I’m a huge fan of automatic doors, auto-flush urinals, no-touch faucets and hands-free towel dispensers. At first glance it would seem that anything automatic would be great, but that is definitely not the case.

My case in point? Auto-flushing toilets.

It may seem odd that I am a fan of auto-flushing urinals, but not enthusiastic about the same technology for toilets. Hopefully the following points will clear up any confusion as I provide three reasons why toilets should not auto-flush.

  1. Splashing – My chief complaint about the auto-flush toilet is that they are too sensitive. In a recent experience my toilet flushed about seven times before I was through with my business. And if you employ the common “hovering squat” technique to avoid contact with public restrooms, the chain flushing may reach a new record entirely.The wasting of water ought to be enough to stop the madness, but the worst part is actually the splashing. You see, in my opinion, a toilet is a one-way device. Nothing should be coming up from the toilet and hitting any part of me, especially my bum. Sure, there are devices that work in a fashion similar to that, but they are not called toilets and I won’t be using one in a public restroom.
  2. Reward Removal – My second complaint is quite likely specific to men. I realize that both men and women are competitive, but men have a tendency to turn everything into a competition. Ask most men and, if they’re honest, the first thing they do when they’re done with their business is to turn around and admire their handiwork. With an auto-flush toilet you never get to evaluate your performance; your work has probably been whisked away about a dozen times before you ever even finish playing the first round of Angry Birds on your phone, much less finished your business.
  3. Unnecessary – My last complaint is that auto-flushing toilets are unnecessary. Trust me, I understand the hygienic idea behind the concept. In fact, the older I get the more germophobic (more accurately, mysophobic) I become. I can feel the germs attack me as soon as I walk in a public restroom. I have often wondered why we have no-touch sinks and no-touch towel dispensers only to find that there is no way out of the restroom except to touch the door handle – the same door handle that the guy who didn’t wash his hands just touched as he left the room. However, in the case of toilets the solution is simple. Simply use the type of flush handle that sticks out to the side and keep it low to the ground. I can flush with my foot. Problem solved. After all, that’s what most of us do with the manual flush toilets anyway.

If you’re still reading this you probably don’t mind that I just wasted an entire post talking about toilets so I won’t bother apologizing for my topic. Hopefully I handled it delicately. You have no idea how hard it was not to dump a bunch of puns into this post.

I would love to hear from you, though. What do you think?


Footnote: This post is part of Duane Scott’s Pleasantly Disturbed Blog Carnival where you write about topics you might not otherwise choose. See the other posts here. Photo is from Wikimedia Commons.

18 thoughts on “It Needs to Be Said: 3 Reasons Toilets Should Not Auto-Flush”
  1. Maybe I’m too adventurous for my own good, but I do actually sit on public toilets, so I’ve never had the problem you describe.

    Of course, I’m not *that* adventurous that I don’t look first, and wipe it down if need be.

    I think I just dare the germs to attack me. Come on! Take your best shot!

    Anyway, I can definitely see the rest of your points. 🙂

  2. I have been known to flush a toilet that required me to exercise my gymnastic abilities. I am. not. touching. that. handle. Even if it means I have to do a karate chop on the wall!

    I’ve wanted to do a post on auto-flush toilets for quite some time. I may have to do it from a woman’s perspective on the next PDT day! 😉 Too funny … thanks for making me laugh.

    1. This is absolutely a hoot.


      So honest too! I mean, what is it about men that they want to admire their handiwork?

      I guffawed when I read that, by the way.

      In efforts not to compare this post to mine, I won’t say it was better than mine… but it totally was!

  3. Ha! This is too funny and too real. Are you trying to add a second day to your BFF list? LOL I have to say, many of our parks and beaches have a pedal on the floor next to the toilet that you use to flush, nice and handy since everyone uses their feet anyway. That’s what they should install more of.

  4. @Dave – I totally admire your bravery. The fact that you’re still alive should emphasize to me how unfounded my concerns are, but I’m still gonna go sanitize my hands just from talking about it. 🙂

    @Brenda – I would love to read a post on this from a woman’s perspective. I’ll be watching for the next PDT. 🙂

    @Danni – I’m always looking for ways to gain another BFF day assignment. 🙂 The pedal on the floor is a genius solution. It’s amazing how simple things can beat technology solutions sometimes.

  5. Hahaha, that was definitely random, but those are good reasons.

    Thinking about toilets, I can’t help but think of all the outhouses here in Ukraine in the villages… there’s no need to flush at all. It all just goes into one big stinky hole… *ahem* 😀

    1. Thanks, Zee! Yeah, I guess that poses challenges all its own, huh? I’ve only used that kind of toilet once. As I recall splashing was my biggest concern there too, but for much different reasons. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Jon! BTW, I read your restroom habits post. Too funny! Thanks for pointing me to it.

  6. The other problem with the auto-flushers is they terrify small children! I’ve known of children in the “training” mode who have been scared away from toilets for a year!! I have been on searches with desperate kids to find a manual flush toilet, no fun!

    Automatic doors in restrooms would be a much better idea!

    1. I didn’t even think about that aspect of it. I wonder if that’s why my first son didn’t potty train until it was almost time to go to kindergarten? 🙂

    1. Ha ha! Thanks for sharing that, Jessica. International toilets present a whole new challenge for travelers. I enjoyed that laugh. 🙂

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