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Can I install a commercial (wall-mounted flushometer) toilet in my home?
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Although we have done nearly 8,000 home inspections over the years, yesterday was the first time we came across a flushometer toilet in a residence. The one shown above is in a home designed by a mid-century modern architect who thought it was suitable for his personal residence. Unfortunately, the toilet has a problem: water pressure at all other plumbing fixtures in the home collapsed for about 15 seconds after each flush.
But first, some history. The flushometer valve was invented by William Sloan, of the Sloan Valve Company, in the early 20th century, and is used in literally millions of commercial and institutional restrooms around the world. It is a very dependable product. While the valve eliminates the need for a tank to generate the necessary volume of water for a flush, it requires larger-diameter water piping, both the service piping from the meter to the house and supply piping to the toilet, in order to work properly.
Many homes do not have the size piping required for the valve to function properly without starving other fixtures in the home, and that was the case in this house. But, according to our plumber James Freeman, of J.W. Freeman plumbing, it is still possible to successfully retrofit a commercial toilet in your home. “We have been able to help this type of toilet function better when the water meter from the city was too small by installing a small bladder tank nearby in a closet or attic," according to James. "This gives the volume it needs for the high water flow.”
There is also the option of installing a wall mount toilet with an in-wall tank instead of a flushometer valve. For more on this, see our blog post What are the pros and cons of a wall-mounted toilet?
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