Case study

Assisted living facility installs water-, cost-saving toilets

San Francisco-based facility was experiencing complaints from both tenants and maintenance staff alike regarding clogged toilets throughout the facility

Home to more than 200 senior living residents, Mendelsohn House has served as a comfortable and hospitable apartment complex for its tenants since 1988.

Yet, despite its impressive reputation with occupancy rates consistently near 100 percent, the San Francisco-based facility was experiencing complaints from both tenants and maintenance staff alike regarding clogged toilets throughout the facility.

Not only were occupants inconvenienced with clogged toilets, but Mendelsohn House staff was barraged with service calls – not to mention the amount of water the building was wasting.

As a result, Todco Group – the development company responsible for the facility – specified 194 Flushmate-equipped high-efficiency toilets to solve its clogging and water consumption concerns. With its pressure-assisted technology, the bowls are strategically designed to “push” contents out of the trapway. This method, as opposed to gravity siphoning, results in a much less-complicated trapway with just one bend.

Cutting back on water consumption

Since installing the Flushmate IV equipped fixtures in 2010, Mendelsohn has seen a sharp decline in water consumption. Prior to installation, Mendelsohn was using more than 2,500,000 gallons on a quarterly basis, but has since seen that usage plummet by nearly 1 million gallons per quarter — or 56 gallons per day per each replaced toilet.

As expected, Mendelsohn’s utility costs have dropped along with its water usage. “In the past we were paying about $20,000 a month,” said Willie Abasta, Mendelsohn House site ddministrator. “Now we average between $10,000 and $12,000 a month. So it's a big savings and the toilets have paid for themselves in less than two years.”

Unclogging a problem

Clogged toilets were a daily occurrence at Mendelsohn, forcing maintenance staff to unclog fixtures and even dry out carpets due to water overflow. In a two year period prior to the toilet change-out there were 88 clog-related service calls. After eight years since the installation of high-efficiency toilets, there have been only two clog-related service calls. That is a 97 percent reduction in service calls.

“The staff couldn’t be happier to not have to deal with the cleanup and management can now dedicate more time and resources to improvements elsewhere. The tenant is relieved of making that embarrassing call to clear the bowl,” Abasta said. “As a nonprofit this is a win-win for all of us.” 

The Flushmate system utilizes incoming water pressure from the supply stop to charge the system. When the toilet is flushed, stored energy pushes the water into the special bowl that is designed to “push.” For this reason, the system is not designed to be added to a standard toilet. This strong flush action scrubs the bowl and pushes the waste to help keep the drains clear.

For Mendelsohn House, the benefits proved to be the overall performance of the fixtures to virtually eliminate service calls and save water. “The sound of the flush has become a comforting sound for me”, said Abasta. “I know that flush sound means a clean bowl and the tenants are happier for it.” Todco has made a practice of installing these Flushmate-equipped toilets at its other residential properties with similar results.


July 6, 2018

Topic Area: Energy and Power

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