Readers of WUWT know that while I have my doubts about the magnitude of AGW and express skepticism and sometimes outright disdain for certain green schemes and products, some of which work about as well as the photo at left, I’ll push a good idea when I see it.
Readers have also seen when I embrace and recommend practical products, especially when the save energy and resources and can pay for themselves. This is one of those products.
Last year when I was touring Australia, I marveled at a simple piece of engineering designed to save water, something obviously necessary in Australia as weather/rainfall patterns differ. It was a simple case of “necessity was the mother of invention”. Living in California, that also has water problems (but not this year) I thought to myself, it would be a great thing to bring back to the USA. Unfortunately I had not the time or resources to develop it myself.
What was this that had me so intrigued? Well, to tell you the truth, I found myself taking apart a toilet in a hotel room in Emerald and photographing the workings. Why? Read on.
Where I live in Chico, California, we depend on ground water wells. Unfortunately, the water table has steadily dropped over the last 150 years as the town has grown, and even though there are years of upticks in recharge, the overall trend is down. Water saving plans that have been suggested include the ubiquitous “brick or water bottles in the toilet tank” suggestion as seen below.
But, given that California hasn’t built any new water storage facilities in 30+ years, the suggestions ring hollow.
What I found in Emerald Australia (and all over Australia I later found) is now available here, and not only saves water, but money too. It’s a win-win. I looked for this product for over a year and when I found it this month on Amazon.com I bought one, installed it and tried it myself, and I’m more than pleased with the result, hence my recommendation.
What is it? A retrofit dual flush system for toilet tanks. Low flow for #1, Full flow for #2.
Yeah I know, it’s hard to get excited about that, except when you do the math and realize how much water and money you are flushing down the toilet needlessly each day. Here in California they get you coming and going. Water use and sewer use, plus loads of taxes and tiers if you go beyond expected usage. Besides watering lawns and taking showers, there’s very little else where water use can be conserved . The toilet is an obvious choice since it gets heavy use.
The problem with the old flush toilet is the mechanism, which is a “one flush fits all” design that hasn’t much changed in the last 100 years. Here’s a typical toilet tank setup.
Note the red flapper, that’s where this new product fits in.
In a nutshell, here’s how it works:
- The flapper is removed, the handle and chain are removed
- A new all-in-one float valve unit is attached to the flapper post and seated onto the flapper seal.
- A new two button flush button replaces the handle, and a remote cable (like an emergency brake cable) goes to the new all-in-one float valve unit.
Install takes under 10 minutes, no tools required, and it works as advertised. The design for retrofit is dirt simple. After getting the first one, and seeing how well it worked, I bought three more for my home and office.
Here’s a pictorial of what it looks like:
Here’s a video from the company about it. There a bit of sensationalism in the imagery, but otherwise it is accurate based on my experience with the product.
Here’s the product flyer:
The kit is pretty simple, and assembles without any need for tools. Pictorial instructions in English and Spanish are provided.
Price? Less than $20, and at that price it will pay for itself in a few months, depending on usage. This system is guaranteed for five years, so I’m pretty sure I’ll not only get my investment back, but a significant return on it. Plus, my kids like it and they were fascinated watching dad replace this thing and now having a pushbutton 1/2 instead of a handle.
Want one? Available here at Amazon Get it, highly recommended.