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Upflush Toilets: When It Makes Sense, Cost and Tips

 Want to love your home even more? A study showed that 84% of people ( strongly desired to be in their space after remodeling. Upgrading your bathrooms with upflush toilets could add comfort and functionality to your home.

It could enhance your overall enjoyment and satisfaction. An upflush toilet defies traditional plumbing limitations that might hinder your remodeling goals. It uses a built-in grinder and pump to send waste uphill.

This way, the toilet eliminates the need for a drainpipe under the floor. Below, we’ll discuss when an upflush toilet is a good option for your home. Learn about the expected costs and valuable tips for a smooth installation process.

How Upflush Toilets Work

Traditional toilets rely on gravity to drain waste, limiting their placement options. On the other hand, upflush toilets work the opposite. Also known as macerating toilets, they offer a unique solution using a built-in pump and grinder.

Instead of relying on gravity, upflush toilets feature a macerator, essentially a powerful grinder. When you flush, waste and toilet paper enter the macerator. The macerator grinds them into a fine slurry.

This slurry then goes through a small-diameter pipe, typically ¾ inches wide. Depending on your needs, you can have the pipe routed uphill or horizontally. This flexibility allows you to place bathrooms in areas where traditional plumbing poses constraints.

A contemporary bathroom setup with an upflush toilet, white vanity cabinet, and a mounted shelf and mirror above, showcasing a clean and simple design.
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Discover the Benefits

Upflush toilets offer several advantages compared to traditional options. As such, they’re ideal for various situations. Let’s explore three key benefits:

Increased Flexibility in Bathroom Placement

Traditional toilets require installation below the main drain line. As a result, you’ll have fewer places for bathrooms in basements, attics, or additions. Luckily, upflush toilets offer increased flexibility in bathroom placement.

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They can pump waste uphill through narrow pipes to overcome these limits. You can have them installed almost anywhere. This way, they offer greater flexibility when designing or renovating your home.

Easier Installation and Renovation

Installing a traditional toilet in a new location often involves extensive plumbing work. You’ll have to break through floors or walls to create the necessary drainage slope. Not only is the plumbing work time intensive, but it’s also costly and may cause some inconvenience.

Upflush toilets eliminate this need. Their small-diameter discharge pipes can be easily routed around existing obstacles. They significantly reduce the complexity and cost of bathroom renovations.

Ideal for Specific Situations

Upflush toilets prove particularly beneficial in different situations. You’ll need many plumbing changes to add a basement bathroom, which relies on gravity. Upflush toilets eliminate these challenges, making basement additions much more feasible.

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Converting attics into living spaces often faces similar drainage challenges as basements. Upflush toilets offer a practical solution. They allow for bathroom installations where traditional plumbing might not be possible.

Upflush toilets also take up no more floor space than traditional toilets. So, they’re ideal for smaller bathrooms (  remodeling) where space optimization is crucial. You can even have them installed in a home with limited square footage.

When Are Upflush Toilets the Right Choice for You?

You may install an upflush toilet system when faced with certain situations. It may be ideal if you’re planning a bathroom below the main drain line. Upflush toilets offer a viable solution due to their ability to pump waste uphill.

These toilets simplify bathroom renovations. They eliminate the need for extensive plumbing modifications. Their small discharge pipes suit situations where rerouting traditional plumbing might be difficult.

Upflush toilets may benefit individuals with mobility limitations. They’re also useful to those who need accessible bathroom designs. These toilets allow for convenient bathroom designs ( in their homes.

Things to Consider Before You Buy

  Always consider local building codes, maintenance, noise level, and cost. Ensure upflush toilets are legal in your area. They should also comply with local building codes.

Upflush toilets need more maintenance than traditional toilets because they come with a macerating pump. Regularly check the pump and ensure proper ventilation for optimal performance.

Upflush toilets run with pumps and can be slightly noisier than traditional toilets. Only get one if you’re comfortable with the noise. You should also discuss options with a remodeling contractor ( resources/remodeling/how-to-find-a-remodeling-contractor) for quieter models.

Lastly, upflush toilets usually cost more than traditional options. Their built-in pump and grinder technology are quite expensive to procure. So factor in the initial cost, potential upflush toilet maintenance expenses, and installation requirements.

Understanding the Costs

Some homeowners make mistakes as they assess the true cost of ownership of an upflush toilet. One of the most common is that they focus solely on the initial unit price. The purchase price is just one part of the total upflush toilet cost.

Homeowners need to budget for bathroom remodeling ( remodeling/how-to-remodel-a-bathroom-on-a-budget). The cost can be higher because of the routing of discharge pipes and electrical work. Additionally, they need to consider long-term costs.

The cost of an upflush toilet installation varies. Prices for toilet units range based on features, brand, and quality. So, research and understand the options available in the market before buying.

Costs can vary with the complexity of the installation. We’re talking about labor and materials needed for routing the discharge pipe. If there are any required adjustments to the existing plumbing tech, they may add to the overall cost.

Factor in potential costs for necessary permits and ventilation requirements. The same applies to potential maintenance needs. Either way, get quotes from licensed plumbers to understand the complete cost picture specific to your situation.

Tips for a Successful Installation

By now, you know that an upflush toilet can offer more design flexibility. But how do you ensure the installation is a success? Here are four key tips to ensure a successful installation:

Plan and Prepare

Discuss your project with a licensed plumber experienced in upflush toilet installations. They’ll assess your specific situation and ensure compliance with local building codes. The expert will also advise on the most suitable model for your needs and budget.

Upflush toilet installations might require permits from your local building department. Your plumber can guide you through the permitting process. They’ll also ensure you obtain the necessary approvals before commencing the installation.

Work with your plumber to plan the best route for the discharge pipe. Note that upflush toilets offer flexibility in placement. Consider the distance and obstacles, which reduce the cost of the installation.

Choose the Right Upflush Toilet

Upflush toilets come in various models with different features and functionalities. So, discuss your specific requirements with your plumber. Talk with them about your desired pump power.

Also, discuss noise levels and needed accessibility features. If space is a concern, consider compact upflush toilet models. They are perfect for smaller bathrooms.

Choose a model that blends with your existing fixtures and decor. You should find one to complement your bathroom’s design. The key is to ensure there’s harmony in the bathroom.

Ensure Proper Installation

Upflush toilet installations require specialized knowledge and expertise. Entrust the installation to a licensed plumber familiar with upflush toilet systems. Ensure the contractor follows proper installation guidelines and safety protocols.

Meticulous attention to detail is crucial during installation. Ensure all connections are secure. This includes the discharge pipe, water supply, and electrical parts (if needed).

The connections must also be watertight. This way, they can deal with the wet environment around your bathroom. Proper venting is also essential for optimal performance and to prevent unpleasant odors.

Once the installation is complete, have your plumber thoroughly test the toilet. This will help ensure it functions correctly. They also look for leaks or operational issues.

Maintain Your Upflush Toilet

Upflush toilets demand more maintenance than traditional toilets

( Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to clean and maintain the pump. This way, you’ll ensure optimal performance and longevity.

You should also be mindful of what you flush. Avoid flushing any substances other than toilet paper and human waste. Do this to prevent clogging and potential damage to the pump mechanism.

Lastly, pay attention to the upflush toilet’s operation. If you notice unusual noises, consult your plumber promptly. The contractor will address any potential issues before they escalate.

A modern wall-mounted upflush toilet in a minimalist bathroom, featuring white textured walls and light wooden flooring.
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Plan for Power Source

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Upflush toilets operate using electricity. So, consider the power source during the planning stage. Check for a nearby outlet if you’re installing it near an existing bathroom. If there is, make sure it is properly rated. The electrical outlet should handle the additional load of the upflush toilet pump. Have a professional assess if it’s possible and the cost of running the new electrical wiring. You should also invest in an uninterruptible power supply ( (UPS) for toilets. While uncommon, power outages can disrupt the operation of your upflush toilet. The UPS provides temporary power to the toilet during brief outages.

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If you want to add a bathroom in a challenging location, consider upflush toilets. However, they need specific accommodations and maintenance. Luckily, their flexibility and cost-effectiveness can be highly beneficial.

No need to feel overwhelmed when you want a reliable contractor to install an upflush toilet. Alpha Living is here to help. With a quick zip code entry, we’ll connect you with bathroom contractors in your area (

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