Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dual Flush Toilets - Save Water - Save the Planet

One major area I talk about here on Saving Green is water conservation. There are many area that water conservation touches. Part of it has to do with global warming because newer weather patterns are taking the rain to un-populated areas and leaving populations in drought. Also there is the energy needed to pump the water to your house for use (remember that energy is required even if you have town water, you just aren't directly paying on your bill, but 's built in!). Another area is over population because more and more people are in new homes that are drawing more and more water for a reservoir that is holding less and less water.

Dual Flush Toilets

I found a really cool item that can help when it come to home water conservation and ease the issues with all of the above areas. I've actually heard about these for a little while now but when I saw a conversion kit at the end of the isle at Home Depot this weekend for $20, I knew it was just time!

So the basic concept is that you need much less water to flush urine and a small amount of toilet paper then you do solid waste. I know it sounds gross but when you get over the factor of using bathroom words, it comes down to very basic water conservation. You existing toilet is going to use the same amount of water every time it flushes no matter how much water it really needs. Typically toilets that were manufactured after 1994 use 1.6 gallons per flush (before 1994 I believe it was 3.5 gallons - Yikes!). For solid waste 1.6 gallons is appropriate, but for urine much less will do the trick.

Dual Flush Installation

So I bought the kit for twenty bucks. It claimed that I could install it in 10 mins with no tools. Well I won't say that is really true but it was very basic. I ended up using a screwdriver and a pair of pliers (I also used a battery powered sawzaw but that was just because I didn't want to waste time carefully taking out the old handle and I knew my kids would think it was really cool :).

You just take out the old flapper and handle. Follow a few basic steps and pop in the new mechanism and flush button. Read the directions and do a few basic and quick adjustments to make sure it's flushing how you'd like. Wa La!

There is one round button split into two. The top is for a "quick flush" and the bottom is for a "full flush". Simple as that. In the short run I probably used more water because my kids kept testing/playing with the new flusher. But starting tomorrow we are going to really save some solid gallons.

How Much Will I Save?

They don't give specific stats as to how much the quick flush uses vs the full flush. Although like I say a regular toilet uses 1.6 gallons so I would guess the full flush is the same. I would also ballpark that the quick flush is about half that. Which means every time someone in my family uses that bottom compared to the old flusher we are saving about .8 gallons. Think about how many times you toilet gets flushed in a day. That savings is going to add up!

I have a drilled well so for me the big money savings is the savings on my electric bill because my well pump will kick on less often. But also from a planetary standpoint that is quite a bit less water I'm going to be pumping out of the ground each year.

The box claims that the average family of four will save 15,000 gallons per year if they install this on their most used toilet in their house. They also say that is enough water to be equal to stacking water bottles 45 miles high!

New Dual Flush Toilets

This technology is really catching on. Recently I stayed at a Marriott in Baltimore, MD and noticed they toilet was a dual flush. You can also pretty commonly now buy new toilets with dual flush technology as well.  If you are going to by buying a new toilet anyway then you should pull the trigger on the new technology. Your water/electric bill will be lower and you'll be doing your part to save the planet.

1 comment:

Environmental Training said...

We should save water everyday. Acting and taking responsibility in an environmental awareness activity is really an act that should be shared with others. I hope everyone will do the same and create a clean and green environment for the future generations. You can as well help and be trained and take the course, Wastewater Training.