Standard toilets can use as much as seven gallons of water per flush. Low-flows? A mere 1.6 gallons. If you crave the water savings of a low-flow toilet, but aren't ready to shell out for a new commode, you're in luck. With a few simple modifications, you can turn your water-guzzling toilet into a water-sipping low-flow.
Time Required: 30 minutes or less
Install an adjustable flapper.
Several manufacturers make toilet flappers that can be adjusted to control how much water flows into the toilet when it's flushed. Install an adjustable flapper in your toilet; then, experiment until you find the right setting for your needs.
Water Savings: Up to three gallons per flush
Install a tank bag.
Purchase a tank bag; fill it with water, and hang it in your toilet tank. It'll displace some of the water, thereby reducing the amount of water needed to refill the tank after each flush.
Water Savings: An amount equal to the size of the bag
Install a fill cycle diverter
The toilet tank and bowl may fill at the same time, but they don't fill at the same rate, (the bowl fills faster) and since the fill valve doesn't shut off until the tank is full, this means that water continues to be fed to the bowl. So, where does this extra water go? Straight down the drain! Install a fill cycle diverter, a small piece that connects to the fill line and overflow tube, and that water will be diverted back to the tank where it can be put to use.
Water Savings: A half-gallon or more per fill
Check for Leaks
Retrofitting your toilet with water-saving devices is great, but it doesn't mean much if you've got a leaky toilet. Pick up a free leak detection tablet from a home improvements store, and make sure your toilet is performing the way it should.
Water Savings: Varies depending on severity of leak
- All toilets are different, so you may need to experiment to figure out which techniques work best for you.
- Do not use a brick to displace water. Overtime it can dissolve and clog the drain.
- Proceed with caution if you decide to use a plastic bottle in place of a tank bag. It could interfere with your toilet's mechanisms, and result in overflow.
- Many utility companies provide these water-saving devices to customers for free.
- All of these devices can be purchased online, if you aren't able to find them locally.
What You Need:
- An adjustable flapper
- A toilet tank bag
- A fill valve diverter
- A Leak detection tablet