Kohler introduces touch-free toilets for the home

    After moms complained of germy handles, Kohler fixed the flush

    Published: May 05, 2014 05:30 PM

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    Whem moms told Kohler that they worried about the germs on toilet handles, the manufacturer came up with a solution. Toilets that you flush with the wave of a hand. In addition to introducing new models, the company also created a kit to convert existing single-flush toilets to non-touch flush.

    So far, three Kohler toilets include a sensor that lets you wave a hand over the toilet tank to flush: two Cimarron two-piece, comfort-height models, one round-front ($363 before installation) and one elongated ($462); and a one-piece San Souci elongated for $934. Kohler is also offering a do-it-yourself upgrade kit that fits many toilets. The touchless technology needs 4 AA batteries for the electromagnetic signal that detects your hand.

    The kit can't be used on top-mount-flush, pressure-assist, and ballcock-valve models. It also won't work on dual-flush toilets, which let you press one button for liquid waste and one for solid using less water for the partial flushes. 

    Kohler's toilet retrofit kit

    Early-adopters can spend way more for a hands-free toilet, according to our recent report on the connected home. The Lixil Satis smart toilet, $5,685, will flush itself automatically, play music—"Taking Care of Business," perhaps—and clean up afterward with deodorizers and a built-in air purifier. But there's a catch. Read our report for details on this and other smart phone-enabled products.

    We don't expect to test the Lixil Satis anytime soon. But we do plan to purchase one of Kohler's touchless toilets for our next round of testing, scheduled for next year. If you need a toilet now, check out our Ratings of 25 single- and dual-flush models, which include recommended models from Kohler including the Kohler Cimarron Complete Solution K-11813, $250, and the Kohler Cimarron K-3589, $270.  But you'll have to flush them the old-fashioned way. If you haven't had to shop for a toilet in some time, you'll want to also see our toilet buying guide.

    Ed Perratore (@EdPerratore on Twitter)

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