9 Types of Toilet Flush Systems Explained

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Last updated: August 15, 2023
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The last thing you will want to pay attention to is your toilet and the types of flush systems toilets have. Most especially when you do not have any difficulty with your flush system that will require major maintenance or replacement. It is a myth that is being held on to for so long. We will destroy this myth in this article.

Knowing the type of toilet flush system your toilet uses will help you as a toilet user to better utilize the toilet. Also, knowledge of the best toilet flush systems we have will influence your choice of getting a toilet installed or replaced. It means that with adequate knowledge, you will make the right decisions on the type of flush system suitable for you. In this article, we have collated the information you need in making this decision.

Types of Toilet Flush System

Ballcock Flush System

9 Types of Toilet Flush Systems ExplainedThe ballcock toilet flush system is one of the commonly used flushes in the world. A ballcock is a floating ball that is attached to a rod. The movement of the rod activates the plunger. The plunger allows water inside or outside the tank. The downside to this flush system is that it is highly dependent on the water level.


  • It is easy to replace.
  • It works effectively.


  • It does not function at a low water level.
  • Water can overflow the tube if the shut-off valve is set too high.

Siphon Flush System (or Single Flush System)

9 Types of Toilet Flush Systems ExplainedThis type of toilet flush system is common in the US. It is a system that works by increasing the water in the toilet bowl rapidly when you flush it before flushing it out. A gurgling sound is heard afterward. It occurs when the vacuum seal is broken. The button on the tank triggers this. The button opens the flush valve thereby allowing water into the toilet bowl.


  • It cleanses the toilet bowl very well.
  • It has powerful flushing.


  • It clogs easily due to its narrow trap way.

Flapper-Flush Valve

9 Types of Toilet Flush Systems ExplainedThis flush system is similar to a ballcock, both in operations and looks. The only distinguishing feature is that it consists of a flapper, not a ball.

Once you pull the flush lever, air fills the flapper and causes it to float. This allows water to flow from the tank to the toilet bowl.

Once the water level in the tank drops, the flapper will not be able to return to its initial position. This allows the tank to refill, thus, preparing it for the next flush out. Advancements have been made and new versions of the flapper flush are now available. One of which includes the dual flush system.


  • It is a simple toilet flush system.
  • It is easy to maintain.


  • It takes time to fill the tank with water.

Pressure-Assisted Flush System

9 Types of Toilet Flush Systems ExplainedPressure-assisted systems use pressure as a major component of this mechanism. It is of great commercial importance because of its powerful flush. As a result, it is not likely to clog. The fact that it does not clog makes it very easy to maintain and keep clean.

This mechanism begins when you press a lever or a button. This releases the pressure (air) that has been accumulating when water entered the tank. Once the pressure is released, water enters the bowl with great force and clears all the waste at once. An excellent choice of a pressure-assisted flush system is Kohler K-3493-0.


  • This type of flush system keeps the toilet bowl clean.
  • It has a very strong flush.


  • It is very noisy as opposed to a gravity flush.

Gravity Flush System

9 Types of Toilet Flush Systems ExplainedJust like the ballcock flush system, the gravity flush system is one of the oldest and commonly used systems. This flush system works by inducing flush pressure by applying water. This pressure forces the waste content in the toilet bowl out. After flushing, a siphonic effect ensures that no waste is trapped by completely clearing the bowl before refilling it with water.


  • Unlike the pressure-assisted flush system, this type of flush system is quiet.
  • It is strong.
  • No complicated mechanism so it is easy to replace and repair.


  • It is very prone to clog

Double Cyclone System

9 Types of Toilet Flush Systems ExplainedThe double cyclone system is one of the latest flushing systems that is gaining popularity. It adopts two nozzles that are supported by a propulsion system (this means that more water is allowed to pass through the tube.)

One major advantage of this toilet type is that it creates a very strong siphoning action resulting in an efficient flush. Although basic, the double cyclone flush stay uses gravity flush mechanisms during the siphoning process.


  • It is very powerful.
  • It uses less water.
  • It is a simple mechanism.


  • May be difficult to find replacement parts.

Dual Flush System

9 Types of Toilet Flush Systems ExplainedDual flush systems are specially made to handle solid and liquid wastes separately. The ability of the flush to treat liquid and solid wastes separately is dependent on the button you press. Some dual toilet flush systems have two buttons. An awesome example is the American Standard H2. Each button indicates the one for flushing liquids and the one for flushing solids.

Some dual-flush systems have just one button with both rights and left sides marked for different flush purposes. For instance, left side for liquids and right side for solids. The idea behind the dual flush system is to conserve water. Liquid wastes do not require much water and pressure to be flushed while solid wastes need much water and pressure (force).

Dual flush systems are designed to suit the type of waste in the toilet bowl.


  • It is environment friendly
  • It is resourceful in areas with limited water supply.


  • It is not as common in other parts of the world as it is in the US.

Washdown Toilet Flush System

9 Types of Toilet Flush Systems ExplainedA Washdown toilet flush system is similar to a single flush system and is often compared. However, the washdown toilet has a lighter trap way that makes the escape of water and wastes very easy. Another feature of this toilet flush system is that it does not have sophisticated valves and floating balls. The main propeller of this toilet flush is weight and gravitational water flow. This causes all the waste to be pushed out of the bowl with high pressure.


  • It flushes quickly.
  • It is clog-free in some cases.


  • It leaves skid marks in the toilet bowl.

Rear Toilet Flush System

9 Types of Toilet Flush Systems ExplainedThe Rear toilet flush systems are not so common as others to let flush systems but are generally used in areas with lesser spaces. This type of toilet flush system is mostly used in environments where the toilet doesn’t have a tank. It has a very modernized look because all the fixtures and plumbing are hidden away from sight.


  • It has a modernized look.
  • It is a powerful flush system.


  • It requires regular readjustments and maintenance.
  • Prone to leaks.

Which One is The Best?

The best type of toilet flush system depends on you. It depends on what you want, needs, and the way the bathroom is set up. For instance, if you do not have so much space for a toilet, you will want to opt for the rear toilet flush system. In as much as the aim of the toilet flush system is achieved, which is to empty the tank content into the toilet bowl to get rid of waste. We still advise that you opt for a good flush system that is powerful and one that recovers in good time.

The flapper flush valve toilet system for example requires a significant duration of recovery time to refill which can wreak havoc in a full house and a busy home. Also, a noisy toilet flush can become unpleasant to the ears as found in the pressurized toilet flush systems. We will opt for gravity forced toilet flush systems because they are very effective and are not noisy.

How to Improve a Toilet Flush?

Your toilet needs more attention than the general toilet cleaning. It means that if you notice that your toilet doesn’t flush as effectively, then there is a need for improvement. The main question is, how do you know when you need to improve your toilet flush? The moment you notice that your flush is not getting rid of the waste in your toilet. Here are four techniques to try out to improve your toilet flush:

Clear Clogs

Clearing clogs is an easy technique that is accessible by almost anyone. First, pour a bowl of water, approximately a gallon into your toilet. Use the water to flush your toilet. As you flush out, notice if there are struggles. If there are struggles, use a plunger to clear the clog. This technique only works for partial clogs.

Clear Clogged Rims

9 Types of Toilet Flush Systems ExplainedAnother easy technique to check out. The water that comes out of the toilet tank through the toilet rims helps keep the toilet bowl clean. However, these rims can get clogged due to the accumulation of minerals in the water. To clear the clogged rims, brush the insides of the rim to remove any material or mineral deposition clogging the rims.

Use Vinegar

There are two ways to do this. The first is to use vinegar and baking soda. For this method, measure equal amounts of baking soda and vinegar. Pour the mixture into the toilet bowl and use hot water to flush the toilet. Once you hear a fizzling sound, then the clog is cleared. Flush once or twice to confirm that the clog is cleared.

The second method is to pour four cups of white vinegar into the toilet tank and allow it to soak for a while. Flush the toilet after. Vinegar is a useful household ingredient that works for numerous things. Aside from its popularity as a cleaning agent, it is a very effective ingredient for unclogging toilet flush systems.

Replace a pipe

Replacing pipe should be your last resort if none of the techniques listed above are working. It means that your toilet flush system is probably due to some pipe replacements. It is not something you can do on your own if you are not a professional or have no experience. Get an expert to inspect your toilet flush systems and replace the pipes if needed.

Final Thoughts

Learning about toilets and the various types of toilet flush systems is very important. This article guides you through the functions, the pros, and the cons of each toilet flush system and how to improve your toilet flush system. A subtle reminder is that we advise that you go for a gravity flush system. It is a very effective type of flush system. It gives the best performance without making noise about it.

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