Dual Flush Vs. Single Flush Toilet Comparison

Dual Flush Vs. Single Flush Toilet Comparison

There’s the fairly obvious difference between a single flush and a dual flush toilet and the clue is in the name - the single flush and dual flush refers to the flush valve in the cistern. However flushing options aside - the main differences you’ll find between them will come down to water usage which will ultimately help the environment and save you money in the long term.


What is a single flush toilet?

A single flush toilet refers to the cistern flushing mechanism and is quite simply, a toilet that has only one flushing option - a full flush. A single flush of a standard toilet generally uses on average around 1.6 gallons of water per flush, that’s around 6 litres of water every time you press the button, yank the chain or pull the lever.

The majority of older toilets are single flush - this is purely because it was the style at the time. With advancement in toilet design and cistern innovation more sustainable considerations have been included in toilet design and subsequently the dual flush option is on the market.

Single flush cisterns are still popular and many now use less than the 1.6 gallons per flush mentioned above - there’s water saving cisterns on the market that are single flush and many people choose this option today over a dual flush system for a variety of different reasons.


Our best selling single flush valve is the Thomas Dudley Pinto Pneumatic Single Flush Valve

What is a dual flush toilet?

A dual flush toilet is a toilet that has a 2 flush cistern. Generally the dual flush options consist of a full flush (for heavier solid waste) and a half flush option for less bulky liquid waste. The dual flush tends to be split in water consumption ratios such as 6/4 litre dual flush with some having the option to be converted after installation to be 5/3 or 4/2.6 litre dual flush saving you even more water.

More often than not an existing toilet can be updated to a dual flush system with the upgrade and replacement of the single flush valve within the cistern to that of a dual flush valve (this will also include changing and updating the button or lever of the toilet).

Some of the most popular dual flush valves on the market come with a button already to make upgrading your toilet a simple and straightforward process meaning you won’t necessarily need to phone in a plumber if you’re wanting to upgrade your single flush toilet to a dual flush system.


A popular dual flush valve with included button is the Macdee Kayla Cable Dual Flush Valve

Macdee Kayla Cable Dual Flush Valve for regular push button toilets, unit shown with box packaging and outside of box

Why should I change my single flush to a dual flush?

To sum up the benefits in one sentence - to save you money and water. The short term expense of upgrading your single flush system to a dual flush system will be outweighed in the long term by the savings you’ll make over time from using less water. You may also find that dual flush systems can sometimes be quieter too so if that’s a feature that is music to your ears you may find yourself in the dual flush camp.


Can you have a dual flush option on a lever toilet?

Yes you can! At first thought you mightn’t think it possible to have a dual flush toilet with a lever instead of a button but you would be wrong. In the instances of a lever actioned flushing system the dual options are normally triggered by lifting the lever up for a half flush and pushing the lever down for a full flush.

When it comes to replacing your average press button single flush toilet, this is fairly straightforward, sometimes your dual flush valve will come with a fitted button that simply needs to be slotted into position replacing the old button in the already existing hole but this may be slightly different in the case of toilets that have levers. You will need to ensure that the dual flushing valve you purchase is compatible with a lever, the manufacturer's installation instructions will easily guide you on how to correctly install and connect your new dual flush valve so that it works with your existing lever. Should your existing lever be incompatible with a dual flush system, worry not! There are plenty of dual flush friendly levers on the market to suit a wide range of budgets and styles.


A popular dual flush valve with included lever is the Fluidmaster Lever Dual Flush Valve

Fluidmaster Lever Dual Flush Valve for toilets that are currently fitted with a lever flush system, unit shown with box packaging and outside of box

Thinking of upgrading your single flush to a dual flush? At Buy Plumbing Online we have a wide range of flush valves to suit all manner of toilets. As a plumbers merchant we have access to all the leading manufactuers parts and spares and this includes flush valves. Some of the popular industry brands we stock include Ideal Standard, Villeroy & Boch, Roca, Geberit and Thomas Dudley so regardless of what brand you're needing for your specific toilet we will be able to help you and if there's a tricky part you're having trouble sourcing we will do what we can to find it on your behalf. So whether you’re after just the flush valve, a valve and button or perhaps a whole new cistern and button combo - we’ve got you covered from the top of the toilet to the bottom and always with free UK wide delivery regardless of your postcode.

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