Will installing a low-flow toilet cause backup issues in my sewer pipe?

Even though low-flow toilets use less water to flush, they will not will not cause your home’s sewer pipe to back up. 

Toilet flushing accounts for 24% of all indoor water use, which means that there are also other forms of wastewater from your home that flow into the sewer service line and keeps waste moving along. 

Also, current low-flush toilet models have a more efficient flushing system than the early generation of low-flow toilets. 

To prevent blockages, however, it is very important to know what items should never be flushed down the toilet, as they will inevitably clog the sewer system. Find out what all those ‘un-flushables’ are by visiting Metro Vancouver’s Unflushables webpage or the Recycling Council of BC.

There are also other reasons why a sewer pipe could back up, e.g. tree roots have grown into the service pipe, the slope or grade of the service is below standard, or the pipes have deteriorated over time. Underground sewer and stormwater pipes require periodic inspection and maintenance to maximize their service life. 

In general, homeowners are responsible for maintaining the pipes between the house and the property line. It is recommended that home owners periodically have their pipes camera inspected and maintained as required.

If you have any concerns or questions, contact the City’s Engineering and Public Works Department anytime at 604-927-3500. If there are any issues with the portion of the sewer service that you own and maintain, you would need to call a private plumbing company.

Show All Answers

1. Why should I get rid of my 13-litre toilet?
2. How do I know if my old and new toilets are eligible for the rebate?
3. Is there a deadline to apply? How many rebates can I apply for?
4. Do I have to throw away my old toilet? Where can I dispose of it?
5. Do I have to be the registered homeowner to apply?
6. My water efficient toilet was purchased and installed by my plumber. What do I do if I don’t have a receipt for my new toilet?
7. Will installing a low-flow toilet cause backup issues in my sewer pipe?
8. If there are items I’m not supposed to flush down the toilet, where should I dispose of them?