Best Macerating (Upflush) Toilets — Reviews and Buying Guide
- Posted by Mary O. Frazier
- On February 17, 2021
- 0 Comment
Almost all the toilets rely on gravity to remove the waste and drain it down to the sewers and out of your house.
But what if you need to arrange the bathroom in a basement, which is below the sewer level? Or, what if you choose a room with no plumbing at all for your hygienic procedures.
In these cases, a macerating toilet will be your choice. It can efficiently move the waste without relying on gravity and keep your home a sanitary place.
So, be sure to check our tips on how to choose the best macerating toilet and browse through some units that we picked for you right below.
How Does a Macerating Toilet Work?
Before we dig into the upflush toilet reviews, let’s figure out how they actually work.
So, the upflush toilet looks just like a standard gravity flush commode, except for two differences:
- It has a large drain pipe that goes right into the rear part of the toilet, unlike gravity toilets that sit atop of the floor flange. This pipe is pretty short and connects the toilet with the macerator chamber, which is a visible container behind the toilet bowl.
- Also, the upflush toilet requires electricity to operate the macerator impeller and the pump, so it will have an electrical cord (110-120V) that will go into the macerator chamber as well.
Here’s how the whole system works:
- When you flush the toilet, the water scrubs the waste from the bowl and moves it down the drainpipe into a maceration chamber.
- The maceration chamber has a sensor that detects when the waste enters the bowl. Once it happens, the maceration impeller with the motor-powered steel or ceramic blades is activated. It grinds any solid waste into a slurry (that’s why macerating toilets were also known under the name ‘grind toilets’) for 15 seconds or 1 minute, depending on the model of your toilet.
- When the blades stop, the pump activates and forces the liquefied mixture to the nearest drain line or sewer that uses gravity and disposes of it.
However, as tempting it may be to replace all the commodes in your home for macerating ones, don’t do that.
See, an upflush toilet is not a great solution for a large family or a home with a lot of appliances. Even though some brands use powerful pumps that can withstand up to 50,000 cycles (1), they can easily wear out during active use. If you want to make the most of an upflush toilet, it’s better to install it in the basement, in the half-bathroom, or in a cabin that is off the grid.
5 Best Macerating Toilets
Best Overall — Editor’s Choice
- 3600 RPM macerator blades;
- can discard water from other sanitary fixtures;
- has all the parts for the direct installation;
- uses 1.6 gallons per flush;
- features a comfortable oblong bowl.
The Sanibest by Saniflo starts or review of macerating toilets because it’s as close to perfection as you can get. It uses only 1.6 GPF and has a powerful pump that can not only discard any waste, but also removes the gray water from other sanitary fixtures in the room, such as a bidet, hand basin, bathtub, or urinal. This means that you can create a full-fledged bathroom anywhere in the house!
The commode features an oblong bowl and measures 16.75’’ high without a seat, which makes it comfortable to use by tall people or seniors. Plus, its water consumption makes the Sanibest one of the best macerating toilets and will save you some money on the utility bills. Solid 3600 RPM macerator blades effortlessly grind large loads of waste and don’t require a lot of maintenance.
As for the installation process, it’s fairly simple: all the parts for a direct installation and the detailed manual are included. However, if you want to conceal the pump behind the wall, you need to purchase an extension pipe separately.
- Removes large loads of waste along with the gray wastewater from other sanitary fixtures
- ADA compliant bowl height (with the seat on)
- Easy to install and maintain
- The extension pipe isn’t included
- Noisy operation
Best Water-Saving Macerating Toilet
- 1.28 GPF water use;
- 3450 RPM blade with improved RazorCut technology for better maceration;
- operates on batteries;
- includes toilet seat;
- removable service panel for easy maintenance.
Another pick for this selection of the best upflush toilets is Ascent II by Liberty Pumps. It uses only 1.28 gallons per flush, which makes it EPA WaterSense compliant, but can blast the waste up to 25 feet vertically, which is wonderful if you need to arrange the bathroom in the basement.
Liberty Pumps toilets are well-known for being incredibly easy to maintain and this model isn’t an exception. The pump has a removable service area for repair and maintenance that doesn’t require a disconnection from the plumbing. Plus, the macerator features a RazorCut technology that allows grinding larger loads of waste without losing efficiency.
Finally, the Ascent II has some surprising extra features such as a built-in alarm, and a control unit with a touchpad that make the setting and use very pleasing.
- Powerful pump that allows for installation below the lateral line
- WaterSense certified and will help you control water use
- Easy to install — doesn’t require cutting into the bathroom floor
- The blades need replacement once per year
- Some users report that the control unit gets dirty and glitches
Best Upflush Toilet for Basements
- two 2’’ inlets for efficient waste disposal;
- has a backflow preventer (a non-return valve);
- includes an extension pipe for behind-the-wall installation;
- 3600 RPM high-speed macerator;
- the 10 PSI pump moves waste up to 15 feet and/or 150 ft horizontally.
The Sanimove is a great addition to this list of the best macerating toilets because of its value for the price. This commode costs less than $1000 and has some awesome features, such as high-speed blades that grind the waste more efficiently, and the 10 PSI pump that can blast it up to 150 feet away and 15 feet upwards. But that’s not everything.
Aside from that, the unit includes all the parts for direct or concealed installation, so you can choose the way that suits you. Also, you can connect the pump to any other fixture via a 1 ½ inlet pipe, and use the pump for the whole bathroom.
You can choose a round or elongated bowl of standard height, depending on your bathroom space. It comes with a soft close seat to prevent slamming and has a quick release latch that makes cleaning easier.
- Powerful pump for successful waste elimination
- The pump can be installed behind the wall
- Soft close and quick release seat for pleasant use
- It isn’t clear whether it’s ADA compliant
- The plastic seat seems to be poorly-made
Best Quiet Macerating Toilet
- 19 ft vertical and 196 ft horizontal discharge;
- 400W pump with 2800 RPM blades;
- 3 inlets in the pump for use with other basins or shower;
- extension pipe included;
- 39 dB noise level, quieter than similar models.
Moving down our best upflush toilet list with this unit by Silent Venus. The name speaks for itself: this commode has a peak noise level of 39 dB, which is equivalent to a library! And it combines quiet operation with 400W and 2800 RPM blades that efficiently grind waste and elevate it up to 19 feet.
Aside from that, you can use the Silent Venus pump with other fixtures. It has three inlets, so you can connect two water basins, or a water basin and a shower and enjoy all the benefits of the bathroom in any room! Plus, the pump is small enough to fit inside the kitchen cabinet!
The unit has an extension pipe, so you can conceal the pump to make it even quieter and the overall interior more lightweight. The pump has a maximum flow limit of 80 liters per minute and is fully automatic, so the maintenance is easy too.
- Quiet but productive operation
- The pump can be connected to three fixtures along with the toilet
- Has a motion-activated light sensor for comfortable bathroom visits at night
- The light module can glitch sometimes
- The toilet is shipped in several packages
Best Clog-Free Upflush Toilet
- 16.75’’ round bowl is good for smaller spaces;
- uses 1.6 gallons per flush;
- 15 ft vertical and 150 ft horizontal discharge;
- includes a soft close seat;
- has 2 outlets for sink and shower.
Our final pick for this macerating toilet review is the SaniPLUS by Saniflo. It has a round bowl that meets the ADA requirements with the seat on and features a powerful macerator that can grind large loads of waste without any clogs.
This model is a great choice for those who arrange a half-bath or look for a commode that fits the smaller bathroom. The pump itself is pretty compact and can even fit inside the cabinet or be concealed behind the wall for a quiet operation.
Another feature that makes the SaniPLUS one of the best macerating toilets is its water-efficient flush. The toilet uses only 1.6 GPF and easily removes large loads of waste. Plus, the pump has two more inlets for other fixtures, so you can enjoy all the benefits of the standard bathroom.
- A highly efficient pump eliminates bulk waste with less water
- ADA compliant toilet seat
- Operates quieter than other similar models
- The pump might not work for the bathtub or laundry
- The round bowl might be short for taller users
Things That Make the Best Upflush Toilet System?
The pump power directly impacts the efficiency of your macerating toilet. It is measured in horsepower or watts. The majority of modern units feature pumps with a ½ or ¾ horsepower motor (2), which is roughly equal to 370-550W. This power is sufficient to discharge the waste 12-15 ft vertically and 150-200 ft horizontally.
Note, though, that the more powerful your pump is, the noisier it will be, so you might want to consider this factor if you plan to arrange the bathroom in a regular room without plumbing, and not in the basement.
The great advantage of the upflush toilet is that its pump can be connected with other fixtures in the room, so you can drain the gray water from the basin or a shower.
The fixtures connect to the pump via inlets, and you need to arrange the bathroom depending on its number. Typically, the pump features 2 inlets that allow connecting two hand basins or a hand basin and the shower.
More powerful pumps can feature three inlets for a bathtub connection, but it’s recommended that you install a bathtub in a regular bathroom, since it can overwork the pump very quickly.
Macerator blades chop up the waste and their quality determines how often you will need to replace them.
Modern upflush toilets have two steel blades in the maceration chamber and with the proper use, they require little to no maintenance and need to be replaced with the chamber and the pump altogether.
However, if you go for a cheaper unit, you might find out that it has a single blade within the chamber, which means that you might need to replace it at some point.
Even the best upflush toilet system still must comply with the water conservation standards. The current federal standard allows for no more than 1.6 gallons per flush for single flush toilets, and the 1.0 GPF /1.6 GPF for dual flush toilets.
Choosing a more efficient commode can save you more than $140 per year in water bills and up to $2,900 throughout the toilet lifetime (3), so make sure that you choose compliant toilets.
Backflow happens when the black water from the toilet returns into a water supply line for some reason. Since toilets are used to dispose of human waste, which is a hazardous substance, the backflow can be dangerous because it can contaminate the freshwater pipe.
Upflush toilets are more prone to backflow, especially when the pump starts to fail, so make sure that you choose the unit with a non-return valve that prevents it from happening.
Macerating toilets tend to clog more often because they fight gravity to remove waste. When this happens, you can unclog the toilet using a non-acidic cleaning product. Pour 1.5-2 liters of the product into the toilet and turn the pump on, so it can enter into the chamber. Then turn the pump off and leave for 2 hours, so the cleaner can break the waste down. If that didn’t help, you need to disassemble the toilet and remove the clog manually.
Generally, macerator toilets don’t require any special maintenance except for regular descaling that helps to remove mineral and organic build-up. You can do descaling once in 6-12 months depending on the water hardness in your region.
First, don’t use any unblocking products, bleach, or highly acidic cleansers. When they enter inside the macerator chamber, they can cause damage to internal parts. You can use products specifically designed for cleaning (for example, by Saniflo). Turn off the pump, then pour 2-3 cups of the product into the bowl and flush the toilet. Leave the product into the chamber for 2-3 hours then turn the macerator on and let it break down the remaining waste.
Yes. The vent reduces the pressure of the sewer gasses and improves the performance of the toilet. You can vent the toilet via a 1 ½’’ vent pipe to the main vent stack of your house, according to your plumbing codes.
Some toilets can grind single-ply toilet paper and cotton disks, but generally, it’s best not to put non-flushable objects down the drain because they can clog the drainpipe, stick to the blades or even damage the pump.