Buy toilet from Canada?

Old 02-17-06, 05:13 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Buy toilet from Canada?

I'm replacing two toilets in my house. I live in an old house and the ones being replaced are a few decades old. I prefer toilets that have a good water level but I understand that current United States limits are pretty severe. Keep in mind, I live in a wet area in the northeast, and I have well water and a septic system, so it's not like I'm making a dent in the nation's water supply. Are the restrictions in Canada less severe, and can I buy toilets from there and have them shipped over the border? (I think I read about this option somewhere years ago -- maybe I'm wrong.) Or can I manually adjust a new U.S. toilet so more water rests at the bottom. I know very little about this whole subject, other than the fact that I hate the few "modern" toilets that I've tried recently.
Old 02-17-06, 08:03 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: CA
Posts: 1,913
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
I believe Canada has a similar 1.6 gallon law. This is probably why you will see toilets listed as 1.6G/6.0L .

As far as "adjusting" a new toilet, they can be tampered with to allow more water per flush, but this usually offers no improvement in flushing. A Kohler Wellorth will triple flush, if the flapper is fiddled with, but the this does not help. Either if flushes the load or it doesn't. You asked about adjusting so more water "rests on the bottom". If you mean in the bowl, there is absolutely no way to change this. The bowl refills until it overflows the weir, and no matter how much extra water you would add, it would just flow out and settle at the design level.
Old 02-18-06, 06:55 AM
Doug Aleshire's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 4,455
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts

Regardless if you have a well or not, the Code is very restrictive. I have clients that think they need to go to Canada and purchase a 3.5 gallon toilet. They are hung up on what was an issue when the 1.6 gallon units initially came out but there are still problems out there BUT this is a buyer issue, wanting a "cheap toilet", in most cases. Problem is that they don't really need to if they only understood what they should be buying in a 1.6 gallon unit. Besides, it's not legal to do so within the U.S. at all.

Read this, I wrote this up to better explain the entire issue.

1.6 Gallon toilets – Are they really that bad or what don’t I understand about them?

The issue of the 1.6 gallon per flushing cycle is a nationwide code requirement in the USA. This is per P2903.2.

All toilets were not created equal. There is no denying that there have been problems associated with low-flow toilets. However, these problems have everything to do with design and little to do with the amount of water used in the flush. Contrary to many beliefs, you do not make a low-flow toilet by simply adding a smaller tank to an existing bowl. The bowl is the most crucial component. A toilet bowl must be specifically designed to operate with a certain amount of water.

Over the past ten years, there have been many improvements in toilet design technology. There are many, many brands and models of toilets that function as they should, however, there are still some toilets manufactured even today that do not function as many would like. When looking to purchase a new toilet, it is important to do your homework. It is very important that you do not rely solely on price as the deciding factor. Often times, people look for the biggest bargain only to find out that they didn’t really get what they wanted. On the other hand, higher price does not necessarily relate to performance either. Remember you will be using this toilet many times a day over many, many years. It warrants a little effort in choosing the right one.

Surprisingly, toilets before 1950 used to hold 7 gallons per flush! By the end of the 1960’s they reduced this to a mere 5.5 gallon per flush. In the 1980’s the reduction to 3.5 gallons was considered acceptable.

When the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct) was signed into law, it took effect in 1994 - allowing manufacturers’ time to get ready for the new 1.6 gallon toilets. It made it mandatory that 1.6 gallon toilets be manufactured and used in all of the USA. This obviously reduced water consumption tremendously.

Granted, initially the toilet industry was having problems with numerous complaints. Problem was “Why do I have to flush at least twice to clear the toilet?!!” Toilets that are hard to flush or that clog on a frequent basis may be the victims of poor trapway design. The bends within the trapway may be too tight. The actual interior size of the trapway may be small.

Through some investigation into toilets and the reasons behind, initial and even today,
complaints, I found some interesting things.

The minimum standard for trapways per ANSI is 1 ½” in diameter. It does not require the trapway to be fully glazed.

1. Initial trapways on the older toilets were only 1 1/2” inches in diameter. This varies today from 1 ½” to 2 3/8” depending on the manufacturer.

2. The Trapway was not FULLY GLAZED. If you place your hand inside the bowl of the toilet and reach into the trapway, it should be smooth! If it is rough, this will not provide a smooth surface for water/material to clear the bowl and thus requires a second flush.

Examples of the better units available,

KOHLER toilets feature a 2-inch trapway and Fully Glazed. That means they can pass an object the size of a handball, while the ANSI trapway can only pass an object the size of a golf ball.

TOTO toilets feature 1 7/8” to 2 1/8” trapway and Fully Glazed. They even offer insulated tanks on the gravity feed systems. Trap seals are 2 1/4 inches to 3” depending on model.

AMERICAN STANDARD makes Champion which has a trapway of 2 3/8” and fully glazed. The trap seal is 3 inches! Sizes vary with the manufacturer.

Types of flushing systems,

Gravity tank toilets, which have a bowl and a tank, are most commonly found in residential settings but are in some commercial/business settings. They depend on the volume of water in the tank to flush wastes and usually require water pressure of no more than 10 - 15 pounds per square inch (psi) to operate properly. Gravity tank toilets are relatively inexpensive but you must ensure that the trapway is FULLY GLAZED. Those that do not have this or have a smaller diameter trapway are usually less expensive and problems will arise when flushing.

Pressurized Tank Toilets – a relatively new design uses water line pressure to achieve a higher flush velocity. Water is not stored inside the tank, but in a tank that compresses a pocket of air and releases pressurized water into the bowl and out the trapway. They require a minimum water pressure of 25 psi to operate well. These are more expensive that gravity tank units but if the trapway is unglazed, these usually work fine. Again, the larger the trapway and one that is FULLY GLAZED will never have a problem. One advantage of these, they do not sweat!

Side note: Flushmate® pressure-assist tanks, which are provided by many manufactures, cannot be retrofitted into existing toilets. The units operate in conjunction with specially designed toilet bowls, and will not function if installed in a gravity-type bowl. A bowl designed to accommodate Flushmate® pressure-assist tanks has a larger trap way with fewer bends (where the waste is evacuated), smaller raceways (where the rim-wash comes from), and the jet-hole (which forces the waste into the trap way) faces into the trap way. Gravity bowls have smaller trap ways with more bends, larger raceways, and the jet-hole is typically directed frontward, into the bowl itself. Noise levels are an issue with these but nothing that would detour one from buying one. The peak noise levels generated by a pressure assist toilet may be slightly greater than with a gravity toilet, the noise level builds up and drops off faster with the pressure assist system. This could be summarized by saying, the noise level is slightly greater but for a much shorter duration.

The following are a few of the things you may want to consider when choosing the right low-flow toilet for you:

Trapway size – Size does matter! Smaller trapways (the hole where the water exits the bowl) can cause unnecessary blockages. When testing toilets the minimum standard that must be achieved is to flush a 1 ½ - inch ball. There are toilets on the market with trapways that measure 2 ¼ inches or better. Get at least one that is a minimum of 2 inches!

Glazing – Almost all toilets have that nice shiny glazed finish, but where does that glazing stop? Some manufacturers save a little by scrimping on the glazing in unseen areas. The lack of glazing in the trapway can result in turbulence and diminished flushing capacity.

Flush design – When it comes to gravity-flush toilets, there are toilets that employ a siphon-jet system, a slotted rim system, or a combination of the two. In the siphon-jet system a jet of water adjacent to the trapway pushes the waste through the trapway and into the drain. In a slotted rim system, water exits the tank through slots underneath the rim of the bowl, creating a vortex and forcing the waste into the trapway. A common complaint with some siphon-jet systems is the inability to properly clean the sides of the bowl.

So when you buy a toilet and think that they cost too much and you prefer to save some money, think again. Try to buy toilets that have a two inch minimum trapway and are FULLY GLAZED.

Hope this helps!
Old 02-18-06, 06:56 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 18,874
Received 1,190 Upvotes on 1,147 Posts
Why don't you look into assisted flush toilets?
Old 02-18-06, 07:31 AM
majakdragon's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: N.E. Arkansas
Posts: 7,475
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
If you live near a Home Improvement store, look at the display models they have hanging on the wall. Read the descriptions with each. Pay particular attention to the discharge hole. They run from 1-1/2" to 2-3/8". This should tell you something about their ability to flush properly. Other things to look at is if the trapway is fully glazed. Unglazed will be rough and have a tendency to allow solids and paper to hang-up or flush slowly. Price... thats a toss-up. If a toilet is all fancy on the outside but is cheap on the mechanisms inside, it won't please you. I have an American Standard Cadet. $100 and has a Fluidmaster fill valve, 2" discharge, fully glazed trapway. Does a great job.
Old 02-23-06, 07:31 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Do your homework. I'm in the market for a toilet and a couple of hours reading on the internet is a great learning experience. As with most products, not all toilets are created equal. I work for a major Canadian home improvement retailer and the product information supplied does little to help the consumer make an educated decision when evaluting performance. All toilets look the same on the outside for the most part. You can spend $80 or $1000. Like was mentioned above - higher $$$ doesn't mean better performance.

Read through some of these. There is a good reason why some regions only give the rebate for certain models.

6th edition of the Maximum Performance Testing of 6Litre toilet models

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title: