Toilet talk

If it’s yellow

Let it mellow

If it’s brown

Flush it down

I must admit that I don’t make a practise of following that old water conservation slogan.  If I tried it, someone in my house would have a talk with me.

However I do feel somewhat guilty about using 13 litres of municipally-treated water each time I tinkle (which happens more frequently since I turned 50 than it used to).  Water conservation is an important part of natural resource stewardship.  Not to speak of saving money.

So when I found out that the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority is willing to pay me $50 per toilet to replace my old porcelain thrones with new low-flush (6-litre) or dual-flush (6-litre and 3-litre) models, I decided to look into what dual-flush models are available.  Since I was in Saskatoon on Saturday anyway, it was a good excuse to browse through Home Depot.

Unfortunately I was still thinking in mid 1990s prices, from the last time we replaced a toilet.  I’m sure we paid less than $100 for a basic model at that time. On Saturday the only dual-flush toilet that Home Depot had in stock was selling for just under $300 before taxes.  The $50 rebate would help, but I’m still having trouble with the cost of replacing the three toilets in our house.

Apparently there are technical factors to consider when buying a low-flush toilet – such as whether the trap is glazed, or only the bowl itself is glazed.  It makes sense that the brown stuff would clog less in a nice slippery glazed trap than in a rough-surfaced trap, but I admit I had never pondered that fact.  The news story at the link above says a good model would cost in the $400-$600 range.

I guess the $300 toilet at Home Depot must have an unglazed trap.

However it seems to me that it would take a lot of low-flushes to justify the extra cost of a more poop-friendly model.

Lots to think about.  The research will continue.  Meanwhile any practical toilet advice would be appreciated.

(Please excuse my potty-mouth language in this post – I’ll try to get my mind out of the sewer before my next post)

10 Responses to “Toilet talk”

  1. Marc says:

    “each time I tinkle”

    That made me laugh.

    $50, relative to the prices you mention, doesn’t seem like much incentive. As I recall, when we put the high-efficiency furnace in our old house, we got at least 50 or 60% of the cost back, if not more, between provincial and federal programs (which were cut by Harper shortly thereafter…then resurrected–not sure how the new program compares).

    Perhaps these programs should expand to include all aspects of home efficiency, not just energy.

  2. Marc says:

    Oh, practical advice? There’s always the brick in the tank trick.

  3. Jennifer says:

    ummmm….
    yeah really, REALLY disturbing dad. and don’t even try “letting it mellow”

    and i saw what the hay. you spend money on other things… and toilets are an important part of life. :P

  4. Phil L says:

    See, I SAID someone in my house would have a talk with me.

  5. Sarah Loseth says:

    we put a dual flush toilet in the parsonage a few years back and they have not had any trouble with it. I don’t know the quality/type it is, but we got it through a plumber in our church. Also, at less than half the water, it should make a difference on your water bill…

  6. SharonK says:

    “Glazed”!!????? It conjurs up donuts. And that’s all I have to say about that.

  7. Roger Loseth says:

    Just do like I do and go pee behind the shed. Thats what I do to ease my concience about wasting water.

  8. Linea says:

    We put one of these in our remodeled bathroom. It works very well and we don’t have the problem of water running if someone forgets to jiggle the handle when the flapper valve gets old.

    If we ever have to replace another toilet, I’d get one. Don’t know as I would just go out and buy three though. The incentive would have to me a bit higher at today toilet prices.

  9. Phil L says:

    Apparently B.C. offers a $60 rebate for a low-flush and a $100 rebate for dual-flush. That sounds more reasonable than this program. Also it can’t be combined with the Federal-Provincial Energuide home retrofit program.

    Maybe I’ll wait to see what green stimulus spending comes out of the new federal budget early next week.

  10. lisa says:

    you can buy water saving “contraptions” to put in the tank (don’t know the correct lingo for all the stuff that’s in there). We had them in our house back in PA. You can buy them anywhere and they’re alot cheaper then $300.