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Tips for toilet shopping

Published On: Nov 29 2011 02:59:01 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 19 2013 10:19:40 AM CST
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(NewsUSA) - Americans will spend, on average, seven years of their lives in the bathroom. That's way too much time to be dealing with a plunger.

"Today's toilets virtually eliminate clogging," says James Walsh, chinaware director for American Standard. "There are toilets that have been independently rated to flush 1,000 grams of solids with a single flush. That's almost two and half pounds!"

Here's how to find the finest in flushers:

1. Check the test scores. The Maximum Performance (MaP) Test is an independent report that tests how many grams of solids can be cleanly eliminated on a single flush. Developed by John Koehler and Veritec Consulting, the latest report is available for free at www.veritec.ca. Other independent flush test results are available from consumer ratings magazines.

2. Look for the widest trapway. Most toilets have a two-inch wide waterway snaking out the back of the bowl. The narrow trapway enhances the strength of the siphon, which is the pull-action that draws waste and water out of the bowl. While the difference between a two-inch and a two-and-three-eighths-inch trapway doesn't sound like much, the additional width can handle 70 percent more mass.

3. Seek out power from above. Today's top flushers harness bowl-cleaning energy when the water enters the bowl, not as it exits through the trapway. The top-rated Champion 4 toilet from American Standard has the widest opening between the tank and bowl at four inches. A patented, funnel-shaped flush valve accelerates the water as it leaves the tank.

4. Give peace and quiet a chance. Pressure-assisted toilets prevent clogging, but flush loudly. Gravity-fed toilets have a quieter flush, and the top performers are actually the quietest. The re-engineered waterways reduce water turbulence.

5. Look for fully-glazed waterways, because the porcelain glaze impedes sticking. Double-glazing that incorporates anti-microbial elements provides nano-level smoothness, and the added benefit of inhibiting stains and odors.

High-performance toilets are available from lower price points on up to high fashion styles, so there's no reason not to toss your plunger. After all, it's seven years.

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