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Upflush Toilet Systems 101: How They Work & Why You Need One

upflush toilet system
Written by Kai Michel
Last Update: August 10, 2023

When you consider installing a new toilet the conventional way, you stare down the barrel of an excessively expensive and tedious installation process. Most of the time, setting up a new toilet where none previously was is difficult if not impossible due to a lack of piping under the floors.

The amount of complex plumbing required to send the waist from a conventional toilet system into the sewage system is expensive and extensive. It also requires you tearing up your floors to get it done. But there’s an alternative!

In recent years, there has been a rise in demand in the US market for top-quality upflush toilet systems. These toilet systems are designed to alleviate the need for extensive underground plumbing when adding a new fixture to an existing home.

An upflush toilet is a fantastic alternative to the conventional toilet and a definite consideration when looking to add a new toilet to your space.

What Is an Upflush Toilet System?

An upflush toilet system relies on the use of a macerator and pump to move the waist from your toilet and connect it to the main sewage line. It relies on the idea that instead of using ground level gravitational based plumbing.

You can simply shred the waist into a fine consistency and pump it through above-ground PVC piping to whatever point in your house is most convenient to connect to the main sewage line.

This mitigates the need to break up your floors and saves you a lot of money both with the contractor and the plumbing required.

Upflush Toilet vs Conventional Toilet

An upflush toilet is very similar for the most part, to the common and well known conventional toilet. You do your business, you pull the handle, the waist disappears, the bowl refills, and life moves on!

The defining difference between upflushing toilet systems and conventional systems is in how it removes the waist from your toilet and gets it to the main sewage system.

The reliance of the upflush system on the macerator to shred the waist and the pump to move it results in a system that does not require underground sewer lines directly beneath the toilet as would a conventional toilet system.

How Does an Upflush Toilet Work?

The Shredding Stage

When waist is pushed down and behind the toilet where the macerator and pipe is housed in a white box, it enters into the macerator first. This shredding unit consists of well-developed blades that rotate very quickly and grind up all the yuck into a finer more easily moveable consistency.

The Pump Out Stage

Once the macerator has done its work, the waist is pressured into the pump container which consists of a membrane.

When the waist fills to the level of that membrane the pump activates and shoots all the waist into a 1 inch thick pipe through a non-return one-way valve.

This pipe travels whatever the needed length is from your toilet to the main sewer line, delivering the waist into the main system.

The Ready for Business Stage

Once the waist has been pushed through and the pump turns off, the one way valve seals, preventing any grey matter from creeping back in. the macerator is now empty, as is the pump, and the toilet is ready to repeat the process.

Waist is not housed for long periods of time and there need be no fear of accumulative bad smells or wear and tear on the system from holing waist for too long. By the time the toilet bowl is back to its standard cleaned-out state, the grey matter is long gone.

Why Do You Need an Upflush Toilet?

1. Freedom to Choose

The first and most important thing to remember about an upflush toilet is that you can stick it practically anywhere. You may have some unused space in the basement or below the staircase that you want to turn into a bathroom.

This may very well be impossible or at least extremely expensive if you install a conventional system like the one-piece toilet. An upflush system shows its colours with its ability to be placed almost anywhere! This gives you total freedom to choose.

2. There’s No Need to RIP up the Floor

Upflush systems rely on a power source, a water source, and PVC. The use of these pipes means you don’t have to tear up the floors to lay plumbing. Simply extend the pipes as far as you need until you can connect it to the main plumbing lines from above.

3. It’s an Easy Install

These systems are far easier and quicker to install than a typical toilet. It’s well within reach for even a novice DIY enthusiast to install this system alone by simply following the installation guide provided.

4. There’s a Decent Warranty

The system and pump come with a warranty that covers you for years and as such you need not fear costly fixes.

5. It’s Easier on the Budget

Upflush toilets are similar in cost to normal toilets when talking about the actual toilet fixture but when one accounts for the extensive plumbing, digging, and potential do-overs involved in a conventional system installation, it quickly becomes quite clear that upflush systems are far cheaper overall.

6. You Can Add a Basin, Shower, and Bath

If your desire is to create an entire bathroom, the upflush system accommodates for it. You simply connect the outflows of the basin, shower, or bath, to the system through provided joints, and you’re good to go, no below ground plumbing required!

7. It Need Not Be Permanent

These systems are as easy to take apart as they are to put together. If you need a toilet in a particular area for a temporal amount of time for, let’s say, extended guests or family visitors, you can easily remove the system once you have no more need for it.


Strictly speaking, if you plan to permanently remodel and the main plumbing lines are right there, you may not need an upflush system.

But if the area you plan to put a toilet in is far from the main line, you are doing this for temporary reasons, you want to save on install costs, or you want the thrill of doing it yourself, an upflush toilet system may just be perfect for you.

Whatever the case may be, my hope is that you are now well informed enough to make a decision that best achieves your goals!

About the author

Kai Michel

Hello, this is Kai, addressing homeowners in need of some help with their home renovation projects. I’ve worked on numerous toilet repair projects over the years that incorporated a wide variety of tasks, from repair to renovation and maintenance. Besides acquiring a degree on the legal codes and procedures, I gathered vast insights into bathroom settings, toilets, showers, fittings, and other household appliances, fixtures, and components. This helps me guide my clients through their home improvement and interior development plans. Since maintenance is my area of expertise, I can assist people in all phases of the actual ‘improvement’ process. To get my messages even further, I contribute to this site through my blog posts. Check my content here for expert suggestions!

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