Wednesday, January 21, 2009

flushing the competition

I do realize that it's a little bit odd to start out by featuring a toilet (is that some kind of symbolism? Or maybe just a sick sense of humor.) Actually, this product just doesn't get near the attention it deserves. As a designer I am fairly attuned to things that are well designed- or not- and this one is a winner in my book.

This is a dual flush toilet by Caroma. I think by now most of us realize the concept of the two-flushes, but just for fun I'm going to spell it out. Flush one is for liquid waste and flush two is for what we lovingly refer to as 'a number two.' Get it? Thought so.

An average toilet in this day and age uses anywhere from 1.6 gallons to 5 gallons (depending on when and where the toilet was installed) of water per flush. That is a little crazy, especially going back to the 'number one' use. So it seems like a good area to invest some time in creating new technology.

And so it is that Caroma, along with many other toilet manufacturers now, has come up with the concept of having a dual flush system, which uses only about .8 gallons on the one flush and 1.6 for the regular one. And the true design genious here is that they are virtually un-cloggable! Seriously, I tried this at a showroom. It's oh so un-eco, but we shoved wads of (recycled) paper towels in there without any problems. And I kid you not, we flushed a potato. I'm talking Idaho potatoes, not the little ones. It just sucked it right down. Amazing.

So to Caroma and friends, my hat is off to you. Thank you for making a great product that contributes to a solution rather than adding to the problem.

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