Will You Go Tankless? Toilet Pros & Cons


What is a tankless toilet?

In this modern age, you might think that surely there must be a more elegant solution to the regular old toilet and tank by now. Well, good news! There is and it’s called a tankless toilet.

A tankless toilet does not have a tank to release and store water after each flush. Instead, water from the main water supply is directed through the pipes at high pressure into the toilet bowl, washing away the waste.

A tankless toilet is a must if you have a small bathroom or are remodeling and upgrading the look of your bathroom. To find out what a tankless toilet is and how it can benefit your bathroom—and your bottom line—read on.

 

What Is a Tankless Toilet?

water-saving toilets

Traditionally, toilets have a tank attached to the back of the toilet to store water for the next flush.

Each tank can safely refill and store a certain amount of water after each flush – generally around 3 gallons of freshwater per toilet.

But what exactly is a tankless toilet, and how do you flush it?

 

Tankless Toilet vs Regular Toilet

 TANKLESS TOILETSREGULAR TOILETS
Eco-friendly

Greener optionWater guzzling
Water sourceOn-demand from main waterlineFrom tank
Water usage1.28 – 1.6 GPF1.6 – 6.0 GPF
Flush typeHigh-pressure water with a pump for low-pressure areasGravity-fed
PowerRequired for the pumpNot required
MaintenanceMinimal maintenance and repairsCostly to repair – regular maintenance
Purchase priceStarting at $700 per unitStarting at $200.00 per unit
Installation CostsInitial upfront costs are expensive, but long-term costs are lowerInitial upfront costs are lower, but long-term costs are more expensive

 

Cost of Standard vs. Tankless Toilets

The cost to buy a standard toilet ranges from $200-$400. While a pressure-assisted toilet can cost $700-$1,000 and a designer-grade toilet (tankless or standard) can run from $1,500-$2,500. (source)

This is just the price for the toilet and doesn’t include installation or any new pipes or electrical outlets that may be required.

 

Water Supply for Standard Toilets vs Tankless

A tankless toilet uses a different water delivery method than a regular toilet.

A tankless toilet does not have a tank or a cistern mounted behind the toilet bowl to store water. Instead, it uses water directly from the main water supply in your home.

The setup is similar to a faucet – open the faucet, and the water streams out. Close it, and the water stops. But the water is available on-demand when you need it again.

The same applies to a tankless toilet – flush, and the water flows into the bowl to wash the contents away. First, you use the allotted amount of water. Then the valve, known as a Flushometer, closes,and the stream of water stops.

Sounds simple right?

 

Do You Have Enough Water Pressure to Go Tankless?

You need very high pressure to flush away the contents of the bowl into the drainage system.

If your main water supply line does not have enough force to get the job done, you’ll have to install a pump in the toilet bowl. 

The pump will provide the extra amount of water pressure necessary to initiate the siphoning action that removes waste and cleans the bowl of debris. 

Most pumps are electric and rely on a power source to function properly.

 

How Does a Tankless Toilet Flush?

Are water-saving toilets worth it

What exactly is a Flushometer and why is it so important to a tankless toilet system?

While regular toilets rely on gravity and a water tank to flush away the contents of the toilet bowl, tankless toilets rely on a two-valve system or Flushometer to achieve the perfect flush.

The high-pressure valve regulates water into the system from the main supply, while the low-pressure valve reduces the pressure of the water entering the toilet bowl.

Without this valve system, there would be too much pressure from the mains supply, and water (and everything else in your toilet!) would spray all over your bathroom. Yuck!

Flushometers generally require water pressure of 15 to 20 psi to function as they should.

 

What Types of Activation Mechanisms Do Tankless Toilets Have?

Tankless toilets have the same flushing mechanisms as regular toilets. Choose the model that you like:

  • Lever
  • Single flush button
  • Dual flush button
  • Motion sensors – power source required

 

9 Pros and Cons of Tankless Toilets

Save Water with Toilet

Before you decide to rip out your regular toilet and replace it, let’s consider the benefits of tankless toilets as well as the drawbacks.

 

1. Tankless Toilets Take Up Less Space

One big benefit of tankless toilets is they are smaller than regular toilets. So if you do have a small bathroom, or not too much space in your larger bathroom, this is the ideal toilet type for you.

Because this toilet type doesn’t have a tank, it can be installed in almost any available space. Tankless toilets can be installed on the floor or mounted on a wall at whichever height is comfortable for you.

 

2. Tankless Toilets are Stylish and Modern

Tankless toilets are as stylish and modern as regular toilets. They are available in a variety of colors, sizes, and shapes, with customizable options and add-ons. Tankless toilets also come with the two most popular toilet seat shapes, round and elongated, read my post, Round or Elongated Toilet Seat for a Happy Bottom? to determine which seat shape will the best for your tankless toilet. 

The tankless toilet style can modernize any space by adding to the aesthetic appeal. Some ultra-modern homes require ultra-modern bathroom features and fittings – a tankless toilet meets all these requirements.

The tank or cistern of a regular toilet can be bulky and take up space. Often older tanks crack and break or become discolored. Tankless toilets are the solution to all of these problems.

If you are thinking of selling your home, installing a tankless toilet in your bathroom could add that extra something that attracts buyers while adding value to your home!  

 

3. Tankless Toilets Use Less Water

Tankless toilets are the ultimate water-saving toilets, as they only use what they need to remove waste and don’t store water for later use.

Some dual-flush tankless toilets are designed to use as little as 1.28 gallons per flush (GPF), making this toilet eco-friendly and sustainable. And some models even allow you to set your preferred GPF, so you could use below 1 GPF!

Regular toilets use a full flush every time, regardless of solids or liquid removal. Tankless toilets offer the dual flush feature, so you can choose how much water to use for liquid or solid waste removal.

Less water usage means savings on your utility bills.

Read my article Water-Saving Toilets – How Much Will You Save? to find out exactly how much money you will save in the long-run by using a water-saving toilet.

 

4. Tankless Toilets Require Less Maintenance     

This is the beauty of a tankless toilet – no repairs are needed to fix faulty parts in the tank or cistern. Tankless toilets are less likely to leak than regular toilets.

This toilet style is easy to clean and, if it is installed on the wall, provides even easier access to clean the floor beneath it.

 

5. Tankless Toilets Often Come with Additional Features

This style of toilet often sport the following add-on features, making your tankless toilet into smart and luxurious bathroom fixture!

  • Hands-free automatic flushing
  • Bidet toilet seats or attachments which include a spray massage and warm air dryers
  • Heated seats
  • Air purifications systems
  • A night-light

Learn much more about why buying a smart toilet is worth it.

 

What Are the Disadvantages of Tankless Toilets?

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There are a few disadvantages, but, in my opinion, these don’t outweigh the benefits of a tankless toilet:

 

1. Tankless Toilets are Expensive

Tankless toilets do cost more than regular toilets, but the reason why they are not often installed in residential homes is because of the water pressure required for these toilets to work properly.

Regular toilets use standard plumbing. But to use a tankless toilet in your home, you’ll need to upgrade the plumbing at an additional expense. 

If you don’t upgrade the pipes carrying water to the toilet, the existing pipes could crack, leak, or even burst because of the high pressure of the water flowing through them.

A tankless toilet is not a DIY job and requires installation by a professional.

 

2. Tankless Toilets Require Professional Installation

If your home does not have the required plumbing, this will need to be installed at an additional cost.

 

3. Tankless Toilets Depend on Electricity

If your tankless toilet has an electric pump, you’ll need to connect the toilet to a power outlet closeby.

And if you don’t already have an outlet, you may need an electrician to install one.   

Unfortunately, if the power goes out, the pump won’t work, and you won’t be able to flush the toilet!  

 

4. Tankless Toilets Are Noisier When Flushing

Tankless toilets are noisier than regular toilets when they flush. The noise is generally due to the electric pump or the high-pressure water flow.

 

Cost to Install a Tankless Toilet

What is a tankless toilet?

The standard labor costs to install a tankless toilet can range from around $200.00 – $800.00, with the US national average price being $475.00 – this price excludes remodeling and upgrades. 

Use this handy Toilet Installation Cost Calculator to help you to plan your budget for a new installation:

Keep in mind that installing a tankless toilet may incur additional costs and require the services of several additional professionals:

*Plumber to upgrade pipes for high-pressure flushing, if necessary.

*Electrician to add a power source beside the toilet if you don’t already have an outlet.

*Contractor to upgrade the bathroom wall to carry the extra load for a wall-hung tankless toilet. 

 

How to Plan for a Tankless Toilet

If you are remodeling your bathroom or building a new home and you are planning on installing a tankless toilet, plan for larger water supply lines to supply the toilet.

A tankless toilet system requires a 1-inch in diameter water supply pipe. As most residential supply pipes are ½-inch or ¾-inch in diameter, you’ll have to upgrade the pipes accordingly.

 

Can I Install a Bidet on a Tankless Toilet?

smart toilet with bidet washlet

Certain bidet toilet seats will easily fit tankless toilets. 

However, since a tankless toilet doesn’t have external plumbing, you’ll need to buy a conversion kit to connect to the water supply valves.

A plumber will need to install a new shutoff valve, so add up all the additional costs before deciding on the right model bidet toilet seat for your needs. 

Read my post How to Find a Bidet That Fits Your Toilet for tips on finding the best bidet for your tankless toilet.

  

Best Tankless Toilets for Your Home 

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Tankless toilets are generally the standard in commercial and public buildings purely because of the water pressure required to flush tankless toilets.

Standard residential water supply lines are not strong enough to handle the pressure so if you do install a tankless toilet without upgrading your pipes and plumbing, you could be left with expensive repairs to broken and damaged pipes and a toilet that doesn’t work!

All is not lost, though. If you do have your heart set on a tankless toilet in your bathroom, a few models have been designed and built specifically for home use.

 

EPLO Smart Toilet

 

The EPLO Smart Toilet is no ordinary tankless toilet. With its ultra-thin design, this floor-standing ceramic toilet is suitable for most bathrooms.

The bidet toilet seat offers the following features:

  • Built-in smart dual-flush technology activates either a full flush or a half flush on startup, using only 1.6 GPF or 1.1 GPF, saving water on unnecessary flushing!
  • An electric toilet with a built-in LCD screen reflecting the seat and water temperatures – 6 adjustable temperatures are available for your convenience
  • A hands-free flushing operation using a wireless remote control device or a foot sensing button
  • An arc-shaped nozzle and a warm air dryer
  • Air purification to adsorb odors, keeping the bathroom smelling fresh and clean

See it on Amazon

 

 

VOVO Stylement TCB-090S Smart Bidet Toilet

 

The eco-friendly VOVO Stylement Smart Bidet Toilet is available in a range of stylish models.

Each model offers an automatic water-saving flushing system that differentiates between a full and a half flush by the length of time that the user has been seated. 

Talk about a smart toilet!

You can adjust the water pressure on the bidet, allowing you more control over the unit.

The bidet toilet seat offers the following features:

  •         Warm water and warm air dryer
  •         A heated seat with an LED light
  •         Automatic opening and closing lid and seat
  •         Auto deodorization to neutralize odors
  •         A wireless remote controller

 See it on Amazon

 

Is a Tankless Toilet Right for You?

If you’re remodeling and upgrading your bathroom, then yes, include a tankless toilet in your new design.

Tankless toilets are sleek and stylish and if you can afford one now, the water-saving features will save you money on your water bill over the long run.

Note: If you’re planning a bathroom remodel, you can save thousands of dollars with my Save Big $$$ Cheat Sheet. Just fill out the form below and I’ll send these money-saving designer hacks straight to your inbox.

Shana

Shana Burg is a bath enthusiast, content strategist, and award-winning writer. She is the founder of bathtubber.com.

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