All toilets are not created equally. We learned this in graphic detail while we were building our new small eco friendly house. We, of course, picked up one of those low volume water new toilets and since our house has a guest bath, we bought two of them new and shiny white in their boxes and stored them for the day we were could set them and call the porta potty company and tell them to pick up the “blue room” which was perched outside by a pile of building materials on the edge of the construction site.
The day came. Mike and Clint muscled the thing into its spot, applied the goop and the rings and set it up. Then we turned on the water. We all listened eagerly as the tank filled with the usual gurgling noises. In the silence that followed we were hopeful. Clint felt around the bottom. No leaks! Great. Then came the test flush. We gathered close to watch the water go around in the bowl. Strangely that was all it did. Clint tore off a single sheet of the toilet paper I had optimistically equipped the bathroom with. The new toilet wouldn’t flush one thin sheet of paper. Well, Clint loves a challenge and tore into the workings of the toilet to see what was wrong. After an hour (well it seemed like one) he declared that the toilet was broken in a way we couldn’t fix. There was a spare piece of broken porcelain stuck in the throat of the poor thing going around in circles. No screwdriver or tool could get it out of there.
We weren’t discouraged though; we had another new on in a box. So, off came the seals and the broken one was placed back in its box carefully. Surely Home Depot will take it back. In a short time based on recent practice, the two men had the second toilet ready for a flush test. This time the sheet of paper hesitated, and then went down. We stared in disbelief as the water inside the bowl disappeared after the tank filled. Uh oh. We checked the floor. Not there. We tried the whole process once more. The operation completed and then the water disappeared from the quiet bowl. Yes, the second toilet was broken too, in a different way. Clint said there was a crack inside somewhere. This unit had a crack that allowed the water from inside to flow out when it wasn’t supposed to. That wouldn’t be a water saving device. Oh well, it looked like the blue room was going to stay for a while. We packed up the second toilet and Clint left for the day. Mike and I went back to the drawing board.
I decided I needed to do what I should have done in the first place; research. I went to the computer and started looking at designs, model numbers and prices. Our late construction budget wouldn’t allow us one of those fancy two button, water selection units so I wanted to get the best ones we could afford. Discussions on line alerted me to the fact that many of the modern toilets demanded by code were simply older models with less water but not new design. These toilets would use up just as much water because they often had to be flushed twice to get the desired results. Then I stumbled on a wonderful web site: http://www.cuwcc.org/MaPTesting.aspx
To simulate real world conditions they used soybean paste, which they carefully measure in grams to give each toilet model a rating. You can download the latest report, which covers some 800 models.
Soon Mike and I were in the wide toilet aisle in Home Depot with a printed list discussing grams of material and pulling out boxes to see if the model numbers matched the sheets. Other customers clustered around trying to look over our shoulders at the sheet. Finally we found a model and price that were exactly what we wanted; the most flush for the buck.
We gave our sheet of tests away to a stranger, put the two boxes on a big cart and took them home to show Clint. The next flush test was a huge success.
Causes Linda Hunter Supports