This is a guest post from my awesome (and increasingly handy) husband, Frankie.
Yup, today’s “how to” post is all about toilets. Very thrilling business, I tell you.
Not long ago, Mara had finally grown fed up with the handle on our toilet continually falling off as she tried to flush it. Rather than overpay a plumber for what was probably a simple fix, I volunteered to run to the hardware store with the broken piece to try and find a close match.
Since I had previously fixed something inside the toilet thanks to the knowledge and confidence I gained reading Plumbing Do-It-Yourself For Dummies (although I didn’t buy the book – I saved more money by checking it out from the library!), it didn’t take long to find what I was looking for.
However, I was quite surprised by the prices for similar handles. As I weighed the pros and cons between shelling out $100 for a matching handle (we’ve got oil rubbed bronzed fixtures, which are apparently overpriced fixtures) or going with a plastic version that cost less than a tenth of that, I happened to spot a box for a dual flush converter.
A dual flush converter gives a toilet two settings: a half flush for when you need less water (you know, liquid waste) and a full flush for when you need more. Having split settings was familiar to me, since that’s how most of the toilets are in Israel.
There are two main reasons that everyone should want these settings: 1) You save water. 2) By saving water, you save money.
At just $20, I figured I didn’t have much to lose, so I decided to purchase the HydroRight Drop-in Dual Flush Converter. I was not disappointed!
As advertised, the converter was quick and simple to install. The entire process took less than 15 minutes and very minimal tools – and when finished, we had a supped-up toilet, with a working handle.
The HydroRight Drop-in Dual Flush Converter also allows you to set the amount of water your tank will fill with on each flush.
I did some quick Googling and word on the web is that you use 30% less water with one of these guys installed – which means a savings of about 2,000 gallons.
The back of the box claims a savings of up to $200 a year, but I think our savings are going to more like $25 – $50 per year. Based on our levels (both water level and how much we use that toilet), it looks like we are saving about seven gallons of water a day, which works out to be a couple of bucks a month.
In either case, the handle definitely pays for itself… And if you’ve got a broken handle like we did, the savings are realized at the register.
Have you hacked your toilets or sinks to save water – and money? What have your experiences been like?