Can switching to a water-efficient toilet really conserve water in the home?

Here in Chicago, we don’t think too much about fresh drinking water—after all, we have one of the world’s largest lakes right next door. However, conserving this precious resource is still important, and the easiest way to do just that is by cutting down on unnecessary water waste. In this article, we’ll discuss how just one action—switching out your older toilets for water-efficient toilets and dual-flush toilets—can make a sizable difference in how much water your home uses.

Is household toilet use really a big deal?

Yes. According to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 24% of all the water used in the the average American home is used to flush the toilet. That’s more water than is used showering (20%), doing the dishes (19%), or washing your clothes (17%). In other words, if you want to do your part to conserve water here in Chicagoland, making changes to your bathroom is a good place to start.

How water-efficient is your current toilet?

Since 1992, the U.S. federal government has required that all toilets use 1.6 gallons of water or less per flush. That’s a marked decrease from many toilets manufactured before that date, which may have used upwards of 8 gallons per-flush! If your home has a toilet from 1990 or earlier, chances are that it’s far less water-conserving than even standard toilet models today. In other words, it’s time to think about replacing it.

A water-efficient toilet, recently installed by the King team.

Replacing a pre-1990 toilet with a water-efficient toilet can make a world of difference when it comes to reducing your home’s water waste.

Water-Conserving Toilets

1.6 gallons per-flush might be the ceiling for toilets, but it’s certainly not the floor. Many toilets today use far less water than even that lowered number. The EPA has a special program for this class of toilets known as WaterSense. To be a WaterSense toilet, the fixture must use 1.28 gallons per-flush or less, without compromising on, well, their ability to flush.

Not many of your neighbors are planning to strike up a conversation about toilets with you. However, if you asked around, you’d probably be surprised at the number of homes that have made the switch to water-efficient toilets in recent years. Beyond helping to conserve potable water and our environment, changing out toilets can greatly lower your home’s water bills. In that way, this upgrade is a win-win for everyone.

Dual-Flush Toilets

Some homeowners hang onto their older toilets due to concerns about just how well the new WaterSense toilets flush. After all, no one wants to have to use multiple flushes—that defeats the entire point of making the switch. There’s actually a compromise you should know about, and it’s called the dual-flush toilet. This toilet essentially has two mechanisms: one for a low-volume flush and one for a high-volume flush. We’ll leave it to your imagination which flush gets used for what, but we think you get the picture.

Dual-flush toilets are incredibly popular because they, in a sense, give homeowners the best of both worlds. A vast majority of trips to the bathroom can utilize the water-conserving low-flush option, cutting down on water waste and environmental impact.

Have our team replace your older toilet with a new, water-conserving one

If you have a toilet from when your home was originally built, there’s a good chance that it’s pretty wasteful. Ready to make the switch to a water-conserving toilet? Our team of plumbers can certainly help with that. At King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, we specialize in toilet replacement. Our plumbers can find the right-sized toilet for your space and then make the switch—no mess or hassle included. You’ll cut down on your water bills and put your home on the path to being smarter about its water use.

To schedule service with our plumbers, give us a call today. Or, contact us online and we’ll get back in touch with you soon.