The Pros And Cons Of A Power Flush Toilet

By and large, toilet design hasn’t radically changed in a good long time. The problem was considered solved, and society moved on. However, [Handy Geng] was tasked by a friend to build a toilet with an extra-powerful flush, so he went ahead and did just that.

The concept is simple; the water tank in the custom-built toilet can be charged with pressurized air from a compressor when an more powerful flush is needed. Then, when the lever is pulled on that flush, the water will blast into the bowl with significantly more ferocity than usual.

[Handy Geng] also notes a further benefit from the system. By bolting down the toilet lid, using a gasket to seal it to the toilet bowl, the air pressure system can be used to blast out blockages and clogs.

However, there are some drawbacks. The toilet is nearly entirely constructed out of steel, a material that generally isn’t the first choice when working with water or bodily fluids. Additionally, the power flush mode tends to end up with water spraying out of the bowl due to the intensity of the spray.

Regardless, it goes to show that the toilet design is still an active area of research, and that we needn’t settle for the toilets we have today. More powerful, more capable models are just around the corner if we want them. Video after the break.

36 thoughts on “The Pros And Cons Of A Power Flush Toilet

  1. When my wife and I met she was living in an apartment with a low-flow high-pressure toilet, that had a stainless steel tank inside the traditional ceramic tank with some sort of small compressor system, and when you pushed the flush button it fired off like a depth charge. It was very effective and used very little water but it also aerosolized waste products like whoah. I fired up a UV light and there was urea *everywhere*, like even more than a normal bathroom.

      1. My habit is leave lid up and flush to make sure that, ah, the flush was successful, then put lid down. I changed that when that toilet was in my life.
        Coz like that’s a great way to get an E. coli infection in your tear ducts or something.

        1. Crying because of a failed flush? Now the mushroom cloud gets out. A transparent window in a HEPA filter cover is needed so air can freely go down as well. I leave the seat up to prevent fallout on it, the cloud will get out anyhow unless covered tight. Take the lid off it’s a false sense of safety. No restroom toilet has one either.

  2. Redneck voice Weeeel, I whacked something like that teegether out of a barrel and a pressure washer and went even a bit fancier: put a bidet extension on it. Wasn’t great. Let’s just say I shoulda planned a bit more about the potential for backfires.

    1. When he was building the roving BBQ piano, I noticed him shielding his eyes with one hand when he struck an arc. He was wearing some form of glasses, but not a welding helmet.

    2. Skin cancer and cataracts are a prerequisite for world dominance?

      Also air compressed by water pressure is the standard way to make a low flow toilet flush down a big old dump.
      Badly designed squared off pressure tanks also produced exploding toilets. Fun!

  3. I installed one of these in a house I owned back in the 90’s. I had to replace a cracked toilet, and I lived in an area that had just implemented really strict low-flush mandates. I also had a roommate that was inordinately fond of giant lunch truck burritos, and this had presented a challenge for our old-school 4 gallon unit, so I didn’t see how a “normal” low flush was going to make it.

    The unit I installed had a steel tank inside the porcelain back part. I think there was a valve that let air into the tank at the beginning of the fill cycle, then the water was admitted from the bottom, and filled the tank until the air inside rose to the water supply pressure and the tank reached equilibrium.

    When you flushed some sort of dump valve (he he) opened and WHOOSH! the gallon and a half in the tank went blasting down with 50psi behind it!

    It sure did work, and Mike’s burritos never presented another problem, but, as smellsofbikes pointed out, you quickly learned to close the lid before flushing

  4. A) doesn’t look very sanitary- aerosolizing the contents of the bowl is a recipe for disaster
    B) What is it going to do to the drain pipes down-line?
    c) Who’s going to mop the floor after every flush?

  5. I had the Flushmate and it would flush anything with a thump. It had a glass-filled plastic tank and they had some leaks, explosions, injuries and recalls. After three recalls I gave up and tossed it in the dumpster. From Consumer Reports:
    “So far, Flushmate has received 1,453 reports in the U.S. and Canada of the units bursting, resulting in 23 injuries—one that required surgery—and property damage totaling about $710,000. The earlier recall resulted in well over 300 incident reports and 15 injuries.”

  6. Free enema with every flush!

    He could improve the design of the nozzles and the bowl shape for less ummm…. turbulence and direct everything to the exit, but that wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining. I don’t imagine your gonna let that lid slam shut more than once or twice either. :)

  7. There’s a few motorway service stations in the UK that have these toilets, you HAVE to close the lid (and it’s got a clip to lock it closed) before it will flush.

    Supposedly they save water, but with the sort of use they get in a busy service station they just end up being more gross than a regular toilet because of the extra touching and flexible gaskets and the like.

  8. it is a cool project for sure. however, time would be better spent fixing the root cause of the issue. there is no such thing as a lack of water on our planet. its laughable to think so.

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