Installing a bathroom where plumbing doesn’t exist sounds like a daunting task. Locating sewer lines, digging drains, and placing piping implies a full-on renovation that perhaps is not in the cards. What if you could install a toilet on a flat, cement, basement floor? Sound impossible? Luckily, there are many upflush toilet reviews that show people doing just that. In fact, this is just the sort of placement that upflush toilet systems are designed for.
What Is An Upflush Toilet?
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Upflush toilets are exactly as named; instead of the toilet flushing and the waste and water being directed downward into the plumbing and sewer system, the flushing action flows out the back of the toilet and upwards into a macerator and outbound pipe.
It is the pump and macerator that make upflush toilets possible. Upon flushing, the pump takes the wastewater from the toilet bowl into a macerator unit. Essentially a blender, this macerator breaks the waste down into a slurry which can then be easily pumped through a narrow pipe connected to the black water system and out to the sewer or septic field.
So, while a water source and discharge pipe are still required, the need for an in-floor drain is eliminated which means an upflush toilet system can be installed almost anywhere in your home.
Upflush Toilet Systems
An upflush toilet system consists of a rear discharge toilet (rather than a traditional s-trapped toilet), a pump/macerator unit, and pipes to connect to the black water discharge in your home.
It’s even possible to connect a sink and/or shower drain to the outflow system allowing you to build a complete bathroom where no plumbing exists! Upflush toilet reviews tell us that this is an easy, and practical, way to install a bathroom almost anywhere.
This video from the classic This Old House series demonstrates the upflush toilet system:
Turns out that building upflush toilet systems is a bit of a niche in the toilet/plumbing industry. There are only a few companies that are producing toilets that don’t require existing plumbing and so can be installed in a variety of non-standard locations. Our upflush toilet reviews, therefore, are limited to these manufacturers; although there are a number of models to choose from.
Saniflo Upflush Toilets:
Saniflo is the old guard in upflush toilet systems having created the toilet macerator in 1958. This revolutionized bathroom installation, allowing toilets to be placed where traditional plumbing doesn’t exist. Their complete systems include a rear-discharge toilet, a pump and macerator (which allows for inclusion of sink and/or shower drainage also), and piping to connect to black water out flow plumbing.
SaniPLUS Upflush Toilet Kit
Things to Like:
- A complete kit including toilet, macerator, and tank
- Looks like a traditional toilet set up
- Able to manage sink and/or shower waste water also
Appearing as close to a traditional toilet set up as possible (especially if the pump/macerator unit is installed behind the wall), this upflush toilet kit comes complete and is easy to set up. With the addition of a shower and a vanity/sink combo, a full bathroom can be easily constructed.
Sanicompact Self Contained Upflush Toilet
Things to Like:
- Self contained unit – no separate macerator/pump unit
- Low flow flushing
- Small footprint for tighter installation spaces
Also by SaniFlo, this compact self-contained unit is perfect for smaller footprint bathrooms where space is at a premium. Having the macerator and pumping system within the toilet itself eliminates the need to have a separate macerator/pump unit meaning that the toilet can be installed closer to the wall while taking up less space than a traditional toilet.
This is also a low flow flushing model – using only 1 gallon of water per flush, saving water and money!
IntelFlo Upflush Toilets:
IntelFlo manufactures affordable upflush toilets and macerator/pump units that allow for installation of toilets, sinks, and showers in locations where traditional gravity-fed systems aren’t possible.
Compact One Piece Toilet with Macerator Pump
Things to Like:
- A full upflush toilet system contained within the toilet
- Dual flush – with low flow flushing
- Soft close seat
This IntelFlo upflush toilet system is a complete kit that is all contained within the toilet itself; no need for an external macerator/pump unit. This makes it small and compact for installation in even the smallest of bathroom spaces. The dual flush option allows for minimal water usage as it takes in less water for liquid waste flushing than for solid waste flushing. The soft close seat means no more toilet lid slamming!
Macerator Toilet with Pump Built Into The Base
Things to Like:
- Nice looking toilet design
- Macerator and pump unit built into the toilet
- Quiet pumping system
Another self contained unit, but this one has a nice looking design that will complement any bathroom in your home. The 600W pump is quiet and effective at removing waste into the macerator system and out to the sewer outflow. Installation is easy and the addition of a sink and/or shower drain is possible.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Do Upflush toilets work well?
Upflush toilets do work well. The pump and the macerator unit do a great job of emptying the bowl and removing the waste.
They are a great option where a traditionally plumbed toilet cannot be installed.
Do Upflush toilets require more maintenance?
They do require a bit more maintenance as they rely on the pump and macerator working optimally.
The manufacturer will include a regular maintenance schedule for the pump and macerator. It’s important to keep to the schedule to ensure that they are working as they should and that no parts require replacing.
The pump needs to be primed in order for it to work well. This isn’t a problem if the toilet is regularly used, as the pump will always be ready for use. But if the upflush toilet is in an under-used basement, outbuilding, or vacation home, you will need to prime the pump before use.
The macerator needs to have easy access. This is the area where clogs are most likely to occur; so don’t hide it behind a wall with no access as there will then be no way to manage a clog should it occur.
Are Upflush toilets noisy?
Honestly, it depends on the model. But most upflush toilets are no noisier than the regular sound of a flushing toilet. The sounds are different, of course. It is the sound of the pump and the macerator that is heard when an Upflush toilet is flushed, rather than the sound of the rushing water when a conventional toilet is flushed.
Reading upflush toilet reviews on the different models will help determine which models are noisier than others, and what might be able to be done about it.
Do you need to vent an Upflush toilet?
It’s important to vent any plumbing system, and Upflush toilets are no different. Venting allows air into the system which assists in water flow through the plumbing; but, primarily, it vents out dangerous sewer gases to keep the air in the home fresh and clean.
Upflush toilets can be vented into the main venting stack of the house.
How reliable are Saniflo toilets?
Saniflo created the macerater toilet in 1958. Not only did they invent it, but they have steadily improved on the concept over the years. They are the gold standard in Upflush toilets and are proud of their history, and the reliability of their product.
They provide and excellent product, and excellent service to ensure that their upflush toilets are the best on the market.
Do Upflush toilets smell?
If they are working properly, Upflush toilets do not smell. With regular use, the pump and the macerator and cleared out so that waste does not sit and become an odor problem.
Underused upflush toilets may cause odor issues as the waste is not fully removed from the pump and the macerator. The solution to this is to ensure that ‘fresh flushing’ occurs prior to the toilet being left for long periods of time. This is as simple as flushing the toilet with no waste in it so that clean water fills the pump and the macerator so there is no waste left to produce a smell.
It’s important to follow manufacturers directions when cleaning an Upflush toilet. Do not pour bleach or chemicals directly into the toilet as it could damage components and cause bigger issues.
Where does the waste go from a macerator toilet?
Ultimately, the waste from macerator toilets end up in the sewage line just like a traditional toilet flushing system.
The difference with an upflush toilet is that the waste is macerated and pumped to the sewage line, rather than gravity being the force that empties a toilet. It all ends up in the same place though; uplush toilets are plumbed into the sewage lines of houses.