April 26, 2004: Headlines: COS - Peru: Business: Water Conservation: Conservation: Toilets: CNN: Peru RPCV Fred Poses' American Standard in the race to build a better toilet

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Peru: Peace Corps Peru: The Peace Corps in Peru: April 26, 2004: Headlines: COS - Peru: Business: Water Conservation: Conservation: Toilets: CNN: Peru RPCV Fred Poses' American Standard in the race to build a better toilet

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-115-42.balt.east.verizon.net - on Monday, May 24, 2004 - 8:13 pm: Edit Post

Peru RPCV Fred Poses' American Standard in the race to build a better toilet

Peru RPCV Fred Poses' American Standard in the race to build a better toilet

Peru RPCV Fred Poses' American Standard in the race to build a better toilet

The race to build a better toilet
Companies are rolling out engineered thrones to comply with water usage requirements.

April 16, 2004: 10:49 AM EDT

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Ten years after the U.S. Congress imposed restrictions on the amount of water that toilets can use, manufacturers are duking it out to bring innovations to this most basic household item.

New higher-end offerings are flowing into the market as manufacturers develop better-performing flushing systems.

For consumers and plumbers fed up with clogging, leakage and other problems associated with toilets, the new products could not have come sooner.

Joan Scoggin, a homeowner with three children in Morris, Illinois, said the toilets in her four-bedroom house often overflow. "We've probably spent $1,800 on plumbing stuff that did no good," she said.

In November, Scoggin's husband bought the Champion, a $300 toilet made by American Standard Cos. (ASD: Research, Estimates), after seeing ads claiming it could remove two dozen golf balls in one flush.

"I have not had to plunge that toilet once," said Scoggin, who's now saving up to buy a second Champion. "It doesn't leak, it doesn't clog."

The Champion and other new toilets tout features like wider flush valves, chair-like heights and larger trapways that reduce clogging and speed up flushing. Some of them are quieter and have a glaze coating that helps reduce mold.

They also use fewer than 1.6 gallons of water.
Saving water, but at what cost?

In 1994, Congress reduced the amount of water newly made toilets could flush to that level from 3.5 gallons. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates these toilets could save more than 7.6 billion gallons a day by 2020.

But toilets that hit the market when the water-usage limits first changed were not up to par.

"Low-flow toilets have been a problem for us in the industry," said Chris Braden, a plumber from Montville, New Jersey. For years, he said, he advised toilet buyers to use less paper and flush often.

As manufacturers developed new systems for moving water inside toilets, performance has improved, Braden said.

The Champion uses a plastic lifting device called a flush tower instead of a floating ball and chain. It has a bigger trapway and flush valve, enabling water to flow faster and more powerfully.

"The innovation is around the fluid dynamics," American Standard Chairman Fred Poses told Reuters. Champion sales were nearly $10 million in the first quarter, he added.

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Bath products maker Kohler has flushing systems such as Ingenium, which uses sustained swirling water to rinse the bowl, and Power Lite, which has a pump to move water inside the tank.

This year, Kohler began selling the Cimarron, which allows consumers to limit water to 1.4 gallons per flush. The toilet, which has side jets that propel water and a flush valve that is an inch larger than the two-inch industry standard, costs $272.

"The need to conserve water will only increase," said Kathryn Streeby, Kohler's senior product manager for toilets. "So making sure that we're producing a 1.6 that's meeting everybody's needs and introducing products that sacrifice nothing in performance but use even less water is what we're moving toward."

Consumers don't necessarily have to shell out big bucks for effective toilets. Rick Hays, merchandising vice president for plumbing at home improvement retailer Lowe's Cos. (LOW: Research, Estimates), said many moderately priced models work well.

For example, Lowe's sells the Briggs Vacuity, which Consumer Products magazine rated a best buy. The $190 toilet from Briggs Plumbing Products Inc. has vacuum chambers that pull water down the drain.

"Performance is one of the top issues for consumers when making a purchase decision about toilets," Hays said. "So if they can clearly understand that one toilet flushes better, then it can be an easy decision."

For consumers willing to spend more, there are plenty of offerings. Japan's Toto Ltd. boasts that its remote-controlled Neorest toilet, which uses as little as 1.2 gallons of water, has a seat warmer and air deodorizer, and its lid automatically lifts when a person approaches.

The suggested retail price? $5,000.
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Story Source: CNN

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Peru; Business; Water Conservation; Conservation; Toilets



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