Pros & cons of a dual flush toilet

Updated February 21, 2017

Dual flush toilets give users the option of either using a low-volume flush or a high-volume flush to wash waste and toilet paper out of the toilet's bowl. Like all other toilet designs, a dual flush toilet presents certain advantages in how it operates, as well as its own share of drawbacks.

Water Consumption

Since dual flush toilets allow a user to choose how much water to use for a flush, when used properly a dual flush toilet will lead to less water consumption than a single flush toilet. Some dual flush toilets do not have the buttons clearly labelled, which will lead to confusion for users who are not as familiar with the toilet. If a user presses the button to use less water in a flush when more water is needed, the result will be the user flushing twice and using more water than if he had chosen the correct button the first time.


With the lower volume flush option, the toilet will not flush with the same power as single flush toilets. While the flushing action primarily transports the waste and water down the toilet's drain, the flushing action also helps keep the bowl clean. The force of the water rushing down the sides of the bowl as well as the water swirling in the bowl will clean off debris and prevent build-up in the bowl. Some dual flush toilet users have complained that the bowls develop streaks in them, requiring more frequent cleanings.

Ease of Use

How easy a dual flush toilet is to use depends on the exact make and model of the toilet. Some dual flush toilets have labelled buttons, helping those who do not use the toilet often know which button to press. Other dual flush toilets have a handle, with you can either push down or pull up to flush. Users may not be aware that the handle flushes the toilet differently depending on how they use it. Some users who do not use the toilet often may experience confusion about at what point they should use the higher-volume flushing option.


Since dual flush toilets involve more complex parts and operation, users who enjoy or prefer not only installing but also servicing their toilets themselves find dual flush toilets too complex to repair without a plumber. Plumbers may need to spend more time working on a problem with a dual flush toilet because of its more complex design, meaning the repair will cost more.

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