Although the term “upflush toilet” might be new to you, these units were invented by SaniFlo almost seven decades ago. Upflush toilets are an excellent solution if adding a bathroom is too expensive for you. The costs of a new bathroom can reach up to $20,000, mainly due to expensive piping systems. So, what is an upflush toilet and how does it work?
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How Does the Upflush System Work?
Luckily, these units have become very popular during the past decade, since they allow you to install a bathroom literally anywhere. Basically, upflush toilets allow you to do everything that you would do with a traditional unit. The waste goes into the bowl and is then disposed of with strong water pressure. However, the only difference is related to where the waste goes after you flush.
With the traditional toilet, the waste goes down the pipes, while the 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.
How is the Upflush Toilet Able to Do That?
If you walk into a bathroom that has an upflush toilet, most likely you won’t even notice the difference. Visually, they only differ in their rear side, where you may notice a pump housing or an extension pipe.
When you flush, the waste first goes into the macerator which grinds it using special blades. That’s why these units were first called “grinder toilets.” Then, the pump moves the waste up the PVC piping, leaving the tank completely empty for the next use.
A 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 and create a bathroom at a relatively low cost.
Main Benefits of Upflush Toilets
If you want to avoid paying $15-20,000 to install a new bathroom, buying an upflush unit can be an excellent solution. Still, that’s not the only advantage that these units offer. First, they are much more affordable than standard units and are much more simple to install. They can easily save you a significant sum of money on plumbing and installation.
Plus, 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. Of course, by adding a bathroom, you will directly increase the value of the house and earn a better Return on Investment down the road.
Another advantage 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. When it comes to stability and comfort, you won’t notice any difference. Upflush toilets have a very long lifespan, so buying one will be an excellent 15-year investment. On top of that, they require minimal maintenance since they come sealed and ready for use.
Finally, most upflush units come with a fantastic 3-year warranty on material and parts, which allows you to install and use it without fear. If you consider the fact that you can also add multiple fixtures, such as a sink and a shower, buying an upflush toilet becomes a great investment and money saver.
Downsides of Upflush Toilets
Although upflush units have only two disadvantages, we should definitely mention them. First, they can be a bit noisy, mainly due to the pump and the grinding process. Also, the upfront costs can be a bit higher, especially if you buy from popular brands such as SaniFlo. While most gravity-fed toilets will cost you around $500, an upflush unit can go up to $1000. However, it will definitely 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. However, if you do notice a smell, it is probably due to limescale buildup.
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.
How Far Can an Upflush Toilet Pump?
Since the pump works for about 10 to 20 seconds, it can move the waste around 5 meters vertically or even up to 100 meters horizontally. However, the distance will be shorter if it has to go both vertically and horizontally.
As you can see, buying an upflush toilet is an excellent long-term investment. Not only does it save money, but it will most likely last longer than a traditional unit. They are simple to install even if you have no DIY skills, which makes them a great choice if you don’t want to build a completely new bathroom from scratch.