courtesy of American Standard
“High-tech” and “toilets” aren’t terms you usually see together, but one company begs to differ.
Most recently, the Loews Hotel chain opted to replace its existing toilets with these high-performance johns, according to AOL News.
It turns out the hotel wasn’t impressed with the lackluster performance of its toilets, especially those that frequently clogged. For hotel chains, that means a bite out of profits to address maintenance fees.
But what makes these newer toilets so special?
“Flush once and forget it,” James Walsh, vice president of American Standard and general manager of consumer fixtures, told Discovery News. One of the most embarrassing things is tending to a clogged toilet, especially if you have guests over, he said.
Inspired to keep the plunger out of the picture, the company’s engineering team designs toilets using computational fluid dynamics, which simulates water flow to create the most efficient design before moving forward with prototypes, Walsh said. He claims these high-performance toilets are better designed to flush waste and keep the toilet bowl clean.
The trick is to get water moving and rushing through the bowl as fast as possible. For the Champion 4 series, engineers enlarged each toilet’s opening, creating a more powerful vacuum for its siphon (here’s how a toilet flushes).
Interestingly, the toilets use the same 1.6 gallons per flush as others. Toilets made before the early 90s sometimes use an inefficient 3.5 gallons per flush.
But design and simulations can only take you so far.
“What we can’t simulate is when it hits the real world,” Walsh said, which is why the company conducts several tests with prototypes. “Golf balls aren’t used on a regular basis — they’re a fun way to get awareness of our toilets out there. But if we tried to promote what we really flush down the toilet, I think some people might be grossed out.”
During testing, the team flushes objects with a range of consistencies, including napkins, sponges, miso paste, polyballs, saw dust and corn.