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Toilet Flush Plates & Cisterns: Electronic, Mechanical or Pneumatic?

Toilet Flush Plates & Cisterns: Electronic, Mechanical or Pneumatic?

January 8, 2020
Toilet Flush Plates & Cisterns: Electronic, Mechanical or Pneumatic?

A commonly asked question when deciding on a toilet flush plate is what is the difference between electronic, mechanical and pneumatically operated buttons. Not surprisingly, most people are not aware these are even a choice and this is why an article like this is important for people to read prior to making their choice. Each option has their advantages and disadvantages, however design and previous experience are usually the determining factors. Below we go through what each choice will mean and hopefully shed light on the best choice for you.


Electronically operated toilet flush plates have been around for sometime but our now becoming smaller and more aesthetically pleasing. Electronic operated buttons reduce the brands you can purchase from and reduce the cistern you can choose. Sometimes this can be a problem for those who have specific measurements the cistern must fit within. Electronic cisterns have the major advantage of not leaving fingerprints as you don’t actually touch the button, you simply wave your hand across the half or full flush area. For this very reason, it is the most hygienic choice available and requires the least amount of cleaning. Electronic buttons also ensure an automatic flush at designated intervals which keeps the bowl clean and ensures the bowl is flushed for the forgetful few. Furthermore, electronic toilet buttons have an automatic soft lighting mode which make them easy to navigate in a dark room. The two main brands who offer an electronic push plate is TECE and Parisi who both of which are fully operational and on display in the showroom.


Mechanically operated toilet flush plates are the most diverse and popular option available. In terms of colour, size and shape, mechanically operated cisterns are always the first choice due to their reliability, ease of service and more cost effective approach. Coloured push plates are becoming more and more popular and mechanically operated cisterns always have the most choice. All brands start as mechanical and then branch out to both pneumatic and electronic. In terms of servicing, most plumbers are familiar with mechanical cistern operations and allow the widest choice of Cistern sizing and shape. Mechanical is not the choice of toilet flush button if you require your cistern to be away from behind the actual toilet i.e. in a ceiling space.


The pneumatically operated flush plates are operated by hoses which move air through the buttons and into the valve. Having hoses allows the cistern to be placed further away the toilet pan including in ceilings, side walls and within cupboards. This is what is known as a remote located cistern. Pneumatic buttons can be also be two singular buttons without a backplate and from a design standpoint, achieves greater minimalism. The drawback of a pneumatic cistern is that you require access to the cistern if you don’t use a backplate. Two singular buttons are also easier to plate in coloured finishes which makes it a strong option when trying to match different coloured tapware. The main brands who do pneumatically operated cisterns in Parisi, Valsir, VOLA and OLI.

If you would like to know more about these choices, please call us on 0295504628 or