a boots-on-the-ground view of the change that's a-foot

by Tao, Carrboro

Just days after moving in to our 40+ yo house, Jerry and I shared a look – one that said, “This inefficient toilet is driving me crazy!”. Sure, it worked fine, and we had done the brick thing, and we were “letting it mellow”. Even so,   waiting for that tank to fill back up after flushing seemed endless and made me cringe every time. And, I literally lay awake at night, certain that it just had to also be leaking.

I started my research with Umbra on Grist (my fave eco-guru). First, I found out that toilets consume up to 30 percent of household use. And traditional toilets can use up to 7 gallons of water per flush – eek! Then I learned that the newer High Efficiency Toilets have kept improving – they work better and cost less. I searched the Watersense EPA site for a list of choices and found a supply store in my area.

I chose a low-end model that uses only 1.7 gal (they will go as low as 1.2) and has the newer powerful flushing mechanism needed for solid waste. I learned from the shop owner that the problem in the old version was not about amount of water, but about the flush action being insufficient. That has now changed – in fact, this new toilet “whooshes” like nobody’s business!

I spent $350 on my new toilet – an expense not factored into the reno budget, but as they say, the feel-good factor is “priceless”. We still mellow yellow and pee on the earth, but flushing when necessary is now something I can handle.

$350 is not exactly chump change, but worth cutting back somewhere to save enough to do it. In the meantime, check for leaks — you don’t always hear them (my old toilet did indeed leak), use a method of displacing. YOU are making a difference in water conservation. And you’ll enjoy it, I promise.

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One Response to “”

  1. phyllisdiehl Says:

    i would like to tell the people who read about the toilet, is that it works well. i used it and was happy with the “major flush” swoosh, swoosh, by big stuff, good decision,,,,,”is this too gross”

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