Best Low Flush Toilet

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Toilet bowlThink about how many times during a day you go to pee. The average person pees about 9 times each day. That’s 9 toilet flushes, not counting the occasional #2 😉 What does that mean in terms of water used per person per day just for going to the bathroom? If you take a look at your toilet, you may see behind the lid an indication of how many gallons per flush it uses. Toilets from the 1950s and earlier averaged 7 plus gallons per flush. Those from the 1960s were built to use 5.5 gallons, and the new 1980s toilets brought the water used in a single flush down to 3.5 gallons. Today, a new toilet is designed to use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush. Therefore, if you’re using an old toilet you may be flushing as much as 63 (7 gallons per flush times 9 flushes per day) gallons of water per day!

How much water does a toilet use compared to overall water use?

Your clothe washing machine (washer), dish washing machine, toilet, and shower use the largest amount of water. But which uses the most? You probably guessed it – your toilet. Therefore it’s crucial, not only for your water bill, but for the environment, that you ensure your toilet is a low flush toilet and is not wasting water.

Is your toilet a low flush toilet?

How to find out if your toilet is a low flush toilet? It’s usually written somewhere on the toilet how much water (how many gallons per flush) your toilet uses. You shouldn’t be above 1.6 gallons per flush, and even that can be vastly improved upon.

What is the best low flush toilet?

How to optimize your toilet’s water use? Depending on your toilet, it’s usually not too difficult to tweak the valve and float in your toilet tank to reduce water consumption. In most cases all you need is a Phillips screwdriver and a flat head. You should be able to adjust when the toilet valve shuts on, letting water into the tank, and you should be able to adjust the toilet float, which will determine when the water flow shuts off, and the tank is considered full. Simply tinker with it a bit and see if you can get it to flush less water.

The poor man’s method for creating the best low flush toilet

If you’re having difficulty, a poor mans way of creating a low flush toilet is to place an empty jug or bottle or other container into the toilet tank. When the tank empties, the container will stay full of water. In essence what this does is decrease the overall volume in the toilet tank that is dedicated to holding water, thereby reducing the amount of water used in each toilet flush.

The pocketbook’s method for the best low flush toilet

If you don’t have time or don’t feel like tinkering with your old toilet, there’s an easier way to getting a very low flush…buy one :). We recommend the SeaLand 510+, which can run on a mere pint of water per flush!

How to Conserve Even More Water with Your Toilet

Whether or not you opt for a low flush toilet, there are still ways that you can conserve water that you use through your toilet. A low flush toilet is a fantastic option, but it should not be the place that you stop in your quest to conserve water while dealing with your waste. You should always keep in mind that technology is just a start to conservation. You should never really solely on the tools you use to conserve water, but should also always be looking for ways that your own habits can change as well.

Understand How a Toilet Works

For many people, the knowledge of how a toilet works is limited to the idea of pushing the lever. Beyond that, most people only know that the waste goes down the drain. The toilet actually works on a weight-based valve. When the bowl of the toilet fills up, it contains enough weight to open the valve. Once the valve opens, the matter inside the bowl is released through the bowel into the drain pipe. As soon as the water in the bowl begins to drain, the water tank begins to fill. This is why you don’t always have to push the lever in order for the bowl to drain. It is important to understand how the toilet works so that you can avoid inadvertently flushing it.

Have you ever wondered what makes the tanks that filling? If you lift the lid from your toilet tank, you’ll notice something that looks like a rubber ball. When the tank empties, this piece drops. As the tank fills, this rubber piece floats on the top of the water and moves up. Once the rubber piece reaches the correct level, the tank stops filling. This is why you don’t always have to push the lever in order for the bowl to drain. It is important to understand how the toilet works so that you can avoid inadvertently flushing it.

Reduce the Amount of Water It Takes to Fill Your Tank

Since the ball inside the tank is the thing that tells your tank stop filling, all you have to do is make the ball go higher faster in order to reduce the amount of water it takes to fill the tank. You can do this by attaching another floater to the bottom of the ball. A light, empty water bottle or jug of some kind can be attached to the bottom of the ball. Instead of the ball floating on top of water empty water bottle or jog will. This will make the ball reached the top faster. As a result the tank will fill sooner with less water.

Use the Toilet for Bodily Waste

Toilets were made to replace things like outhouses and chamber pots. They were not meant for mop water and other liquid waste. You may be pouring the waste in the toilet to avoid clogging your drains, but at the same time, you are wasting water. If you use your toilet only for bodily waste, you will find that you flush it less often and therefore, you use less water. As noted in the information above where you learned how a toilet operates, when you fill the bowl, the toilet automatically flushes. This means that filling the bowl with a bucket of dirty water that doesn’t really need to be flushed is going to cause a flush, whether you want it to or not.

Think about Your Septic System Every Time You Flush

Anyone who has a septic system will tell you that the main goal of a septic system is to limit the amount you put in the system. The less you put in the septic system, the less you have to worry about it. Septic system owners have to have their tanks drained periodically. This can be expensive. For this reason, if not for ecological reasons, septic system owners tend to be more considerate of their waste management. That means they may not flush every single time the toilet is used. In fact, some septic system owners do not even flush the toilet every time it is used. Not only does this avoid wasting water, it also forces septic system owners to be more considerate of waste in the form of tissues and toilet paper. If you do not have a septic system and use city water instead, hence use city sewage, just imagine that you have a septic system and operate under the same premise.

Make Use of Your Compost Pile

When most of us think of compost piles, we think of waste in terms of vegetables and other kitchen scraps. Just like you might use your compost pile in order to reduce waste that eventually ends up in the local dump, you can also use your compost pile to reduce the waste that goes in your septic system. Tissue paper and toilet paper breaks down easily and can be used in the compost pile. Naturally, the best tissues to use are the tissues that are made to break down easily.

Instead of using the toilet to hold your used tissues and toilet paper, consider placing a small trash receptacle with a lid next to your toilet. This will make it easier for you to remember to use the small trash receptacle instead of using your toilet to continue your tissue waste. The reason you want to use a small receptacle so that you can remember to empty it daily into the compost pile.

Even if you are not concerned about the amount of tissue and toilet paper that goes into your waste system, consider the fact that most people flush the toilet as soon as they put anything at all in it. That means that the more ways you can avoid putting in the toilet will naturally lead to less flushing of the toilet.

About The Author:

Sadie is a vegetarian and an avid recycler who loves riding her bike and practicing yoga. She is passionate about the planet, conserving life’s precious resources and making the world a better place for generations to come. A big fan of up-cycling, Sadie loves yard sales and vintage stores to find new uses for old things. She loves to cook, clean and enjoy the many parks and outdoor spaces in DC where she currently resides with her husband.

Her expertise has appeared in many notable media outlets, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Forbes, People, Reader's Digest, Apartment Therapy, and other regional news organizations.

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