High Efficiency Toilets

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Did you know that older, inefficient toilets are responsible for most of the water wasted in homes today?  In fact, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, if these inefficient toilets were to be replaced with WaterSense labeled toilets, we would save nearly 2 billion gallons of water per day across the United States!

WaterSense is a program that is run by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to certify products as being "water friendly".  In order to carry the WaterSense label for toilets, the toilets need to be "high-efficiency" which means that it needs to have an effective flush volume not to exceed 1.28 gallons per flush.   This is a 20% savings in water usage over the current maximum 1.6 gallons per flush that became mandatory pursuant to the 1992 EPAct.

There are two basic types of high efficiency toilets that you can choose from.  The first being a low flush toilet that meets or exceeds the 1.28 gallons per flush each time they are used regardless of whether you are flushing liquid or solid waste.  Most major toilet manufacturers make these toilets and they look like any other toilet. 

The second type of toilet is called a dual flush toilet.  These are toilets that typically have two levers or buttons on the toilet which allows for different amounts of water to be used depending on what you are flushing.  The toilets have one lever or button to do a "half flush" or typically 0.8  gallons (depending on manufacturer) when flushing liquid waste.  The other lever or button allows for a "full flush" or typically 1.6 gallons (depending on manufacturer) when flushing solid waste.

There is also a retrofit product manufactured by Aqua notion that enable you to change out the lever on your existing toilet.  This product is only for a left front handled toilet tank, so make sure you visit the manufacturers site to see if it will work for you.

To help you offset the cost of a new toilet, many jurisdictions offer a rebate program if you meet their specifications when replacing toilets in your homes.  Check with your local jurisdiction to see if you may qualify.

In order to help you find these water saving toilets as well as other green products for use in your home, www.buildwithgreenproducts.com was recently launched and it is free to use.  This site allows you to compare products side by side to help you make a determination on which product would work for your home.  There are features listed such as toilet seat height and what the amount of water used per flush is.  There is also a link to the manufacturer's website to allow you to find out where you can view additional information.

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