Throne contender Venezia
Long ago on this website, I gave my seal of approval to the Compact dual-flush toilet made by R.A.K. Bathware. (And blew a raspberry at a dual-flush toilet that does not work as advertised.) For nearly 6 years now, my R.A.K. Compact has flushed dependably well over 9 times out of 10, for both 3 litre half flushes and 6 litre full flushes. I had no expectation of finding a better toilet.
Over the holidays, however, I stayed at a house that had recently fitted Venezia toilets by Lecico, an Egyptian company. Using seemingly insignificant amounts of water, these toilets made absolutely perfect flushes. They were so perfect, in fact, that I sometimes flushed . . . uhhh . . . “solids” using the half flush. Officially, the Venezia is a standard water-saving toilet, using no less than the Compact, but this would depend upon the settings of the mechanism inside the cistern. I am certain that these Venezias were using less than 6 and 3 litres per flush.
This gives me some confidence that Lecico’s ultra-efficient Riviera toilet, rated to use just 4.5 litres for a full flush and 2.6 litres for a half flush, will function properly. The Riviera is also more attractive than the Venezia. But just to be clear, I have never used a Riviera and make no promises for it.
I priced all three of these toilets at Plumblink, and the Lecico Venezia is the cheapest of the lot. Packaged with a basin worth a few hundred rand, it costs R1175, excluding VAT. For the toilet alone, the R.A.K. Compact goes for R1139 and the Lecico Riviera will set you back R1195.
These figures are rather small next to the savings you can expect on your water bill. If you are replacing an old 9 litre toilet, a family of 5 could save about R625 every year at current Johannesburg water rates, R780 if you regularly water a large garden, bumping your bill into a higher tariff. Heavy consumers paying Cape Town’s higher rates would save over a thousand rand each year. Our dual-flush toilets have already paid for themselves more than once.
By the way, most ordinary lever-handled mechanisms can work as a sort of dual-flush mechanism with a deft touch. Simply lift the lever back up part way through the flushing process for a D.I.Y. dual flush.