Toilets - Residential Tanks and Commerical

How come Residental toilets have tanks, while commerical toilets (the kind used in most businesses) don’t?

I was thinking about that myself I while ago when I also noticed that public toilets rarely (umm) get backed up. This is what I figured. Public toilets also shoot out water much faster so I assume that they have a central tank for all the toilets in the room, floor, building whatever that gets presurized and when you flush it the valve has some sort of timer. It would seem that this would save water (pressurized so it needs less to rinse bowl) and save time (don’t have to wait for tank to refill before you can flush again, and as I mentioned rarely get backed up)

Formerly known as Nec3f on the AOL SDMB

I’ve seen institutional/commercial toilets that do have tanks but STILL flush with more force. Perhaps there is vacuum, like in airplanes?

Tankless commerical toilets rely on the water pressure from the main to flush. The only reason I can think of that commerical tank toilets flush with more force is that (a)they have larger tanks, or (b)they’ve been modified to store the water at a higher pressure.

The reason you don’t see commercial toilets at home are various. Tankless toilets are much more expensive, and virtually impossible for the home handyman to repair. They also have that “commerical” look, which doesn’t blend well with your typical suburban decor. Finally, they lack the all-important storage space you get with a tank toilet.

But never fear, home decor taste in changing. One of the latest trends in bathrooms is installing commercial toilets AND urinals. Now your home bathroom can look like the bathroom at work! Yeah!

For what its worth, I think one reason you don’t see the tanks in commercial places is the amount of use. It takes a few minutes to refill a tank and during this time the toilet is not flushable. Using the direct water pressure allows it to be reused immediately.

I have seen a lot of tanked toilets in commercial places, but mostly in smaller places like gas stations and a few fast food resteraunts.

Interesting side note: When Congress passed the Water Conservation Act (???) back around '90 something (93??), all toilets being put into new homes had to conform to certain gallonage (is this a word?!) requirements. The new standard was 1.3 gallons to flush with. Of course, they work like crap (nice pun, eh?). Not enough water to send it all down, plus they get backed up a lot easier. After working for 3-1/2 years as a warranty coordinator for a national homebuilder, you cannot imagine how many times I had to tell people that Federal Law requires us to use the low-flow toilets and that we’re not paying for the plumber to come out an unclog their commode. There are toilets that have an air assist to them, but the price goes up accordingly. Most people aren’t willing to pay the extra cost. Another example of our government at work.

…it has never been my way to bother much about things which you can’t cure.

  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court-Mark Twain

Same goes for low-flow shower heads. Here we are in Chicago, right next to one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world, Lake Michigan, and all that are available now are shower heads which emit a stream of water with all the force and appeal of someone urinating on your head.

Thank God I always stole the shower heads from every place I ever owned and replaced them with the new ones. I have a shower head that will peel the bark off a tree and drown a small dog in about 15 seconds. (Not that I’m suggesting I would).

Nickrz: I only managed to save the last two. How about Canadian shower heads?

Speaking of urinating on one’s head, how goes Lake Michigan? I haven’t been back there since the early 60’s, but I hear they’ve really cleaned it up.
That river in Ohio freakin’ caught *fire[/]!
Do I have the wrong lake? :slight_smile:

Work like you don’t need the money…
Love like you’ve never been hurt…
Dance like nobody’s watching! …Unknown

fire. Jeez!

Work like you don’t need the money…
Love like you’ve never been hurt…
Dance like nobody’s watching! …Unknown

Commercial toilets (& urinals) require A 1 1/4" pipe to provide enough volume & pressure to flush properly.The average home has a 1" or 3/4" main water supply. Hence, a “water closet” is needed to supply enough volume & pressure to do the job. Public toilets may not have enough time for a water closet to refill in time for the next flush. Making it nasty for the next user! PA State Plumbing Inspector, Emaritus…Carl


MG, the river that caught fire was the Cuyahoga River near Cleveland.

Has anyone seen my keys?


Both the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie are much cleaner than they were in the sixties. The excellent response of Lake Erie to anti-pollution measures may be due in part to the fact that it is by far the shallowest of the Great Lakes. The river and the lake are now significant assets in the revitalization of Cleveland. Despite all the old jokes, Cleveland is now a pretty good city, unlike Cincinnati.

Nick, now THAT’S a showerhead!!

…it has never been my way to bother much about things which you can’t cure.

  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court-Mark Twain

Joe Bob, unfortunately, I work a mere 20 blocks from the mouth of the Cuyahoga in the Flats of downtown Cleveland, and the river still reeks to high heaven. It’s a fishy smell, rather than a polluted smell, but in the summer it can be terrible.

Edgewater Park Beach, OTOH, which is near West Blvd. and the Shoreway, is one of the EPA’s Top 20 most polluted beaches. While the lake as a whole is indeed much cleaner, and healthier for marine life, the Cleveland shoreline leaves a great deal to be desired in terms of cleanup.