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Old 08-25-11, 07:27 PM   #1
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Default So I have a dual flush toilet

It's a conversion. It came with the house. And it bites. # 1 doesn't do anything but waste a little water and #2 doesn't always get all the poop down the shoot. So here I am about 2 minutes ago, going to the lav to take a leak and I find about 40% of this morning's #2 waiting for me. (Please excuse the bathroom talk) As I'm having this experience there is so much water falling from the sky that tens of thousand of people don't know what to do with it. I'm talking about millions of gallons of water. More than enough to get the poop down the tube. Where I live there is no water shortage. It's a surplus. Still I have to pay for potable water to flush my toilet.

I'm about done with that. Even if it costs me a bit more to use rain water to flush the toilet (and flush effectively!!!!) I'm game.

You know I have to pay more by volume for sewer than water? WTF?

There has the be a way to safely collect rain water in massive quantities for these kind if uses.

Any ideas?

Open to the general forum

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Old 08-25-11, 07:33 PM   #2
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I've never heard of a sewer meter that actually measures waste. Up here the charge is based on how much water was used so lower city water usage means lower sewer charge.

Lots of people have done rainwater to the toilet systems so I'll leave that to someone that has actually done it. I do know that some places make it trivial to install other places make it illegal. Here it's legal but the requirements make the systems cost thousands so it's done quietly without permit in most cases.

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Old 08-25-11, 07:56 PM   #3
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Yes. I should clarify. We get billed for sewage based on our city water usage. But the sewage charge is greater by volume.

Beyond that, this is my house and Ill only apply for a permit for building if I want to or if my work is so obvious that I'll certainly get bagged for it. I look forward to learning more.
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Old 08-25-11, 08:15 PM   #4
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I have a dual flush toilet and it works great! it's an American standard, the store I bought it from rated their toilets for how easy the clogged and how well they flushed.
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Old 08-25-11, 08:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryland View Post
I have a dual flush toilet and it works great! it's an American standard, the store I bought it from rated their toilets for how easy the clogged and how well they flushed.
WTF? Well... Mine's a conversion. One of those kits. And I imagine my Mrs. is tired of opening the lid and seeing my solid human waste in there. I know I'm tired or seeing hers, and my daughters, and my eldest son's and my youngest son's.
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Old 08-25-11, 08:34 PM   #6
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Dual flush conversions are hard to tune, $200 for a new toilet that is designed to work with less water is well worth it, I use the 1.1 gallon flush for everything but the biggest meals.
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Old 08-25-11, 09:55 PM   #7
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Hi,
We put the Costco dual flush toilets from WaterRidge in all our bathrooms. They work great -- I never use anything but the low flush and it clears everything everytime. Easy to install, and everything included.

We paid something like $140 for them, but last time I say them at Costco they were down to $98.

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Old 08-26-11, 12:02 AM   #8
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I totally share your hesitation to use potable water for flushing! City water systems should have a second, parallel system with grey/untreated water for flushing, garden watering, etc.

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You know I have to pay more by volume for sewer than water? WTF?
Same here. And in my case the sewage portion of the bill will get even larger, since Poland (ie Poles) will get fined for not building enough sewage treatment plants since joining the EU. But the politicians who wasted that money on 'more important things' don't seem to care
Since the sewage volume is based on the amount of city water used, then to make a rainwater system legal it would have to have an extra meter for the rainwater going into the house. In your case it may be as easy as that, or you might have to go through a bunch of red tape, you should at least find out.

My rainwater system is just a bucket in which we carry water from our barrels behind the house to the downstairs bathroom. But I do plan to make something more permanent and then it'll get a meter During the colder months I sometimes wash my hands over a bucket and use the greywater to flush. A few greywater systems have been discribed here at ER.
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Old 08-26-11, 10:18 AM   #9
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Default Flush Power

I don't want to discourage you from making a rainwater flush system, I think it's a great idea.

I went through the same frustration for 20 years with a poorly working Low-Flush toilet also (it was not even dual flush). I even did a little research on the problem and found out that the early Low-Flush toilets had problems such as you described because the P-Trap that is built into the early toilets was not glazed (unglazed P-Traps were not a problem for standard flush toilets). So the toilet industry's fix was to glaze the inside of the P-Trap and that seemed to fix the problem.

When I did my bathroom remodel, I looked at every toilet I could find and I learned a lot. I noticed that most of the toilet manufacturers have some kind of flush rating system for each model they make, and that the rating system is not necessarily connected to price. You can actually find a cheaper toilet that is rated higher than some of the more expensive toilets.

I also learned that the diameter of the exit hole in the tank plays a big part. If the diameter is large, the water moves out of the tank more quickly and has more kinetic energy to do its job... look for the toilets with the bigger exit hole in the tanks.

I also looked into toilets that have a spring-loaded bladder inside the tank (the spring is compressed by water pressure) and pretty much shoot the poop down the hole, and use astonishingly little water to do it. The flush event is sudden and explosive and final. I thought that it would be really great, but apparently women are frightened by the whole thing. These kinds of toilets can still be found, but you might have to special order. I even found one that was run off of an air compressor and used extremely little water... these were for extremely sensitive environmental areas. I decided against this, too because I didn't want my toilet to quit working just because my air compressor was on the fritz.

I also found out a lot about code for waste pipes, slope and venting (this might actually be your problem, and not the toilet), etc. Turns out that 4" pipe is standard for waste, but 3" is ok. I was so sick of bad flush experiences, that when I re-did all of the waste lines in my house (my house was built in 1892, so it was a no-brainer) I found out what the minimum size waste line was for every particular use (tub, bath sink, kitchen sink, dishwasher, toilet, etc. and went one size bigger throughout. I also found out what slope requirements for the horizontal run was and went a degree or two greater. My waste vent stack was already 4" which is maximum, so I left it alone. I also learned that when waste lines go from horizontal to vertical (down) that a sharp turn is called for, but when lines go from vertical to horizontal, turns with a larger radius, called "90 degree sweep" is used.

Lastly, when I chose my toilet, because my bathroom was so space efficient (AKA: tiny) I used an in-wall flush unit by Geberit with built in dual flush, and I used a Toto wall hung toilet, which had a very good reputation for flush success. As an added benifit, the Toto has some kind of micro silver particles combined with the glaze that discourages microbe growth... it actually works. Sometime, after a month or two there's a hint of color on the bowl wall, but a hand sprayer will clean it right up.

Long story short, since all this work, I have not had a single marginal flush event (when I remember to use the proper flush button).

It really has been worth all the work and expense.

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Old 08-26-11, 10:20 AM   #10
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IMHO those dual-flush conversion is pretty much a waste of time (been there, done that).Here's what I've done during the most recent hype RE: save water and go with conversion (bought the kit from H-D).

Victim: Crane 13L flush toilet --standard, run-of-da-mill stuff gets installed in this area during the 70s. Good flush if you use all 13L of water, decent performance(no clogs).

installed dual flush system: fine-tuned low-flush section to approx 4.6L (per trial-n-error), to flush liquid waste (tested it with a sheet of toilet paper, and achieved a consistent 100% flush-out rate).

observations:

(1) after months of service, determined that not enough water to wash the bowl properly. As a result: I need to scrub the toilet bowl at least 4x more frequently than what I used to.

(2) during low-flush mode: not enough fresh, clean water to replace that "pool" of water and over time, pee stains became apparent. Oftentimes, ended up having to hit that low-flush button twice in order to replace that pool of water with fresh one and that still means unncessary water waste.

Conclusion: 13L cannot be converted successfully 1/2 the time.

Our municipality now has a program to replace regular 13L+ old toilets with low flush (6L or less) and get a 100bux rebate per unit, 2 units total. I've been shopping and doing research as carefully as possible and have observed the following:

(1) RE: most of the Am Std Cadet 3 poor reviews on the internet is pretty much outdated. Apparently, AmStd made some design mistakes originally and has made all the necessary adjustments and corrections to make this particular model a pretty decent unit now. The only trouble remains are:

a. production runs maybe from Honduras or Mexico, and quality may not be consistent from batch to batch. Don't be surprised if you get one that is tilted.

b. H-D has aggressive promotions on AmStd low flush, but the timeframe of the release typically is at the time where I cannot get them (out of town,short on cash reserves, or both)...

c. the ultimate performer is, IMHO, Toto Drake. That thingy can get virtually anything in 1 pass, even with just a mere 6L (or higher end model 4.8L). Unfortunately, the lowest price (my buddy contractor's cost) is 250 a piece...ouch!

2 technical points to be aware of:

(1) the throat (opening) of low flush toilet must be at least 2 and 1/8" or bigger. Anything 2" or less, you are gonna get clogs rather freqently (have a very early version of Crane 6L in my office, and with 2" throat, it tends to get clogged frequently.

(2) Get one with the tank flush opening of at least 3" or better. Newer AmStd Cadet3 are all 3" in openings. All older designs of Cadet 3 are not (and thus the insuffucient water velocity to "flush" the earlier models of low-flush...causing serious performance issues).

(3) Most of these newer designs/redesigns, including AmStd, Toto, etc. use super smooth ceramic glaze coating on their bowls, to reduce possibility of debris trapped on the surface of the bowl and reduce the possibility of clogging/enhance performance. Imagine teflon coating on your bowl?

That's all for now.

Quest-TD

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