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What is an up Flush Toilet?

By Christian Petersen
Updated: Feb 04, 2024

An up flush toilet is a toilet that is designed to send waste material upwards to a larger drain system. These types of toilets are used in applications where no downward draining plumbing is available. They are more expensive than traditional toilets and operate in a different fashion. A toilet of this type is often used in basements and other below ground situations.

Several types of toilet can be classified as an up flush toilet. The most common type is an all-in-one unit that has an electric motor that grinds up solid waste before pumping it up a drain pipe to the structure's main drain. These toilets are specially designed; a traditional toilet can not be used for this application. Called a macerating up flush toilet, these types are the most common and least expensive up flush systems.

A free-standing sewage ejection system is another type of up flush toilet system. This is a separate pump that is designed to accept waste from an outside source like a traditional toilet or sink, and pump it to the main drainage system for the structure. These types must be installed below the level of the incoming waste; this means that the toilet is usually mounted on a raised platform of some type. Some systems are designed to be mounted directly below a traditional toilet.

The third type of up flush system is a combination of a traditional toilet with an in-ground sump pump that pumps waste either to the main drainage system for the structure or directly to the outside sewage or septic system. This is the most expensive up flush solution, as it can require digging a hole in the floor which must then be lined with concrete. Under-floor plumbing for the toilet and waste pipes leading from the pump must also be installed.

Up flush toilet systems have some advantages. They can be installed in areas without traditional drainage or plumbing. They can be used to add a toilet to an area not originally intended to have one, like basements. A lack of in-floor plumbing in these types of areas often makes an up flush system the only option.

Up flush systems suffer from a number of disadvantages, however. They can be noisy; macerating systems and separate pumps in particular can generate significant noise. True up flush systems can clog more easily than traditional systems. All require electricity for operation. Up flush applications are more expensive to install than regular toilets as well, and more complicated installations mean more potential for maintenance and repair.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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