Low flow toilets are all the rage and the main reason is that they can save you water. In my own home I have three ‘porcelain thrones’ and started doing some investigating into replacing them with the dual flush low flow toilets in order to save me some water and in turn some moolah
Each toilet would cost me $289.99 if I bought them at Canadian Tire. So converting three of these would cost me in total $867.00. Is it worth it? Well the first question is how much water and in turn money will I save by doing this.
I am all about being green but I also want to do it responsibly and intelligently. Find the least expensive and least cost prohibitive method to not only go green but save money! First step, lets figure out exactly how much water I would save from upgrading my toilets and spending $867.00
CMHC has a very nice writeup on low flow and dual flush toilets and they state quote;
Dual-flush toilets perform well in comparison to 6-litre and 13-litre toilets based on water consumption rates, saving an average of approximately 26 per cent more water than single-flush 6-litre toilets when used in replacement programs. Despite some complaints about bowl streaking, all survey respondents indicated they liked the dual-flush option. Caroma is currently investigating the bowl streaking issue.
So lets use their number of 26% water savings to figure out how much a low flow toilet could save me. Normally on the base of the toilet or inside the tank they stamp the water usage for the toilet but in my case it is missing. Since my house was built after 2000 I know that my toilet is using likely around 1.6GPF ( Gallons per flush ) because of building code standards that were implemented in 2009.This works out to be 2,920 gallons per year of water used just from flushing the toilet.
So for three toilets if we upgrade to a dual flush low flow toilet I could save 760 gallons of water per year. The math to calculate the water savings for my dual flush toilet is as follows;
2920 ( Annual WaterFlow ) * .26 ( 26% savings ) = 760 gallons of saved water.
In an earlier post where I shared how to save 12,000 gallons of water per year I calculated my cost per gallon of water and it was $0.0159 cents PER gallon of water. So now lets calculate how much I can save every year;
750 gallons ( 26% in water savings ) * $0.016 ( cost of water per gallon ) = 12.00
Now lets do a quick look at the economics of installing a low flow toilet. I would need to spend $867.00 to upgrade all three of my toilets to save $36.00 a year. What is the return on investment? It is 24 years. Water conservation is great and all but I am not made of money and to invest almost $900 is a bit much when the return on investment is 24 years.
Fortunately with a little snooping around you can find an even better solution.
It offers me the same water savings as replacing my toilets at a fraction of the cost.
I did not install it on all three toilets in my home yet because I want to be sure it works and does not have any negative side effects.
The return on investment for this no tools, 5 minute installation is just over a year. The fact the product has a 5 year warranty just makes it an even easier choice. The system will have paid for itself 3 times over by the time the warranty runs out.
The way it works is quite simple as you can see from the photo below. You remove your existing flapper / chain and arm and replace it with the Hydroright. It literally just slides into your toilet and you tighten a tie wrap and voila. Complete. It has a flush for ‘liquids’ and a flush for ‘non liquids’ which as my photo below illustrates is why you save so much water.
Below is a video for those who are not sure how to install it. The video is 3minutes long and illustrates just how easy it is to install this slick little water savings device.