Ask a plumber

Low-profile toilet concerns

Water-saving toilets can still be low-profile and have flushing power, thanks to an assisted flushing system. Shown here is the San Raphael low profile toilet from Kohler.
Water-saving toilets can still be low-profile and have flushing power, thanks to an assisted flushing system. Shown here is the San Raphael low profile toilet from Kohler.
HANDOUT / Kohler

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Q: We have an old water-guzzling toilet with a low-profile toilet tank that needs to be replaced. Since we have a built-in shelf just above the tank lid, we need to install a new toilet with a very short tank as well. But, I’ve heard that the new water saving low-profile toilets lack flushing power because of the short tank, and the reduced amount of water. Can you please address this issue?

Jack, California

A: A toilet is one of the most used plumbing fixtures in a home. Switching over to a high-efficiency toilet is one of the easiest ways to save a lot of water. New high-efficiency toilets have been redesigned to flush with increased power, but use less than 1.3 gallons per flush.

The extra flushing power can come from taller toilet tanks that generate more “head pressure” for a faster flush, or “assisted flushing systems” can also be used to make less water flush with more power. So, if you’re looking for a water-saving low-profile toilet, I would look for one that operates with the new “pressure vessel” technology.

Pressure vessel flushing systems store air pressure and water inside a closed vessel located under the toilet tank lid. When this type of toilet is flushed, the compressed air pressure helps deliver the extra flushing power.

Bottom line: Even with a low-profile toilet, with an assisted flushing system you can still get a high-profile flush.

Master contractor/plumber Ed Del Grande is the author of “Ed Del Grande’s House Call.” Visit or write

Read more Home & Garden stories from the Miami Herald

 <span class="cutline_leadin">On demand: </span>Most tankless water heaters come on only when they’re in use.

    Ask a plumber

    Heating water can be a ‘tankless’ job

    The pros and cons of installing a tankless water heater.

At just 10 inches deep, the Mill console table from CB2 is perfect for decorating an empty hallway ($299).


    For small spaces, console tables are ideal

    Decorating a small space can be like packing for a weekend trip. There’s room for only the essentials, so every piece should be useful, versatile and worth its weight. If space is a commodity, the console table is one of the most valuable pieces on the market.

This sleek, mid-century Telechron clock is a handsome collectible.


    Telechron products known for style, design

    Q: I grew up in the 1960s and ’70s with this Lucite clock on a table in my parents’ bedroom. I recently found it in a storage unit of their things and am wondering how old it is, and the approximate value. It still works and has great sentimental value and now has a place of honor on my bedside table. Any information you can provide would be appreciated.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category