How Tankless Toilets Work

Tankless Toilets in Urban Apartments

Tankless toilets in residential settings that rely on flush valve technology are essentially the same as those in public restrooms. However, these toilets are much less common in homes because of their high water pressure requirement. One exception is New York City, where many residential toilets are essentially identical to the flush valve style of toilets found in public settings.

In New York and other big cities, the main reason for having a tankless toilet in a residential setting is space-savings. In the case of New York, apartments built before the 1930s were fitted with high-tank toilets, in which a water tank was mounted on the wall several feet above the bowl. Because the tank didn't sit behind the bowl fixture, architects didn't allow for the extra space to accommodate them. Based on this layout, bathrooms in most pre-1930s apartments do not have room for both a bowl and a tank.

One of the best things about flush valve tankless toilets is that they are generally very reliable, though they are often a bit more expensive than tank toilets. One of the biggest downsides to this type of tankless toilet is noise, an important consideration in small apartments with shared walls.

Whether they are used in commercial or residential settings, these traditional tankless toilets are typically called flushometers. The modern version of the tankless toilet is a sleeker, high-tech model that usually comes with special features such as heated seating and personal cleansing systems. They are commonly referred to as performance toilets and we will review these in the next section.