Siphonic vs. Wash Down Toilets

Although toilets come in a variety of different sizes and colors, when it comes to flushing method it boils down to two main types: Siphonic toilets or wash-down. Siphonic toilets are more common in North America and flush with a circular motion that ‘pulls’ the waste down the toilet drain and into the trap way. Wash down toilets are designed to ‘push’ the deposit out of the toilet bowl and are more common in Europe. Each model has its positive and negatives and it makes sense to know these up front before you make a purchasing decision.

On the positive side, Siphonic toilets tend to be relatively silent and can be effective even with low flush volumes. As more consumers are concerned with water conservation, their popularity, at least in the US has increased in recent years. However in order to create the siphon effect, the toilet trap way is normally narrower than for wash down toilets with the result that clogs and blockages happen more frequently. So if you’re in the market for a siphonic toilet make sure you learn how to unclog a toilet, and purchase yourself a toilet plunger or plumbers snake to deal with any blockages that may arise.

Wash down toilets have a larger trap way and tend to get clogged less often. But they too have a negative. The toilet bowl has a greater slope than siphonic toilet designs in order to great greater flushing force which means a smaller ‘water spot’ in the bowl. As a result deposits can easily touch the sides of the bowl and leave streaks or stains. So if you’re in the market for a wash down toilet, you may not need a toilet plunger, but make sure you’ve bought a toilet brush and keep it handy close to the toilet.

These problems are known by toilet manufactures and new models are emerging. As you do your research try and find toilet designs that draw the best features from both flush methods. Ideally you want a strong push and pull force on the deposit and a large water surface area that removes all paper and wastes efficiently.

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