Bad Toilet Good Toilet
Today I installed a new float valve in a toilet cistern that will allow me to “cheat” and fill the tank with 8 litres of water instead of 6 litres. Why would I want to waste 2 litres extra water on each flush? Because I’m already wasting even more water than that by flushing twice.
Anyone replacing a toilet should buy a water-saving, dual-flush toilet. These toilets use 6 litres of water for a full flush, but for “liquids” (that’s urine) they use only a 3 litre half-flush. But not all water-saving toilets are equal. It’s better to spend a little more and buy a quality toilet that you won’t have to flush twice. I learned the hard way.
For my house, I bought a dual-flush toilet make by R.A.K. Ceramics and sold by Plumblink. The model is called “Compact.” A year ago, it cost me R1474, which was more than I wanted to spend, but it works perfectly. I almost never have to flush it twice.
For my office, I figured I didn’t need anything quite so fancy. I paid about a third less to get a dual-flush Eton toilet from Plumb Crazy, now called Splashworks. Usually I have to flush it twice. Once I had to flush it four times, after manually adding more and more water to the cistern to top it up for a more powerful flush! My plumber assures me that it is working normally, but the design is poor. It needs a couple of extra litres to flush well. On his recommendation, I bought the new float valve to allow an 8 litre flush. He says that the problem was common with the earliest 6 litre toilets, but that some of the more recent designs work as well as older, water-wasting toilets.
Despite my troubles, I would never recommend that someone stick with an old water-waster. I figure we’re saving about 55,000 litres a year (6 people @ 5 flushes a day) in my house. At current Johannesburg municipal rates, that’s R542 a year. When buying a toilet, think of all that money you will be saving and spend some of it in advance to get a good one.
If you have a water-saving toilet that is working well—or not—let us know so that we can build up a list of recommendations.