In the 1980s, most toilets flushed with 3.5 gallons (13.25 L) or more. In an effort to reduce water demands, the U.S. federal government enacted the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct92). With a few exceptions, this legislation required that, by 1994, the flush volume of all toilet fixtures sold in the U.S. be no greater than 1.6 gallons (6.0 L). These models were called Ultra-Low-Flush-Toilets or ULFTs.
Some manufacturers designed totally new toilet models to flush with 1.6 gallons. Others simply modified the tank trim inside their 3.5-gallon toilet models to flush with 1.6 gallons without modifying the toilet bowl - leading, in some cases, to poor flushing performance and customer complaints. Many people questioned whether these "new" fixtures were efficient if they required multiple flushes to remove the waste….a VERY legitimate concern!
Since certification testing offers only a pass/fail grading, it does not afford consumers an opportunity to distinguish between superior and marginal toilet models and, even by 2002, some certified toilet models did not meet customer expectations.
In 2002, a group of 22 organizations in Canada and the U.S. contributed funding to develop a program that would test and rank toilet models based on their flushing performance, and publish the test results – thus enabling consumers to base their buying decisions on flush performance. This testing program was called Maximum Performance (or MaP) Testing.
Unlike certification testing at the time, the MaP Testing program would use realistic test media (soybean paste and toilet paper) and base the minimum performance threshold on scientific data. MaP testing subjected toilet models to progressively larger mass loadings until the model could no longer clear the waste from the bowl in a single flush – a ‘test to failure’. The maximum mass of waste a toilet model can successfully flush (measured in grams) is its MaP Score.
The MaP testing protocol is now widely accepted as the de facto flushing performance test for toilets in North America, and it is included in both the U.S. EPA's WaterSense program (a voluntary program) and the ASME A112.19.2/CSA B45.1 Standard for Ceramic Plumbing Fixtures (mandatory compliance), although both programs only pass/fail test a toilet model at 350 grams. On the other hand, MaP is essentially a ‘test to failure’ up to a maximum of 1,000 grams.
Since 2003, over 5,000 different toilet models have been MaP tested and the results published – flushing performance and consumer satisfaction today has never been higher.
WHERE TO PURCHASE THE SOYBEAN PASTE TEST MEDIA To puchase the soybean test media (cased or in bulk), contact: Gauley Associates, Ltd. 1 Davidson Drive Acton, Ontario L7J 0A4 CANADA Contact: Mr. Bill Gauley 416-677-6193 firstname.lastname@example.org