Most people have few expectations when it comes to a toilet. However, struggling with solid waste that just won’t go down the drain can be extremely frustrating, which is more common than we wish it was with traditional gravity models.
One way of solving the problem is by installing a pressure-assist toilet. The term refers to units that look very much like the typical gravity-flush ones with a bowl and a water tank but work differently under the hood, or, rather, inside the tank.
The best pressure assist toilet will combine improved flushing efficiency with a water-saving feature. This is because the technology uses compressed air that’s pushed out of a mini-tank inside the main tank as it fills with air, giving more power and intensity to the water stream which is generated.
Like all good things, however, the extra cleanness comes at a cost. Power flush toilets, which is the other name for pressure assist, tend to be noisier than average and often fall on the pricey side. Read my pressure assist toilet reviews below to find out why I recommend Kohler K-3493-96 as the best option (and what alternatives there are)!
Top 5 Best Pressure Assist Toilet Models
Here is my personal top of power flush toilets that truly make the best of the compressed air technology. The models make a fairly broad spectrum, so feel free to choose the optimum quality to price ratio for your setting.
Kohler K-3493-96 Highline Classic: The Best Pressure Assisted Toilet (My Top Pick)
Made by a US-based company that has been in the market for nearly 150 years now, the Highline range offers improved comfort, in particular by complying with Chapter 6 of the ADA standards, which define spaces friendly to people with disabilities.
Another enhanced comfort feature that this toilet uses is the elongated bowl, offering a lot of sitting space. The model comes with a standard twelve-inch rough-in. A flush lever is installed on the left-hand side.
With the very common two-piece design, K-3493-96 is reasonably easy to install. There is no seat, supply line, or wax ring included in the kit.
The 3.2-ounce unit measures 30-1/8 x 21-1/4 x 31-1/4 inches with a 12 x 10 inches water surface area, which testifies to clean flushing as compared to small water spots.
This Kohler toilet combines efficient modern technology with a classic look that makes it a highly versatile model. Made of vitreous china, a ceramic material covered with high-gloss enamel that increases its durability and makes it less vulnerable to stains, this Highline comes in the classic white and biscuit beige colors as well as black.
The model uses a pressure-assist flushing system that amounts to a capacity of 1.4 gallons per flush. The manufacturer claims this can save you about 2,000 gallons per year compared to traditional toilets. Indeed, this is a very clean and fast flushing option that generates a little more noise compared to gravity models but is not overwhelming in a residential setting anyway. Clogging is not a likely problem with this model due to a fully glazed trapway.
Although this is an upmarket option, no special features such as a bidet or seat heating are included, so what you invest in is essentially powerful flushing. Kohler offers a year’s warranty for this product.
|efficient 1.4 gpf flushing;enhanced comfort due to a relatively high seat (ADA compliant);durable stain-resistant material;not prone to clogging;timeless design.||rather expensive.|
American Standard Cadet: A Budget-Friendlier Excellent Air Assist Toilet (Runner Up)
Founded in 2008, American Standard is a plumbing fixture manufacturer based in New Jersey that can be traced back to the well-renowned American Standard Companies, which broke up in 2007.
Just like my absolute favorite, this model boasts a number of improved comfort features such as an elongated bowl and relatively tall seat that makes it another ADA-compliant toilet on the market. The 93-pound unit measures 30.25 x 20.5 x 30.75 inches when shipped and has the standard two-piece design.
Installation is very easy because it uses the Speed Connect coupling system that saves time joining the two parts. Unlike the previous model, this one comes with a more space-saving rough-in of 10 inches.
The unit is made of white vitreous china featuring EverClean coating to resist stains and mildew, which is paired with a rim washing feature to help it stay clean over prolonged periods of time.
This pressure assist toilet uses 1.6 gallons per flush with a siphon jet technology, which is reasonably efficient but generates a lot of noise compared to gravity models and our Top 1. A fully glazed 2-1/8-inch trapway helps prevent clogging.
Remember that the seat and wax ring are not included. A limited warranty applies for one year.
|comfort ADA-compliant height and elongated bowl;stays clean for a long time;powerful 1.6-gallon flushing;resistant to clogging;quick installation.||rather noisy.|
TOTO CST744SL#01 Drake: The Best Power Flush Toilet in Clog-Prone Settings
Based in the Japanese city of Kitakyushu, TOTO is no less than the world’s largest toilet manufacturers that are known for inventing the Washlet cleansing technology.
With the seat placed 18 inches above the floor, this toilet is compatible with the ADA standards in terms of comfort height. It has a full height of 30.5 inches and measures 28 inches from back to front, the tank included.
The 14-inch-wide bowl has a comfortable elongated design that offers enough room for most body shapes. It also provides for a big enough water spot.
Being a standard two-piece model with a 12-inch rough-in, Drake is relatively easy to install provided that you get a water supply hose, bolts for attaching it to the ring, and a wax ring. No seat is included.
This model boasts a G-Max Flushing System that combines air assist with a bigger-than-average plug for efficient clog-free waste removal at 1.6 gpf with not-so-loud flushing sounds.
The durable vitreous china model comes in four white to beige colors plus black. The design is really sleek, but one would probably appreciate an extra sanitary feature like the EverClean mentioned above, given the price tag. A year’s limited warranty applies.
|complies with the ADA requirements;extremely powerful at 1.6 gpf;very unlikely to clog;sleek design with many color options;durable material.||not the most affordable model.|
Zurn Dual Flush: An Excellent High Pressure Toilet
Yet another US-based company with over a hundred years of experience, Zurn offers a wide variety of water solutions with an emphasis on human health and environment protection.
Unlike the leader and the runner-up, this model is not considered fit for people with disabilities according to the ADA standard as it doesn’t feature comfort height. It does have a roomy elongated bowl, though, which makes it quite comfortable to sit on.
This is a standard two-piece unit with the classic rough-in of 12 inches. With a shipment weight of 95 lbs, it has a tank height of 30-3/8 inches and a bowl width of 14-3/4 inches at the widest point.
Installation is pretty straightforward as with most two-piece models. As usual, you’ll need to purchase a number of accessories such as a bolt and wax ring kit and a fitting seat. The model has a large water surface area, which aids cleanness.
Zurn Z5572 is made of white vitreous china that’s both durable and stain-resistant compared to regular porcelain. Both right- and left-hand lever options are available.
This is a commercial pressure assist toilet that boasts a number of heavy user-friendly features such as leakage protection as well as a vandal-proof lid. An operating pressure range of 20 to 125 psi makes it a highly reliable and efficient water-efficient high-pressure toilet.
This Zurn model is a great choice for people who like to help the environment by keeping their water consumption to a minimum as it enables you to choose a flush capacity of 1.0 or 1.6 gallons depending on your needs by pulling the handle up or down from the middle position respectively.
The pressure-assisted siphon jet flush action is moderately noisy. A full-glazed trapway prevents clogging.
While it certainly gravitates towards the pricier end of the range, Z5572 offers exceptional water conservation and reliability that are key when bathroom traffic is really heavy. Zurn offers as many as 10 years of warranty for this model.
|durable with vandal protection;high operating pressure range for efficient flushing;you choose between 1.0 and 1.6 gpf;comfortable elongated bowl;long warranty.||not ADA-compliant;pricey.|
Kohler Wellworth Classic: Great Quality to Cost Ratio Among Compressed Air Toilets
This model won’t hurt your budget as much as my top pick, which is also by the US-based Kohler, and is similar to it in many ways.
A standard 12-inch rough-in two-piece unit, Wellworth has a comfortable elongated bowl. It is fairly easy to install like most models of the same design.
The water surfaces measure 12 inches by 10 inches, leaving the bowl wet and clean. The vitreous china body comes with a left-hand trip lever and is available in three color options, including black.
The Sloan FLUSHMATE® system installed in the tank delivers good flushing efficiency at 1.4 gpf. It is can splash at times, so it’s best to close the lid before you flush, though. Clogging is very unlikely.
All in all, this model is slightly cheaper than my favorite and still delivers, splashing being its biggest flaw. A standard one-year warranty applies. No supply tube, wax ring, or seat is included with the toilet.
|comfortable bowl shape;great flushing performance at 1.4 gpf;durable stain-resistant material.||not ADA-friendly;might splash.|
Recommendations are great, but it’s informed decision-making that makes you a smart shopper. In this section, I share general information about pressure assists toilets as well as some tips for choosing one.
What Is a Pressure Assist Toilet?
A pressure-assist toilet – sometimes referred to alternatively as a power flush toilet – is a toilet where pressurized air is used to increase the speed at which water flows into the bowl when flushed. This is achieved by using an additional tank inside the main one.
How Does a Pressure Assist Toilet Work?
In power flush toilets, the tank contains a so-called air bladder. That is a container that has air in it, which gets compressed as water fills the tank and, consequently, the bladder. This kind of compression generates pressure inside the bladder, which helps deliver water to the bowl at a higher speed or flow rate, increasing solid waste removal efficiency.
This is not to be confused with vacuum assist toilet system, a relatively new technology where a vacuum tank is connected to the trapway to such waste out of the bowl when flushed.
This might sound like pressure-assist toilets are a waste of water. In fact, however, they are just the opposite as it’s not how much water you use but how quickly it flows.
While older gravity toilets could use up to 7 gallons per flush, 1.4 to 1.6 is generally enough to remove solid waste with pressure assist systems. Given that an average household uses about 5 flushes a day, switching from 7 to 1.6 gpf can save you 8,559 gallons of water per year.
Pressure assist toilets are not prone to sweating. They might save your time and money cleaning the bowl as power flushing leaves it in a much better state than the gravity system, too.
Power flush toilets do have their downsides. They cost more than most traditional models, which can be made up for by reduced bills over time. It’s also a noisier option compared to the gravity system.
Pressure assist toilets are very popular in industrial settings where there’s more background noise, but in residential bathrooms, with sensitive sleepers across the wall, it can be a problem.
How to Choose the Best Pressure Assist Toilet
Water consumption is key when choosing a power flush toilet. As a rule of thumb, 1.6 gpf is a good value that saves a lot of water while also leaving the bowl really clean. As a premium option, you might want a model where you can choose between different amounts depending on waste type, such as 1.0 gpf for liquids or 1.6 gpf for solids.
A siphon jet is another way of increasing efficiency as it holds extra water right at the entrance of the trapway, ejecting it to increase flushing pressure when needed. This is a common yet not omnipresent feature.
Size and shape matter, too. It’s generally advisable to choose standard rough-ins such as 12 inches or, less commonly, 10 inches for smaller spaces that will fit in most residential bathrooms. Elongated bowls are more ergonomic that round and compact oblong ones as they offer more sitting room. Finally, a lot of models appear to be a little too low above the ground, so I suggest that you look for a comfort height toilets depending on your body shape.
When it comes to one-piece versus two-piece toilets, I generally recommend the latter, less sleek-looking option where the tank and the bowl are two separate parts. It does take time to bolt them together during installation, but it also gives you more flexibility in the future and is cheaper than a one-piece pressure-assist toilet.
Finally, a long-term warranty is always a plus with costly fixtures. While one year seems to be the standard term, some brands offer as many as ten.
Related Post: Best Square Toilets
Here are the answers to some common questions that people ask about pressure-assist toilets.
Is a pressure-assist better than a gravity toilet?
It is cleaner, less prone to clogging, and eco-friendlier in that it saves water by increasing its velocity as it hits the bowl. However, it also tends to be more expensive and noisier.
How to unclog a high-pressure assist toilet?
The procedure is the same as with gravity toilets. Minor clogs can be resolved with a plunger, while more stubborn problems will need a tool known commonly as a toilet snake, or a toilet auger.
What does a pressure-assist toilet resolve?
A power flush toilet will solve the problem of flushing many times before your solid waste is finally gone. The likelihood of clogging is reduced when using pressure assist, too.
Can I install a pressure-assist on my toilet?
No, unless you are already using a pressure-assist model. The reason is that gravity and pressure-assist toilets mostly use different passageways that bring water into the bowl and different tank designs.
Save Time and Water with a Pressure Assist Toilet
A power flush toilet is a cleaner and more responsible approach to dealing with human waste compared to old-fashioned gravity systems. The pressure-assist technology makes it easier to remove solid waste in a single flush, using less water than you would with a traditional toilet.
If the prospect of saving the planet’s resources and your money appeals to you, go ahead and get one that has the right size, noise level, and design for you.
Speaking about the design, what do you think of black toilets? I know that this has sparked a lot of controversies, so you’re welcome to share your opinion!