The Niagara Stealth Ultra-High Efficiency Toilet
A Review by Staff Writer Robert Andrews
One of the best, and easiest, ways to use less water in the house is to switch to a low-flow, high-efficiency toilet. Today's water-efficient toilets use 1.6 gallons per flush or less; more efficient models use less. The Stealth Ultra-High Efficiency Toilet from Niagara tops the list of most efficient, using an incredibly low 0.8 gallons per flush. That's a remarkable statistic, but when it comes to toilets, performance is key. How well does the Stealth toilet work?
Niagara Stealth Toilet: A Real World Review
Last year, a severely malfunctioning toilet that needed replacing prompted me to replace all three of the toilets in our home. They were all about 17 years old, and were all starting to show symptoms of breaking down. Being a writer of articles on green products, I wanted to switch to a toilet model that was extremely water-efficient, to save water, money, and just to see if 'green' products work as well as they claim to. After doing some research, I narrowed my choice down to the Niagara Stealth Ultra-High Efficiency model.
After a year, I feel I've had enough time in the real world to determine just how well the Stealth Toilet performs. With two sons, they definitely got put through their paces.
Niagara Stealth: A True Water Sipper
First things first, the main criteria for my new toilet purchase was efficiency: in a world with rapidly depleting fresh water reserves, I personally feel guilty flushing almost two gallons down the toilet with every flush. I wanted a toilet that was pushing the technological envelope in regards to water usage; the Niagara Stealth is that toilet. Rated at only 0.8 gallons per flush, it's among the most efficient toilets commercially available today, if not the most.
Does the Stealth toilet really use that little water? Yes. It does. When I first installed them, I was amazed at just how little water was being flushed. With only 0.8 gallons per flush, the Stealth toilet is also extremely quiet. It's only about half as loud as our older toilets (which themselves were considered low flush at 1.6 gallons per flush). Using exactly half the water as before, it stands to reason that the Stealth would be half as loud.
How Does the Niagara Stealth Perform?
That's the $64,000 question for any new toilet. After all, we all know what happens when a toilet doesn't have the flushing power necessary to do its job. What happens usually involves a plunger or a call to the plumber.
The Niagara Stealth website claims "One flush thoroughly evacuates the bowl every time—no double flushing." That's a bold claim, especially for a product using such little water per flush. My verdict? The Stealth toilet does a fairly decent job : I'd say we only have to flush them once about 95% of the time. The other 5% typically require a second flush, but I figure even flushing twice still only uses as much water as one flush with our older toilets. Maybe 2% of the time do we actually clog the Stealth, which isn't any worse than our older models. Excessive toilet paper usage is the main culprit; using a reasonable amount of toilet paper per flush will probably eliminate clogs entirely.
After a year of usage in a 4-person household, I'm very happy with the performance of our Niagara Stealth toilets. The bottom line is that they've cut our water usage for toilets by half. Do they have as strong a flush as a toilet using more water? No. But as I mentioned, even the rare double flush still isn't using that much water.
One potential drawback: Due to the extremely small amount of water used during flushing, the bowl tends to get dirtier quicker than a normal toilet. This is especially noticeable along the left and right sides of the bowl, which see very little (if any) water during a flush. To me, this is just a testament to how very little water is being used to get the job done.
Niagara Stealth Toilet Specifications
For homeowners in drought-stricken areas, or areas with water restrictions, expensive water utilities, or people just looking to cut their personal water usage for environmental purposes, I can recommend the Niagara Stealth toilet. The 0.8 gallon per flush spec is impressive, and pretty much unbeatable. If water conservation is a top priority, the Stealth is a great choice. Priced at around $300 per unit, I've seen them for sale for under $200.
The Stealth's ultra-high effficiency flush certifies it as an EPA Water Sense product for water conservation. Its' excellent water-saving performance also earns 2 LEED points for green home certification in the Water Conservation category.
The Stealth is made from traditional white vitrous china. It has a top-mounted chrome flush actuator (rather than a side-mounted handle), and uses a patented Stealth®flush chamber and air transfer system to achieve its low water performance. The Stealth is available with elongated or round bowls.
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