Australia Day: Do Toilets Really Flush Backwards Down Under?

Australia Day: Do Toilets Really Flush Backwards Down Under?

With Australia Day quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to start delving into some rumors about this unique country, specifically their plumbing. One of the most common myths states that Australian toilets actually flush backwards (clockwise). If you have always wondered about this unusual rumor, then read ahead for a closer look at exactly where it came from and why it remains so popular today.

The Coriolis Effect

One of the reasons that this myth is so common is because it is based on a well-known phenomenon called the Coriolis effect. This phenomenon takes place due to the angle of our planet and the speed at which it rotates, but it generally only affects larger planetary systems such as hurricanes and ocean tides. Large moving objects in the northern hemisphere tend to deflect to the right while objects in the southern hemisphere tend to deflect to the left.

The Coriolis Effect and Australian Toilets

In theory, it seems logical that Coriolis forces should affect the direction of water in one’s toilet, but this is not true. In 1962, a researcher named Ascher Shapiro ran a series of experiments at MIT which proved that Coriolis forces do not interfere with drainage water. In fact, it was only after Shapiro removed almost all outside variables could he get neutral bodies of water to turn in one specific direction. When it comes to the rotation of water in a toilet bowl, the single biggest factor is the angle of the water jets.

Do Australian Toilets Ever Spin Clockwise?

In theory, there are a few different situations when a toilet in Australia will spin in the opposite direction as a toilet in the United States and other parts of the northern hemisphere. As stated previously, the easiest way to accomplish this is to alter the angle of the water jets leading into the toilet. While they are only used rarely, some companies do produce toilets with jets that face clockwise, but these toilets will produce a clockwise drain no matter where they are located.

Climate Design Is Here for All of Your Plumbing Needs

No matter which way your toilets flush, the team of plumbers here at Climate Design can help you with all of your plumbing needs including yearly maintenance, emergency repairs, and more. Contact us today to learn more.