What's the deal with low-flow and dual-flush toilets?

Benefits of Low-Flow Toilets

There's really nothing not to like about low-flow toilets. To the naked eye, there's absolutely nothing that differentiates them from the traditional toilets we all know and love. For the most part, they're identical -- same size, same shape, same plumbing fittings, same flushing apparatus. But the inner workings are newfangled and more efficient -- which is what really matters. After the debacle of the 1990s, low-flow toilets now work just as well as their gallon-guzzling forebears.

The benefits issue is basically moot, anyway, because we don't exactly have a choice about toilets these days. You can't buy gallon-guzzling models anymore, so our purpose here is not to convince you to buy a low-flow toilet. The low-flow law was decreed long ago, and now it's the only option out there. So unless you live in an older home with original toilets, low-flow it is -- and low-flow is good.

If you do have to buy a low-flow toilet -- either for a new home or as a replacement for an older model -- many municipalities offer rebates and incentives for them, usually in the neighborhood of $100 each. So if you're still watching 7 gallons swirl down the tubes every time you flush, there's really no reason not to switch. You'll be helping the environment and your wallet to boot!