Toilet Certification and Consumer Satisfaction in North America

Many of the early generation 6-litre  toilet models sold in North America performed poorly and failed to meet consumer expectations for flushing performance.” Yet virtually all of these models met all of the prevailing performance requirements to become certified. Water utilities were concerned over the negative customer feedback they were receiving regarding toilet fixtures that they had encouraged (through rebates) their customers to install”, reports Glen Pleasance, Water Efficiency Coordinator for Durham Regional Municipality in Ontario.

According to Pleasance, the question naturally arose – “How is it possible that toilet models certified as meeting all applicable standards do not meet consumer expectations for performance?”

In response, 22 U.S. and Canadian utilities and other water interests, recognizing that toilet certification did not guarantee a high level of performance, sponsored the development of the independent Maximum Performance (MaP) Testing Program in 2003. The goal of MaP was to quantify and compare the flushing performance of a number of popular 6-litre (1.6-gallon)  toilet models by using a more realistic and credible testing protocol.”

In brief, the MaP testing program was intended to identify and publicize toilet models that met consumer expectations for performance, mitigating the need for double-flushing or for flush volume tampering and thus meeting the intent of the EPAct mandate.This is now considered the de facto methodology for toilet performance testing throughout North America.

To download a copy of the March 2007 report, please click on this link to Evaluation of Toilet Certification Test Media

“One of the reasons that early 6L toilets were so unreliable can be traced to the Certification protocol used by CSA and ASTM.  This report critically analyses the accuracy of this protocol in predicting real-world fixture performance”, concludes Glen Pleasance, who is also Chair of the Canadian Water & Waste Association Water Efficiency Committee.


Posted April  2007