Laboratory study in 4.8 liters per flush (Lpf) toilets

Abstract This study's objective is to investigate, in the laboratory, the flush volume reducing possibilityby two litres (from 6.8 to 4.8 Lpf), that is, to verify whether that reduction negatively impacts the performance of the toilet and drainage system. Twenty 4.8 Lpf toilets with flush tank and single flush were evaluated (toilets designed to operate with 4.8 Lpf and toilets designed to operate with 6.8 Lpf, but regulated to 4.8 Lpf). The tests were done according the Brazilian standards NBR 15097, for the toilets, and NBR 15491, for the flush tanks, the ASME A112.19.2 (waste extraction test) and Plumbing Efficiency Research Coalition study (soybean paste transport test). The toilets with flush tanks passed the solids removal test from the toilet itself, but only five toilets (25%) were approved in all laboratory tests, which reflects the need to improve the design of the toilets. In the soybean paste transport test, the results varied from two to six flushes to clean the eighteen meters-long pipe. None of the 6.8 Lpf toilets, but regulated to 4.8 Lpf, was approved in the laboratory tests, which proves that the simple reduction of the flush tank water level is not a viable solution to reduce flush volume. The biggest problem is related to the performance of the building's drainage system. Reducing flush volume without a deeper investigation of the effects generated in the system can cause deposit of solids in the piping.