush toilet and how does it work?
- Upflush Toilets Explained
- Upflush Toilet – Macerator Process
- Main Benefits
- Grinding Comparisons
- Upflush Toilets – 6 “Macerating” Reviews
- Upflush Installation Methods
- Some Downsides
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
Upflush Toilets Explained
Basically, upflush toilets offer all the same features as a standard toilet, including an effective strong water pressure flush. However, the only difference is where the waste goes after you flush.
With the traditional toilet, waste goes down the installed pipes within your bathroom. In comparison, an upflush system discharges waste into a special pump behind the unit. Then, the pump moves waste up the PVC piping to the existing stack, which saves you from all the necessary piping that you would need with a standard toilet.
Luckily, these units have become very popular during the past decade because they allow people to install a toilet anywhere they want without the expense of building a new bathroom.
You may be interested in how to make a toilet flush better.
Upflush Toilet – Macerator Process
If you walk into a bathroom with an upflush toilet, you most likely you won’t even notice a difference. Visually, upflush toilets only differ from the back, where you may notice either the pump housing or an extension pipe. The main differences are internally in how the toilet actually disposes of waste.
When you flush, waste first goes into a macerator which grinds it using special blades. This step in the process is why these units were first called “grinder toilets.” Then, the pump moves the waste up the PVC piping for full disposal, leaving the tank completely empty for the next use.
Take a look at our full reviews of macerating toilets
Below are six of the top benefits to selecting an upflush toilet:
1. Maceration Process
Once the wastewater flows inside the chamber, the grinding and cutting starts. It usually lasts from 15 seconds to about a minute. After this process is done, the solid waste is just a slurry liquefied mix. At this point, the drain pump starts pumping the waste automatically. It is quite powerful and it pushes the waste upwards to the drain line.
If you want to avoid paying $15-20,000 to install a new bathroom, buying an upflush unit can be an excellent solution. Plus, upflush toilets are very simple to install, so they can save you even more money on plumbing and installation.
3. Full Bathroom Extensions
Another good thing about the upflush system is that it also allows you to add a sink and shower if you want. Once you have installed the toilet, you can add various fixtures to create a full bathroom at a relatively low cost.
4. Flexibility of Location
Because upflush toilets don’t require pre-installed plumbing, these units allow you to install a bathroom literally anywhere in the house. If you have some empty space in the house, such as the basement, you can simply turn it into a bathroom at a relatively low price. Then, not only will you have the benefit of access to another bathroom, but you can also directly increase the value of the house for future return on your investment.
5. Easy Installation
Another advantage of upflush toilets is that you can install one without a plumber, especially if you have some basic DIY skills. It will take you just a couple of hours, even if you have no plumbing knowledge.
6. System Design
First things first, upflush toilets look almost exactly like standard gravity toilets. They have a tank portion on the back and a bowl sitting on a pedestal.Instead of sitting on a sewage drain, they have a wide pipe coming straight out of them. The pipe itself is usually quite short and goes immediately into the chamber. The maceration chamber and the pipe are the only visible differences. Unlike gravity toilets, these need electricity to flush. Most of the time, the wire is barely visible and is located behind the toilet.
Upflush Toilets – 6 “Macerating” Reviews
1. Saniflo 023 Sanicompact Self-Contained Toilet
The Saniflo 023 Sanicompact toilet is ideal for smaller bathrooms where conventional toilets wouldn’t fit. This toilet consists of a vitreous china bowl and a macerator pump. The Sanicompact is one of the most water-efficient in its class, consuming only 1 GPF. As it is made of vitreous china, it is quite long-lasting. The toilet itself weighs only 62.2 pounds.
Furthermore, it features the right height seat. Without the seat, this toilet has a height of 18.5 inches. This makes it ideal for both the people with movement disabilities and the elderly. The pump of the Sanicompact is also quite powerful and can pump up to 100 feet horizontally.
Not only that, but it can also pump up to 9 feet vertically. Plus, the elongated shape of the bowl makes the Saniflo 023 Sanicompact toilet very comfortable.
2. Liberty Pumps ASCENT II ESW 1/2 HP
As macerating units tend to clog occasionally, due to the sensitive macerating mechanism, Liberty Pumps used an advanced RazorCut technology for the ASCENTII-ESW. Furthermore, this package also includes the toilet seat. To be even more convenient, it features the removable service panel. This allows you to quickly access the maceration chamber without disconnecting the whole plumbing.
This model requires 1.9V batteries, which are included in the package. What makes this unit quite comfortable is the elongated bowl shape. This cutting mechanism has the voltage of 115V and the wattage of 920W. Moreover, the ASCENTII-ESW 1/2 HP is pretty simple to install as it requires the simple floor mounted method. Plus, it is WaterSense certified.
3. Jabsco 37010 Series Electric Marine Toilet
If you are looking for a high-quality upflush toilet, Jabsco 37010 Series Electric Marine is another great choice. This toilet has a sleek, minimalistic design. The bowl is white-colored and made out of vitreous china. Furthermore, this model features a baked enamel cover and seat. This product is also quite lightweight.
The Jabsco 37010 has a flexible impeller flush pump and a bowl scavenger pump. Another great thing about this toilet is the fully enclosed permanent magnet type motor with a stainless steel shaft. It also has backflow preventer built-in. This is a single flush system with a simple push-button switch.
4. Five Oceans TMC Marine Electric Toilet
The Five Oceans TMC toilet is a high-quality, convenient upflush toilet. The design itself is similar to the Jabsco 37010. This upflush toilet is slightly heavier than the previous one, weighing 33 pounds. The sleek, white-colored design allows this toilet to blend in any bathroom style easily.
Another cool feature of the Five Oceans TMC toilet is the smart flush control. Furthermore, this model features a soft closing lid.
This way you can have a piece of mind while going to the bathroom during the night, as the toilet lid won’t slam and wake up everybody. The dimensions of the Five Oceans TMC toilet are 20” x 17” x 17”.
5. INTELFLO-WC53 600 Watt One Piece Upflush Toilet
This model is one of the best upflush toilets you can find in this price range. The dual flush system is quite environmentally friendly and makes this toilet even more water efficient. While using the full flush, only 1 GPF is consumed. On the other hand, the partial flush only consumes 0.75 GPF. Toilet tank isn’t necessary here as the system activates and performs the flushing automatically.
This toilet can be installed in various locations such as your basement, ground floor, loft/attic, or upper floor. Furthermore, the INTELFLO-WC53 is quite easy to install under the stairway, in a bedroom, and garage conversion. The bowl of the INTELFLO-WC53 is round-shaped. The pump has the power to pump up to 20 feet vertically and even 150 feet horizontally.
6. Thetford Marine Nano ECO Upflush Toilet
|Consumption||0.1 – 0.7 GPF|
The Marine Nano Eco is one of the smallest and shortest toilets among the upflush units. With the height of only 11.6 inches, this toilet makes an ideal choice for the kids. It is made out of Italian vitreous china and thus, is extremely durable. Aside from that, the Marine Nano Eco comes along with a soft-closing toilet seat.
The system is pretty fast isn’t noisy while operating. Although this toilet is very tiny, it weighs 45.3 pounds. Furthermore, the Marine Nano Eco features a rocket-style flush switch. In order to install this system you have to buy the install kit with an ECO switch separately.
Upflush Installation Methods
As these toilets are not installed over the drain line, you don’t have to break up the floor. They still need to be bolted down just like the conventional ones. Now, there are two possible methods:
The standard method is installing the maceration chamber behind the bowl. In this method all you need to do is connect the drain on the back to the macerating unit. The downside to this method is that the maceration chamber will detract the looks of your bathroom.
Behind The Wall Method
This method is much more desirable if you want your toilet to blend in your bathroom decor. In order to install your toilet using this method you will need to extend the pipe going from the macerating unit into the back of the toilet. You must do this before enclosing the wall. Still, you need to make sure you can always access the maceration unit. In order to be able to access the maceration chamber leave an access panel.
Although upflush units have many benefits, we do want to mention two disadvantages to keep in mind. To start, upflush toilets can be a bit noisy, mainly due to the pump and grinding process. You may want to install your toilet away from noise-sensitive parts of your home if possible. The second downside is that upflush toilets can be more expensive, particularly if you buy from popular brands like SaniFlo. However, even with a higher upfront cost, upflush toilets will save you lots of money in the long term.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Upflush Toilets Smell?
Although the waste is first collected in the tank behind the unit, these toilets usually don’t smell any. more than a standard toilet. However, if you do notice a lingering smell, it is probably due to limescale buildup, which you should be able to resolve with a regular cleaning routine.
Can I Pour Bleach Down the Upflush Toilet?
Pouring bleach down the upflush toilet won’t damage it right away. However, if you do it frequently, it might damage the rubber parts and cause leakage. Instead, clean the toilet with a toilet cleaner and descaler. Simply pour 1.5-2 liters down the bowl and turn on the pump for a few seconds. Then, turn it off and wait around two hours before use, making sure not to flush during that time. By using a more gentle cleaner, you’ll still have a clean toilet without concern for longterm damage.
How Far Can an Upflush Toilet Pump?
Since the pump works for ~15 seconds, it can move waste 5 meters vertically or even 100 meters horizontally. However, the distance will be shorter if it has to go both vertically and horizontally. You’ll want to keep distance in mind when you choose where to install your toilet.
Upflush toilets are ideal when the standard toilets are not an option. Many have a similar design to the standard ones, aside from the macerating chamber behind them. The INTELFLO-WC53 is the most powerful and water-efficient macerating toilet from this list. It is also stylish and will blend in any bathroom decor. Furthermore, the pump of this unit is also very powerful. Still, if you are looking for something more comfortable, you should take a look at the Liberty Pumps ASCENTII-ESW.