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What Is a Flushometer?

A toilet is a plumbing receptacle for human waste.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 08 July 2014
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A flushometer is a device used for flushing toilets which is designed to utilize less water than a conventional flushing system. Flushometers are often installed in public toilets to cut down on water usage, and they can also be used at home, if people are thus inclined. A plumber can install a flushometer and make repairs as necessary, including visiting a site to diagnose problems which may be occurring.

This device is designed to use the pressure of the water supply to force water into the toilet bowl for flushing. A flushometer's high pressure water delivery cuts down on the amount of water needed to flush when compared with a traditional tank or cistern toilet, which uses gravity. While the difference may not be significant with a single flush, over time, it adds up, significantly reducing the volume of water used for flushing.

One advantage to a flushometer is that no cistern or tank is needed to store water for flushing, which means that toilets take up less space. This also reduces the risk of vandalism and damage, by removing a component which prankish or malicious people could target. Some flushometer systems are even designed to be concealed so that casual users cannot access the valves and plumbing for the device.

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There are several ways in which a flushometer can be activated. A user may pull a handle, tug a knob, or press a button to open the valve and allow pressurized water to pour into the toilet. Other systems use an infrared beam for touch-free flushing. This beam determines when someone has gotten up from the toilet, and activates an automatic flush. Hands-free flushometer systems are useful from a public health standpoint because they reduce the risk of passing disease through contact with a toilet handle, and they are also handy in a maintenance sense because, again, they reduce the number of exposed parts which can be damaged.

One the most common problems experienced with a flushometer system is leaking around the seal which causes the system to run continuously, rather than shutting off after use. This can be corrected by replacing the seal and checking other components to make sure that they are in good condition. It is a good idea to shut off the supply of water to the device until a plumber can perform repairs to avoid wasting water; a shutoff valve is usually located very close to the toilet.

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