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How Much Water Goes Down Your Toilet?

How old is your toilet? It’s not the sort of question that comes up too often because toilets can last forever. But if your toilet was installed before 1992, it’s probably an old water-guzzler and a big eco no-no.

Flushing the toilet accounts for 30 percent of your home’s daily water use, far more than the next big user, your washing machine. There are many ways to reduce your home’s water consumption and installing a new, low-flush toilet is a good way to start.

In 1992 Federal legislation was passed requiring all U.S. plumbing manufacturers and importers to meet or beat water-efficiency standards . Toilets have to come in at 1.6 gallons per flush. (Faucets and shower heads are allowed 2.5 gallons per minute.)

When you go shopping for your new toilet, look for the new dual-flush models.These are even more eco-friendly. Press the lever lightly and you’ll get a half flush of 0.8 gallons. For bigger jobs, hold the lever down and you’ll empty the tank and still only use 1.6 gallons.

If you have an old toilet and no plans to replace it, try this trick to reduce the amount of water you send down your S-bend. Put some sand or pebbles in an empty water or soda bottle, then fill with water. Put the bottle in the water tank of your W.C. Make sure you avoid the flushing mechanism. If there’s room, add a second bottle. Whatever you do, don’t use bricks to displace the water. Bricks can break down over time and will make a mess of your plumbing.

What are you doing to save water in your home? I’d love to hear. Drop me a line at

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