Most residential toilets are gravity-fed models, which use a totally different method of sending the water from the tank to the bowl than pressure-assisted toilets use. A pressure-assisted toilet forces the water out of the tank with greater force. Presently, it is not possible to mold the pressure-assisted technology with your current gravity toilet.
A gravity-fed toilet is made with components that will not work with a pressure-assisted toilet, and vice versa, so one cannot be converted into the other. Gravity-fed toilets are more common in homes, while pressure-assisted toilets are often found in commercial settings. Some pressure-assisted toilets have found their way into residential settings, however.
Differently Engineered Bowls
The main reason a traditional gravity toilet cannot be converted into a pressure-assisted toilet is that the two technologies use differently engineered bowl. The passageways from the tank to the bowl and the bowl's rim holes on a gravity toilet are designed to properly transport the water dropping down from the tank.
Gravity toilets have been around for more than 100 years, according to Family Handyman. Basically, the flush valve, also known as the flapper, opens, and water drops from the rim holes into the toilet bowl. Today's flush valves are 3 inches around, where as flush valves were once 2 inches. That has allowed for a more powerful flush with less water.
The bowl of a pressure-assisted toilet is engineered to accept water that is forced down with much greater pressure. These toilets use a combination of pressurized air and water. There is a water tank and a compression tank. These do better in clearing the toilet bowl of solid waste.
Different Tank Designs
The tanks of pressure-assisted toilets are specially designed for the pressure-assisted units that both contain and force the water down into the bowl. The tanks of gravity toilets are designed for different components.
These two tank designs are not interchangeable. In a gravity toilet, the water is held within the toilet tank itself, unlike in a pressure-assisted model, which contains a smaller compression tank within the outer toilet tank.
The Flushing Components
A gravity toilet uses a fill valve, that comes on when the toilet is flushed and the tank water level drops past a certain point. When the water level reaches a predetermined level, it shuts off. A flush valve usually operates by opening a flapper, which allows the tank water to simply flow out of the tank.
The power of gravity, along with the volume of water inside the tank, propels the power of the flush. The pressure-assisted toilet works quite differently. The pressure from the toilet's water supply line compresses the trapped air in the smaller tank within the toilet tank. This compressed air then forces the water down into the bowl.
Flushmate Pressure Assist
The only way to change the flushing components in a toilet tank with pressure-assisted components is if the toilet is already a pressure-assisted toilet. In this scenario, Flushmate offers a kit that allows you to upgrade the flushing system in your pressure-assisted toilet to Flushmate pressure-assisted components.
This change-out kit works only on a specific selection of tanks from other pressure-assisted toilets. According to Flushmate, its pressure-assisted system cannot be retrofitted into a standard, gravity-fed toilet.
Christopher John has been a freelance journalist since 2003. He has written for regional newspapers such as "The Metro Forum" and the "West Tennessee Examiner." John has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Memphis State University.