How to Pick the Best Water-Saving Plumbing Fixtures

Mary Butler

Okay, so shopping for toilets isn't exactly as thrilling as buying solar panels or picking out new kitchen cabinets or tile. But you've got to do it. And just like all the other decisions you wrestle with as you remodel your old home, you want to make the most ecologically responsible choice you can. Lucky for you, there are people who are passionate about so-called low-flow toilets and have done most of the research for you: they're called plumbers.

The Low Down on Low-Flow Toilets and Showerheads
Water pressure went political back in the early 1990s when the National Energy Policy Act required toilets use no more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush, versus 3.5 to 7 gallons of water. You can guess why. Water is a precious resource. But since then, many people who value high water pressure have gone out of their way to avoid low-flow plumbing fixtures, most notably toilets and showerheads.

Thanks to advances in low-flow technology, there's really no reason anymore to scour the salvage yard or shop eBay for an old-school toilet. In fact, new water-wise toilets may even work better than the water wasters.

Top-Rated Low-Flow Toilets
Here's a rundown of the features offered by several of his top-rated thrones:

  • Flushmate® is "pressure-assist" technology that uses pressure from the water supply line to boost every flush
  • Glazing that is resistant to bacteria growth, staining, and lime build up
  • Enhanced gravity flushing. Gravity flushing dates back to the days when toilet tanks hung on the wall. But today's toilet makers have engineered the technology to work more effectively and have added special cleaning systems to ensure that one flush is all you need. 
  • Duel-flush technology allows you to opt for a heavier or lighter flush 

Low-Flow Showerheads
If you're wondering about low-flow shower heads, unfortunately, they are not as widely reviewed as low-flow toilets. But you can easily find a low-flow, high-pressure option at any hardware store.

Be sure to comparison shop and read online reviews before buying. Companies are more than happy to prey on your desire for decent shower. High-powered shower heads range in price from hundreds of dollars to much, much less, including one $12 option that offers a pause button so you can save even more water while you soap up. 



About the Author
Mary Butler is a Boulder, Colorado-based writer and editor, who spends much of her free time remodeling an old house.

About the Author
Mary Butler is a Boulder, Colorado based writer and editor, who spends much of her free time remodeling an old house.

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