When it comes to things that the germ-conscious want to avoid touching, toilet flush levers likely occupy the top spot. Kohler evidently realizes this, as it now offers a retrofit kit that allows buyers to flush their existing toilet without touching it.
At the heart of the Touchless Flush Kit is a module that mounts inside the tank via a metal bracket. That module projects an electromagnetic field into a space above the tank – a raised decal on the tank lid lets users know exactly where that field is.
When they subsequently pass their hand through the field, the module detects it and responds by raising an arm on its side. That arm serves the same purpose as a flush lever, as a chain runs from it down to the toilet's existing flush system.
The module runs on a set of four AA batteries, that should last for 6 to 12 months depending on how much action the toilet sees. And if users don't want the now-useless flush lever to still be hanging there looking germy, it can be removed and replaced with an included hole cover.
The Kohler Touchless Flush Kit should be on the market soon, priced at around US$100. It's reportedly compatible with "almost any single-flush toilet with a canister or flapper type flush."