Brondell believes U.S. consumers are ready for high-tech toilets

Brondell believes United States consumers will have an appetite for high-tech toilets. The San Francisco Chronicle interviews the co-founders of Brondell, a San Francisco firm that this past week began selling its Swash toilets, which I noted in an earlier post. The co-founders bring technology credentials to the business. David Samuel started Spinner.com and Scott Pinizzotto is a former Sony Corp. engineer.

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Unusual drain discoveries

Roto-Rooter released their five most unusual drainpipe discoveries in 2005. Just hope you don’t have these items waiting for you down the drain.

1. A Vicksburg, MS, crew found a live Civil War cannon shell believed to be from the 1861 siege of Vicksburg.
2. In Greensboro, NC, a crew had to rescue a cat from the sewer.
3. In Bloomington, IL, a plumber removed several GI Joes and Matchbox cars that a young boy sent down the toilet.
4. Police in Canada had a crew retrieve a large stash of drugs that a suspect had just flushed down the drain.
5. In Sacramento, CA, a crew had to pull from a business’ toilets a large number of miniature liquor bottles after an employee who had been drinking on the job flushed them down the toilet.

Suction-less plunger

April 2017 Update: The New Plunge seems to be discontinued and is no longer mentioned on the S&K Manufacturing website.

A plunger replacement hit the market in June. The New Plunge, by S&K Manufacturing, is a piece of straight, flexible plastic that fits into the toilet drain. According to a press release [expired link removed], the New Plunge is easier to clean and store than a traditional plunger.

S&K recommends the following techniques for the New Plunge:

1. Prior to flushing: New Plunge allows you to prevent your toilet from clogging by using the “slice-and-dice” method on waste so that the toilet will not clog.
2. After flushing: Use the New Plunge as you would a plunger.

Recent articles on bathroom design

The San Francisco Chronicle had five articles Wednesday on bathroom design:

* Big style in small baths
* Bathing beauties
* Is a big bathtub always necessary?
* Picking a shower can be a dirty task
* And our favorite, Finding the right toilet

The last article, as you might have guessed, offers a series of tips on matching a toilet to the style of your bathroom. Matching a bathroom’s style is probably the number one consideration in shopping for a new toilet and there are a large number of manufacturers that should make that task easy. There are also a number of special features available for toilets, from built in bidets to designs to fit into unique spaces.

If your bathroom is small, Eljer makes the Patriot; it comes with a triangular tank that tucks nicely into a corner of a room, thereby allowing a few more inches of clearance.

Another feature to consider when going toilet shopping is the “skirted” or concealed trapway style. By the nature of their design, Mansfield’s Americana, Toto’s Nexus, American Standard’s Calla II and Kohler’s San Raphael, to name a few styles, limit grime and dust build up along the sides of the bowl.

Among some related items new to the market is the no-flush wall urinal made by the Waterless Co. of Vista (San Diego County). Brondell, a San Francisco company, recently introduced its innovative bidet-style seat. The Swash, according to Brondell, fits on 95 percent of existing toilets. It is available at certain retail stores and on Home Depot’s Web site.