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High Tank Pull Chain Toilets 2019 (Reviews & Buying Guide)

Toilets with a high tank and pull chain mechanism offer consumers a more traditional option for their bathroom decor. Some people would describe them as old fashioned, or even victorian. But tastes have changed over time and they are slowly becoming fashionable once more. You could argue that they give the room a bit of character in comparison to the more modern toilets with the fancy amenities. But ultimately, it will come down to individual tastes. What's aesthetic for some, will be a bad look for others. If you like this style, our guide will help you understand everything you need to know about them.

Our pick

Renovator's Supply 15928

The 15928 is constructed in a ceramic material. It's elongated shape bowl offers the necessary support for our bodys weight, and enough space for our legs to feel comfortable. The height can be adjusted too, with heights between 74 and 78 inches possible.

Like many competing brands, it includes a layer of gloss on the bowl which helps stop people staining and scratching the surface, keeping it looking as good as new.

It will fit a standard 12 inch rough, and all the required mounting hardware comes with it.

Compare elevated tank toilets

For those of you going for that early 19th century vintage look, we've hand picked a few of great options below that could really spruce your home up.

Renovator's
Supply
Barclay
Victoria
Renovator's
Supply
Model number 15928 2-413WC 17800
Rough in 12" 12" 12"
Flush type Gravity Gravity Gravity
Touchless
Trip lever
Button
Chain .
GPF 1.6 1.6 1.6
WaterSense
ADA
Rim height Height without seat
15" 15" 15"
Elongated
Round
Square
WSA Water surface area
Water level Rim to surface
Dimensions 27.5 x 18.2 x 74" 19.5 x 9.2 x 70" 27.5 x 18.2 x 78"
Weight 92.6 lbs 108 lbs 98.1 lbs
Concealed trap
Skirted
One piece
Two piece .
Intelligent
Floor mount .
Wall mounted
Colors Bone, Biscuit White White, Green
Seat
Soft close
Bidet
Rating 82% 81% 81%

How do they work?

If you read our guide on how toilets work, you'll become familiar with the various parts and how water gets transferred from tank to bowl creating a siphonic action. These operate very similarly. The tank being elevated means that there is potential for increased water pressure as once the stored water is released, it's coming from a greater height.

Why should you get a overhead toilet?

You'd imagine that because these have such a striking design, with the tank above, that there would be some greater, practical purpose. However, the reality is that the majority of people would only choose this because of how they look, or nostalgia. Which is a perfectly good reason. However, standard gravity fed units are more than capable of handling waste in day to day residential usage. In the past, you could of made the argument that they improved water pressure and flow into the bowl, but technology and flush mechanisms have come a long way since then.

Pros

Aesthetic - Some of them look fantastic. They can certainly give off an exclusive feeling, especially when bathroom hardware and fixtures seem so commercialized and alike these days.

Water pressure - While water pressure won't be an issue for most building, there are situations where you could benefit from the extra pressure this design brings. The force of gravity sending water down the pipe from that height can be a plus.

Ease of use - Pulling the chain is very user friendly and simple to use. It may also be more accessible for some than some buttons or trip levers. Depending on the model you choose, you may also be able to extend the chain to a height you're comfortable with.

Cons

Water dripping - Water from leaks, or sweating from condensation can be problematic. This water can drip down onto you while you're sitting on the seat. Not the most pleasant of thoughts.

Difficult to install - Getting the tank up there requires some heavy lifting. Not as easy as it sounds. They'll typically be hooked onto to studs drilled into the wall. It may even be a job for two people.

Old fashioned toilet reviews

We take a closer look at the features and capabilities of each of our picks above. Are they right for you? Find out below.

Renovator's Supply 15928

The 15928 is a two piece toilet, complete with an elongated shape bowl for improved comfort and space. It's got a distinct Victorian style that takes you back in time. Some people would say that these unique attributes make a refreshing change to the standard options on the market.

Two aspects of it are adjustable. The rough in and height. You can choose between 12" to 15" rough, and between 74 and 78" in height. Just make sure your bathroom ceiling can accommodate it.

The tanks projection is 10" and the bowls between 27-1/2" to 30-1/2" depending on your rough in. Not the shortest depth, but compact enough for the majority of washroom sizes.

Once the chain is pulled, the tank releases 1.6 gallons of water through the bowl. While this can't be classified as meeting the Environmental Protection Agencies standards, it's still a significant improvement on older 3.5 gallon options. This could still mean you save thousands of gallons a year, depending on what you currently have installed.

The bowl isn't quite comfort height, measuring 15 inches from the base to the rim. Even if you add in a seat, it will fall short of this mark. However, if you decide to purchase a specific piece of equipment such as a seat riser, you'll most likely get to the 17 inches range required.

Keep in mind that you'll need to buy a seat separately, preferably elongated in shape. You should make sure you plan your budget for accessories and extras like this, it's so easy to go over budget.

Barclay Victoria 2-413WC

The 2-413WC is made by Barclay Products. Similar to the 15928 above, it's two piece, which means the bowl and tank are separated and require a bit of work to piece them together. However, instead of having an elongated bowl, this one is round front, with a reasonably projection of 28 inches. Obviously there are smaller options out there, but this is still a low profile bowl.

It will fit a 12 inch rough in, which is seen as the most common and industry standard rough size. It also has a standard bowl height, which some people prefer, but it's not designed for senior citizens and the disabled.

The gravity fed, washdown flush mechanism sends 1.6 gallons through its two inch flush valve, into the bowl to remove waste through the trap to the waste outlet. This isn't the most environmentally friendly unit, but it gets the job done. And with the glazed finish in the trapway, less waste will adhere, leaving fewer stains, streaks marks, or bacteria behind.

Its dimensions are as follows: 19.5 by 9.2 by 70 inches. The tank height is adjustable between 60 and 72 inches. This is the measurement from the back of spud bowl up to the bottom of tank. The seat isn't included.

Renovator's Supply 17800

The 17800 has some beautiful green trim along the tank and bowl, great for those looking to add a bit of character to their homes. It's constructed in porcelain and is finished in a bright white, which is a color known for making a room appear bigger than it is.

Like the two other picks above, you can make slight adjustments to its height. The official documentation says that this can be anything from 74 to 78 inches tall. It also contains the important hardware and fixtures like the L pipe which is rust resistant and constructed in brass.

The height of its bowl is 15", its width is 14.75", and depth between 27-1/2" to 30-1/2". Why does this vary? Because not every bathroom will have the same plumbing in place or be able to fit on a standard 12" rough in. So this accounts for it potentially extending further from the wall.

It's elongated in shape, and operates on a single flush system, pushing down 1.6 gallons of water. Again, we emphasize that these types of toilets will never be as efficient as the WaterSense units. But they will generate the required pressure to rinse out the bowl and prevent it from clogging up.

Other things to consider

Plumbing codes - Plumbing codes will vary quite a bit from state to state. Before you make a purchase, you need to be familiar with any regulations, codes, and laws. It's not guarenteed that every product will meet these codes where you live.

Rough in - Before you begin shopping, you need to have an accurate measurement of your rough in. This is the distance from your wall to your waste outlet. If you're unsure how to do this, we've put together the following guide: How to measure my toilets rough in?

Shape of bowl - The shape you choose can have an effect on the bowls depth and size. If you have a small bathroom, this can cause issues. For example, there may not be enough clearance on either side, leaving you feeling closed in and cramped. That's why we recommend round front bowls for people wanting to save floor space, and elongated ones for people prioritizing comfort. You can have a combination of both, but by following this general rule, you can't go far wrong. Learn more about the differences between round and elongated toilet bowls here. Alternatively, you can find some useful information about bowl depth here: 26 inch depth, 25 inch depth.

Is it ADA compliant? - How accessible is the design? This can be determined by looking at the Americans with Disabilities Act and the regulations associated with it. This covers bowl height and other important specifications that are designed to make life easier for those who need it. Typically, the absolute minimum height of an ADA bowl is seventeen inches.

How much water does it consume? - In the past, 5.0 and 3.5 gallon tanks would of been a common sight. However, nowadays, technology and innovations have improved to such a degree that bowls can be cleared fully with less than 1.28 gallons of water. These are known as low flow, or WaterSense labelled, and are a eco friendly alternative to 1.6 GPF units as demonstrated by our water savings calculator.

Outlet - You'll have a decision to make regarding the location of the waste outlet. For some of you, this won't be too difficult, as you'll already have the necessary plumbing in place through the floor. However, others may want to choose between a rear outlet and floor one. A floor waste outlet is what the majority of toilets are installed on, therefore, there is plenty of choice available. Alternatively, a rear waste outlet is not as common and utilizes air pressure to remove waste out the back. Both are viable options. Air assist ones typically have a stronger flush. Gravity fed ones are quieter but still achieve a high level of performance.

Consumer feedback - It's so easy to buy something you're not happy with. Manufacturers and shops draw you in with all kinds of promises about what a product can and can't do. But how do you filter out the sales pitches, and get down to brass tacks? It's quite simple really, read what other buyers are saying online. There are numerous shops, forums, and stores you can do this. Lowes, Wayfair, and Home Depot are a few of our favorites. Disgruntled customers are more than happy to write about a products flaws or defects, so use that information to your advantage and ensure you avoid the products of a poorer quality.

Conclusion

Pull chain toilets with a high tank are very unique. In most modern households, you won't find many people that have them fitted. So, if you want your bathroom to be a bit different, use them to your advantage. You could even adopt other victorian era sanitary ware like clawfoot tubs to complete the overall theme. Keep in mind that you'll need to be aware of your ceiling height, and the limitations you have in terms of space. It won't be the most suitable choice for everyone, and they can be time consuming to install, but for those that have the right prerequisites in place, they can really help your washroom stand out from the crowd.