Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Turn your old toilet into a dual flush

First, let me state for the record, that I have absolutely no association or contact with this product or company. I haven't seen it in action or know how well it works, but wanted to let you guys know about it.

I was listening to a story about dual-flush toilets on NPR and looked into this option because of the cost and "recycling" of your current toilet. That said, let me tell you what the heck I'm talking about.

It's called the Perfect Flush and it's from Brondell. Basically, it works on your current toilet and, after installing a few doodads onto the tank, turns it into a dual-flush toilet. Half-Flush for urine and TP and the like and Full-Flush for when you need more gusto.

One of the benefits of converting your current toilet is that it will not only save you time and money, but your toilet won't end up in the landfill. Now, I'm not going to claim that this thing will allow you to flush tennis balls, potatoes and t-shirts, like the ones features in the NPR story, but if you don't want to replace your entire toilet and like the idea of a dual-flush toilet, then this thing might be worth checking out.

Do you have a dual flush toilet? If not, how do you go about saving water when it comes to flushing?

22 comments:

Jason C said...

I have a toilet tank sink from Sinkpositive.com and love it. I've wanted a dual-flush toilet for a long time, but I've heard lackluster things about retrofit kits. Hopefully this one is legit.

I use the old water hippo method - take an old water bottle or container 48-64oz - and put a rock in the bottom of it. It'll fill with water and when you flush - that water is saved...like putting a brick in the toilet - kinda.

The Mom said...

That sounds neat, but we tend to do the low tech thing. If its yellow let it mellow, if its brown flush it down. The only time pee gets flushed by itself is if we have company. I know some think that's gross, but it works for us.

Carla said...

Thanks. I'll show this to my husband. Actually, since we use different bathrooms I often don't flush unless it's "serious".

Toria said...

The toilets in this house were already dual flush when we bought it.

However, I recently read a story on a blog from someone local to me that she'd just had her toilet replaced with a dual flush. It was done by our local water supplier (Sydney Water), instead of charging upfront, the bill is spread over the next four water bills, and the original toilet is crushed for road base, so no landfill. I thought it was a good sign that a water company had actually come up with a practical idea

pigbook1 said...

I have tried the if yellow let mellow method and I swear (could be my brain) I had to clean the toilet 3 times as often, so it isn't my fave method. @Jason that sinkpositive thing looks AWESOME! I am going to look into it.

Just trying to be green said...

It's "if it's yellow let it mellow..." for us

Condo Blues said...

The toilets in my Condo were made after 1994 which means they use the mandated 1.6 gallon per flush standard. I don't see the need to retrofit them. Some areas of the country, mandated their use in the 1980's so you may want to check on that before you do anything to your toilet to make it low flow because it might be already!

Aydan said...

The toilet tank sink looks pretty cool. You'd still keep another sink, though, right? I'm not sure I'd be up for brushing my teeth over the toilet tank.

I do the mellow-yellow thing, too. (Wasn't that a song?)

Robj98168 said...

Jason- My only problem with a Toilet tank sink is the lack of warm water.

This could be a great item- If it works. Unfortunately, the only way to jusge it is to buy one and try it. Right now Home Depot has a Dual Flush toilet on sale for $158. If your water district is part of the Cascade Water Alliance you can get (or should have sent to) a $30 off coupon for the same toilet. So that brings the cost to $128. Then you can take the old toilet out and use it as a planter in your front yard. As far as your pipes go- if you think that a 4 gallon flush empties everything to your septic or the sewer line- Think again. As a plumber I can tell you it does not. Me personally, I would probably try on of these dual fush retrofit systems, see how it works. From reading the literature on their website, it looks like an electornic flush valve. In my case my main(or hallway bathroom) It would be advantageous to use as I have one of those stupid storage cabinets That has a shelf over my tank, making a regular dual flush hard to access.

Robj98168 said...

OOPs forgot to tell you how I save water without flushing-
1- Mellow-Yellow
2- Pee in the shower
3- Whiz Outside(preferably on the compost bin) Been Hangign with the Dog too long!

Two Flights Down said...

I had never even heard of this until I came to Japan. The flusher dial went two ways. One had the kanji for big, and one had the kanji for small. I was completely confused. When I found that my apartment toilette was like that, I began using the small flush more and the big flush only when the small wouldn't cut it. You also wash your hands with the water that is going to fill the tank for the next flush. Nice.

Some toilettes in public bathrooms here even have a flush that just makes the noises of flushing rather than actually doing anything. It's for those who tend to flush the toilette while they're doing their thing because they don't want people to hear. I never even knew that people did that until I came here. I mean, seriously?

Many toilettes also have a bidet and small shower for washing down there. Ours doesn't have that, but the toilette seat does warm up. May sound impractical, but this is the country that doesn't use central heating. Small things like that become important up in the northern parts.

I still prefer the squat toilette, though...

Billie said...

wow! 99$

I can put that on the list to think about but because my water usage is free to me 99$ is not exactly in the budget just to 'save the environment'

I was really excited about this until I saw the price.

zip said...

We've changed one toilet to dual-flush by changing the "insides". The other one has a button that you can push a second time to stop the flushing. We changed that one first, before the dual-flush insert was available for our model toilet.

Anonymous said...

We have a dual-flush toilet in our powder room and it really does save water usage...but being in the powder room where guests might happen by and see the results of "if it's yellow, let it mellow....." habits, it actually gets flushed more often than the upstairs toilet so I don't know what the net savings are.

Greenpa said...

"Do you have a dual flush toilet?"

Heck no!

"If not, how do you go about saving water when it comes to flushing?"

Never, ever, flush at all! Obviously!

:-P

Shymom said...

We mellow the yellow and use water collected from the shower to flush the solids.

pottygirl said...

A regular toilet is not designed to flush paper and solid waste with reduced amounts of water, so the likelihood of clogging or having to flush twice after installing a water displacement device increases. Standard US toilets clear the bowl with siphon technology, so the diameter of the trap way has to be a small as possible http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z6pymOet7g&feature=channel_page.) If you are serious about saving water, want a toilet that really works and is affordable, I highly recommend a Caroma Dual Flush toilet. Caroma toilets offer a patented dual flush technology consisting of a 0.8 Gal flush for liquid waste and a 1.6 Gal flush for solids. Caroma, an Australian company set the standard by giving the world its first successful two button dual flush system in the nineteen eighties and has since perfected the technology. Also, with a full 3.5” trap way, these toilets virtually never clog. All of Caroma’s toilets are on the list of WaterSense labeled High Efficiency Toilets (HET’s) http://www.epa.gov/watersense/pp/find_het.htm that qualify for several rebate programs currently available throughout the US as well as LEED points. Please go to http://www.caromausa.com for more detailed information or visit
http://www.ecotransitions.com/howto.asp to see how we flush a potato with the half flush (0.8 gallons), meant for liquid waste. To learn more about toilets you can also visit my blog
http://pottygirl.wordpress.com/. Best regards, Andrea Paulinelli

Michelle said...

The plumbing in our complex is nearly 30 years old and notoriously bad. Not sure what the problem is, exactly. When we were upstairs we had to pay attention every time we flushed #2 to make sure it wasn't going to clog and overflow. Now that we're downstairs it's much better but still not great.

ANYway, we mellow the yellow (me more than DH), sometimes even when certain company is here (friends who know I'm nutty crunchy, lol). I've pondered what I could do about the brown. Graywater could be difficult for us logistically but I've considered it.

Thank you, SHYMOM, for the obvious answer for us! Save the bathwater! I'm totally doing that starting with the next bath. It means the bathwater will go three ways--DH and I almost always use the same water for a bath, and now I can keep from just letting it down the drain. Ooooo, our bathroom is getting crunchier and crunchier! lol (washable wipes, washable pads, no paper products, natural cleaners...)

Rosa said...

Haha, "nearly 30 years old". Ours is 106 years old, though the toilet is significantly newer and I *think* the outflow was replaced in the '60s when the laundry room was "updated".

We let it mellow, and we used to use bathtub water, til the kiddo learned to walk...i wonder if 4 is old enough to trust him not to fall in and drown? It's a deep, clawfoot tub but it's never more than half full even after a long shower (poor kiddo gets to bathe in about 2 inches of water, 3 if he's chilly.)

Aydan said...

In the school library today, I noticed that dual-flush systems had been installed in one of the bathrooms in the last few months. The lesser flush still seemed pretty powerful, but I'm not sure it used all that much water.

Toilets said...

Water conversation is going to be a major issue in the near future. The government is predicting 46 states will face water shortages over the next 5 years. Toilets waste more water than any other appliance in the home. Low flow and dual flush toilets are great products for conserving water.

Katy said...

Agreed with The Mom, #1 doesn't get flushed very often, usually only with company or if I'm going to be out of the house for more than a day or two. My grandmother always did this and I never thought anything of it, so I just followed suit and now realise it was a pretty smart decision on her part. I'm not opposed to an outdoor bathroom when I settle down, though... outdoor bathroom & shower combo would be nice.

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