The 5 Best Upflush Toilets – Powerful Macerators
What is an Upflush Toilet?
An upflush toilet which is also known as a macerating toilet is a type of toilet that discharges waste from its rear, grinds it into a slurry in a unit called a macerator then pumps it up to the sewer line or septic tank.
Upflush toilets are ideally installed where the bathroom is below the sewer and are therefore a great option as basement toilets. They are however not restricted to basement bathrooms. These toilets can also be installed in any bathroom that is far from the sewer lines or in a bathroom without a drainpipe.
The main advantage of installing an upflush toilet is that they don’t need through-the-floor plumbing to discharge their waste. According to HomeAdvisor, adding a bathroom to an existing space in your house will cost you between $5000 and $35000.
Much of that cost is due to the plumbing needed as well as labor. With an upflush toilet you wouldn’t need to worry about any of that. You will only need to make a hole through the wall and that’s it!
Upflush toilets should not be confused with rear discharge toilets. Although both are rear outlet toilets, rear discharge toilets cannot pump the waste upwards and are more ideal for high-rise apartments.
How Upflush Toilets Works
If you have an understanding as to how toilets works, you would know that they depend on gravity to move the waste from the bowl, through the trapway and down the drainpipe. This is why they are called gravity flush toilets.
The trapway is the S-bend at the bottom of the bowl which is where the suction/siphon effect takes place. That process would however not work with an upflush toilet since this time round gravity is not our friend.
To overcome gravity, upflush toilets use a pressure-assisted toilet flushing system and that is why they always have a pump. If you are therefore looking to buy an upflush toilet make sure that you have a reliable source of electricity.
In this article, I will review what I believe are the best upflush/macerating toilet and go ahead to tell you why I think you should buy any of them. So let’s get to the list.
The Best Upflush Toilets are:
|Toilet||Style||Vertical Pumping (Feet)||Horizontal Pumping (Feet)||Motor (HP)|
|1. Saniflo 023 Sanicompact||One-piece||9||120||0.3|
|2. Liberty Pumps ASCENT II ESW||Two-piece||25||150||0.5|
|3. Saniflo SaniAccess 3||Two-piece||15||150||3.5|
|4. Saniflo Sanibest Pro||Two-piece||25||150||1|
|5. Saniflo SaniPLUS||Two-piece||15||150||0.5|
1. Saniflo 023 Sanicompact Upflush Toilet
The Saniflo Sanicompact self-contained toilet is both a tankless and upflush toilet. Its compact size allows it to be one of the best option for tiny spaces. It has also been successfully installed in bigger bathrooms and looked great as well thanks to its sleek design.
The Saniflo Sanicompact is a little different and unique from other upflush toilets. It is a self-contained toilet. To start with, this toilet does not have a toilet tank. So how does a toilet without a tank flush?
Water is delivered to the bowl at a very high pressure which is sufficient to flush the toilet. This negates the need for a toilet tank. Every time you flush the toilet, it releases a metered amount of water that is sufficient to flush it. This is a dual flush toilet with a rating of 1/1.28 gallons per flush hence very water efficient.
Another distinguishing feature of this toilet against other upflush toilets is that the macerator is in-built. With other toilets, the macerator is normally placed behind the actual toilet but in this toilet it is housed inside the back of the toilet. This is why this is one of the best toilets for small bathrooms.
The Sanicompact is capable of pumping waste up to 9 feet vertical distance and 120 feet horizontal distance. If you are therefore looking for a basement toilet this one would be more than ideal.
To show you compact this toilet is, it has a depth of 19.5 inches, width of 14.25 inches and a height of 18.25 inches. I would also like to caution you because I have seen this toilet’s dimensions listed differently in very many websites.
The distance from the floor to the top of the bowl rim is 18.25 inches. This is therefore a comfort height toilet which is very easy and comfortable to sit and stand from. It also comes with a comfortable elongated toilet bowl and a slow close toilets seat.
If you wish, you can add a sink and connect its outlet to this toilet. Every time you wash your hands the water will flow to the toilet and immediately pumped out. With all that it offers, it is not difficult to see why this is one of the best upflush toilets.
2. Liberty Pumps ASCENT II Macerating Toilet
The Liberty Pumps Ascent II is a single flush two-piece elongated upflush/macerating toilet. It an excellent option for anyone looking to install a powerful flushing toilet below grade.
As you may have guessed, this toilet is not restricted to vertical pumping only. If you have a bathroom far from the sewer lines you can still go ahead and install the Ascent II. Its QuickFlip discharge and vent connectors allow for vertical and horizontal connections. This unit has a vertical pumping capability of 25 feet and 150 horizontal pumping through a 1-inch pipe.
The macerator has 2 auxiliary inlets on each side, different from the main inlet from the toilet. This allows you to connect a sink and bathtub/shower outlet to the unit for a full functioning bathroom. You may opt to have the macerator behind the toilet or on the wall behind the toilet to conceal the plumbing.
The Ascent II features an elongated toilet for maximum comfort but if you are squeezed for space there is the round toilet bowl option. A soft close toilet seat is also included in the toilet, which is a big deal if you are irritated by the sound of a slamming seat.
The distance from the floor to the top of the toilet seat is 17.375 inches. This is therefore an ADA-compliant toilet and can be installed in private or public bathrooms.
For every flush, the Ascent II uses 1.28 gallons of water. It is therefore an EPA WaterSense approved toilet and can be sold everywhere within the United States. Despite its low consumption and longer pumping distance this toilet rarely ever clogs.
If you live in a humid environment then you are conversant with the phenomenon called “toilet sweating”. Toilet sweating is basically toilet tank condensation caused by temperature differential between the inside and outside of the tank. This toilet’s tank is insulated to prevent this from happening.
One thing you need to know that the manufacturer has not made so obvious is that the unit uses an electrode switch. If the electrodes have any form of build-up on them then the toilet may run constantly. The good thing is that the top panel is easy to remove and fix the problem.
To help you plan your space efficiently, the elongated toilet’s dimensions are 29.625 inches depth, 18.25 inches width and 32.25 inches height. The round toilet model has a depth of 27.625 inches while all the other dimensions are similar to the elongated model.
3. Saniflo SaniAccess 3 Upflush Toilet
The Saniflo SaniAccess 3 a is single flush two-piece elongated upflush/macerating toilet. It boasts of having the most powerful macerator in the world, with dual accessibility.
The SaniAccess 3 ½ HP pump system is used to install a bathroom 15 feet below the sewer line or 150 feet away from a soil stack. With this system, you can install a bathtub, shower, sink and of course the toilet.
So how does this system work? The unit contains a pressure chamber which starts and stops it, a motor which drives the stainless steel blades, and the pump. When you flush the toilet, the water flowing into the unit activates a micro switch in the pressure chamber which in return triggers the motor to start running.
The water, human waste and toilet paper mixture are grinded into a slurry by the macerator blades which have a speed of 3600 revolutions per minute. The rotation cause a centrifugal force which pushes the slurry into a container below the motor where it is picked up by the pump.
Once the contents of the container reduces, the micro switch deactivates the unit until the next flush. The entire process takes about 10-12 seconds. If you have installed other fixtures in the bathroom, the gray water will also be flushed out as soon as it enters the unit.
One thing to remember is that when you are adding a bathtub or shower, you will need to erect a raised platform/base. Saniflo recommends that the base should be made of 2” X 8’’ but not less than 2’’ X 6’’ on edge, in order to install a P-trap and the necessary ¼ inch per foot gravity flow towards the pump.
The SaniAccess 3 is available for both round and elongated toilets. The dimensions of the toilet are 28.5 inches in depth for the elongated toilet, 26.5 inches depth for the round toilet, 17.25 inches width and 31 inches in height.
The Pump’s dimensions are 6.75 inches depth, 18.75 inches width and 10.75 inches in height. The distance from the floor to the top of toilet seat is 16.75 inches. I would therefore consider this toilet to be very comfortable especially the elongated bowl model.
Per every flush, the toilet uses only 1.28 gallons of water. That to me is very efficient. The toilet tank is also insulated to prevent toilet condensation.
This toilet is pricy, a reason why it is not in my number 1 spot but if you can afford it then by all means go for it. It works as advertised.
4. Saniflo Sanibest Pro Macerating Upflush Toilet
The Saniflo Sanibest Pro is a single flush two-piece elongated macerating upflush toilet. You can use this toilet system to install a full bathroom equipped with a bidet, shower, sink and the toilet itself.
Saniflo Sanibest Pro can be installed up to 25 feet below a sewer line and 150 feet away from a soil stack. It has a 1 HP unit which incorporates a grinder system that is ideal for uncontrolled developments, be it residential or commercial.
Unlike any other upflush toilet I have reviewed, the Sanibest pro is designed to effectively handle sanitary products flushed in the toilet. This includes products such as condoms, sanitary napkins, dental floss etc.
Just like the Saniflo SaniAccess 3, the Sanibest Pro’s unit contains a pressure chamber, a motor and a pump. The waste is pumped out in the same exact way. Wastewater from the other bathroom fixtures enter the Sanibest Pro unit via two 2-inch inlets on its sides.
Depending on how you want the installation done, the discharge elbow at the top of the unit can be rotated 360 degrees. A non-return valve which is included in the assembly prevents waste from flowing back to the unit.
If you need to carry out any maintenance on the unit, you really don’t need to disconnect the entire unit from the fixtures connecting to it. An easy-to-remove panel gives you access to the internal components of the unit hence making your work easier.
In case you want to have the macerator unit installed on the wall behind the toilet, you will only need to add the extension pipe. That pipe is sold separately.
The Saniflo Sanibest upflush toilet is a great toilet and you will rarely have problems with it. The only complaint I have heard about it is the loud flushing, which is typical for all the upflush toilets. How else would you expect them to pump waste against gravity?
For your comfort, the toilet has an elongated toilet bowl and also comes with a slow close toilet seat. Slow close toilet seats means you don’t have to put up with the annoying sound of slamming seat. A round toilet model is also available.
The elongated toilet has an assembled depth of 28.75 inches and 27 inches for the round toilet, width of 14.25 inches and a height of 31 inches. The distance from the base to the top of the bowl with the seat is 16.75 inches. It consumes only 1.28 gallons per flush, a process which takes 10-12 seconds.
The dimensions of the pumping unit are 8 inches in depth, 20.31 inches in width and a height of 10.5 inches. Installing the pump behind the wall can give you more bathroom space.
5. Saniflo SaniPLUS Macerating Upflush Toilet
Saniflo Saniplus is a single flush two-piece elongated/round-front bowl macerating upflush toilet. Just like other upflush toilets, it allows for other bathroom fixtures like a bathtub, shower and sink to be installed.
The Saniplus is a ½ HP pump system incorporated with a macerator that is designed to only handle toilet paper and human waste in residential applications. It has the capacity to pump waste a vertical height of up to 15 feet and 150 away from a soil stack. Please note that the blades in the macerator are made from hardened steel.
The Saniplus works the same way as the other Saniflo upflush toilets including the connections to the extra bathroom fixtures. Again, remember to have the bathtub or shower base raised in such a way that it will allow the installation of a P-trap as well as allow the natural flow of wastewater to the pumping unit.
If you think the noise from upflush toilets are a bit too much, this model might interest you. It is designed with vibration absorbers so that it is able to reduce the operating sound. This model reduces the sound from the pump by 10dB.
The Saniplus unit just like all other Saniflo upflush units are only designed to be used with Saniflo rear discharge toilets. If you therefore had another 3rd party rear discharge toilet that you might have hoped to connect with this system then I am afraid to tell you it is impossible.
For those who would like to have the pump installed on the wall behind the toilet, do not forget to get the extension pipe. Depending on the size of your bathroom get the appropriate toilet bowl. Buy an elongated toilet bowl model if space allows. It’s more comfortable.
The toilet dimensions are 28.75 inches width for the elongated toilet, 27 inches width for the round toilet, 17.75 inches in width and 31 inches height. The toilet seat is 16.75 inches from the floor. A soft close toilet seat is also included.
For every flush the toilet uses 1.28 gallons of water and is therefore WaterSense certified. Its toilet tank is insulated to prevent it from “sweating”.
The macerator unit is 7 inches deep, 20 inches wide and 10.625 inches high. The length of the extension pipe (if you need to install it behind the toilet wall) is 18 inches.
Pros and Cons of Upflush Toilets
Upflush toilets have many advantages but they also have their own disadvantages. The advantages however outweigh the disadvantages by far. Let us start by looking at the advantages of upflush toilets.
The following are the advantages of upflush toilets
1. They can be installed anywhere.
Upflush toilets are the best option for anyone who needs a basement toilet. Without the possibility of upflush toilets, installing a basement toilet would be almost impossible. You would then need to go upstairs all the time to access a toilet.
Apart from being used in the basement bathroom, upflush toilets can be installed in any other bathroom that has no floor plumbing for a floor outlet toilet. Sometimes you just need to install a toilet as an afterthought in an area where plumbing was not done during the house construction.
Upflush toilets therefore prove to be a life savior, otherwise you would need to dig up the entire bathroom floor to install the necessary plumbing accessories. That would be a very expensive undertaking.
2. They are Very Water Efficient
Upflush toilets use a very water efficient technology which surprisingly produce a stronger flush. A decent upflush toilet uses not more than 1.28 gallons per flush and should not need to be flushed twice.
As a result, most upflush toilets are certified by the EPA’s WaterSense. WaterSense labeled toilets can be sold everywhere in the United States including states with strict water conservation laws like California.
3. Allows Installation of Other Fixtures
An upflush toilet’s macerating unit have more than one inlet which allows you to install other sanitary fixtures like sinks, showers and bathtubs. The wastewater from this fixtures is pumped out as soon as it enters the unit.
It would be very inconvenient to have a bathroom where you can only install a toilet but not other fixtures. This is where I feel upflush toilets beat ordinary rear discharge toilets. A rear discharge toilet does not have a way of adding other bathroom fixtures ans cannot be installed below grade.
4. They are Easily Portable
If you somehow want to change the location of an upflush toilet, it easy to uninstall it and install it somewhere different than it is to move a floor outlet toilet. This is especially the case with one-piece upflush toilet like the Saniflo Sanicompact.
If you are a DIY person, you would also agree with me that installing an upflush toilet is way easier compared to a floor outlet toilet more so when installing a toilet from scratch.
The following would be the disadvantages of an upflush toilet.
1. They are Pricier
It is possible to find a cheap floor outlet toilet but the same cannot be said of an upflush toilet. Due to the work that they are expected to do different from floor outlet toilets, upflush toilets tends to be more expensive.
It is however not true to say that all upflush toilets are more expensive than all floor outlet toilets. Some high-end floor outlet toilets costs way more than most upflush toilets.
2. They are Noisy
Upflush toilets uses a motor to spin the macerator blades and a pump to pump the slurry upwards while floor outlet toilets completely depend on gravity to push the waste down the drainpipe. As a result, upflush toilets tend to have a louder flush than floor outlet toilets.
Most new owners of upflush toilets are initially disturbed by the noise but eventually get used to it. The good thing about it is that the upflush toilets are mostly installed in basement bathrooms and not the main one hence are not used all the time.
3. They are Dependent on Electricity
In order for the motor to spin the macerator blades and the pump to work, the unit needs to be plugged to a power outlet. Although they don’t consume a lot of power, you will for sure see an increase in your electricity bill.
Another thing to know is that in case of a power outage you will not be able to use you toilet. If you live in an area with frequent power outages this is something to ponder.
Upflush Toilets Buying Guide
What should you consider while buying an upflush toilet? Needless to say, different upflush toilets serve different needs and what might work perfectly for someone else might not necessarily work great for you. Here are some of the factors you should pay attention to:
1. The pumping distance
Different upflush toilets have different flushing and pumping capabilities, both vertical and horizontal. While the horizontal distance is not a big concern for many, the vertical distance pumping capability is critical.
If you are installing an upflush toilet in a basement bathroom, take your time to measure the distance between the bathroom floor and the sewer line. This will give you a rough estimate on the type of toilet you need to buy.
In this review, I have made sure that I have given you the distance each toilet is able to pump to make your choice easier.
2. Round or Elongated Toilet
Round-front toilet bowls are circular-shaped while elongated toilet bowls are oval-shaped. On average, round toilet bowls measure 16.5 inches while elongated toilet bowls have a length of 18.5 inches.
The main advantage of round toilets is that they are more space efficient while elongated toilets are more comfortable as they offer more space to sit on. If space is not a major concern, I would advise that you get an elongated toilet.
The main advantage of the Saniflo Sanicompact toilet and the reason I was persuaded to put it in the number one spot is due to its 1-piece compact style that takes even less space than a round toilet. It is able to take less space but still offer the same comfort as an ordinary elongated toilet.
3. Toilet Dimensions
It is very critical that you get the dimensions of a toilet prior to buying it, then compare it to the bathroom size you have to be sure that it is going to fit. This is especially vital for people with small bathrooms.
One mistake I see people making is simply going by the dimensions displayed online. Most of those dimensions are erroneous since they are the shipping dimensions and not the actual toilet assembled dimensions.
In this post I have made sure that I give you both the toilet and macerator dimensions to help you manage your space effectively. Please note that you can always opt to have the macerator directly behind the toilet or at the wall behind the toilet.
4. The Toilet Brand
The brand you are buying your toilet from matters. In this review, 4 of the 5 toilets are from Saniflo. I am not affiliated to Saniflo in any way but their products just speak for themselves. Ask any plumber around you and they will tell you Saniflo upflush toilets really do work.
Apart from Saniflo upflush toilets, I also reviewed the Liberty Pumps Ascent II which is a great upflush toilet. I tried as much as possible to keep the list short enough so that it is easier for you to make up your mind.
Upflush toilets are the perfect choice for anyone who is looking to install a basement toilet. They are easy to install, flushes well, allows for addition of other sanitary fixtures and are water efficient too. Apart from basement toilets, upflush toilet can also be installed in other bathrooms without a drainage system without the need to dig up the floor to install the drainage.
1. Do upflush toilets work
Upflush toilets work just as well as floor outlet toilets if not better. The only thing you will notice is that their flushing is louder than floor outlet toilets due to the grinding and pumping action.
Upflush toilets too have their problems just like floor outlet toilets. The best thing to do is to ensure you buy one from a reputable brand. They might be pricier but will serve you well and for a long time without problems.
2. Do upflush toilets smell?
Upflush toilets rarely smell since the waste is flushed up forcefully. If however there is a problem with the pump or the non-return valve the waste will not leave the unit and will definitely smell.
3. Can you poop in an upflush toilet?
Definitely yes. Upflush toilets aren’t any different from other toilets. The thing you want to do is avoid flushing anything other than poop, urine or toilet paper.
Flushing items such as diapers, sanitary towels, condoms, dental floss etc might clog the system which can lead to very expensive repairs. Unclogging an upflush toilet is different and a lot harder than a standard toilet.
4. How long do upflush toilets last?
Upflush toilets can last for decades, but of course that will depend on the care they are given by the owner. You might however need to replace the macerating unit after a couple of years.
It is possible to only buy the macerator without the toilet.
5. How much does it cost to install an upflush toilet?
A decent upflush toilet costs between 800 and 1500 dollars. You can opt to install it on your own or call in a plumber. A professional plumber will cost between 200 and 400 dollars depending on your location and other factors.
6. How do you clean an upflush toilet?
While cleaning an upflush toilet, it is very important that you do not use any harsh chemicals. The toilet system has very many rubber components that would be eaten away by the chemicals leading to leakages.
Check on your upflush toilet’s website for the recommended cleaning products if you are not sure what to use.