Monday, December 01, 2008

The Toilet Flushing Mystery


Today I'm going to talk about the mystery of toilet flushing, because for the life of me, I can't see a good explanation for this nonsense. Those of you who have a newish home will know what I'm talking about. Those that have an older home, you might want to bring your toilets with you when you sell. Let me tell you why.

In the old days, back when we could flush Matchbox cars, Barbie, and our foot down the toilet, the tanks contained 5 gallons of water to push everything down. Then the environmentalists decided to get involved in order to "cut down on waste thus saving the environment" and to push it to consumers "save us money on our water and sewer bill." So the flush capacity was lowered from 5 gallons to 3.5 gallons. Still enough to get some good toys down the line, or that random pet alligator that seemed like a good idea at the time.

But then they struck again. In 1994, it became law that all toilets would be lowered to a 1.6 flush capacity. So in a matter of a years we lost almost 70% of our flushing capacity. The problem...no one changed the design of the original toilet. It still depends on gravity to push the water through creating the flush effect. There's no turbo wheel down in the bowl creating better suction to make up for the lack of water weight.

The result. Well, God forbid you need to do anything but number one AND you stock your home with anything but that industrial toilet paper that is so thin you could do major surgery peering through it. Because if you do, your likely to clog your toilet. I would bet that 50% of the time, I have to break out my plunger for completely normal bathroom activities. No Barbies, no alligators. Just toilet paper and the other stuff that's supposed to be in the toilet.

The secondary result. I now flush 3 times in order to avoid the plunger games. Sooooooooooo THANK YOU ENVIRONMENTALISTS AND PLEASE GET A MATH EDUCATION.

By my figuring, my old 3.5 tank, which worked fine was flushing 3.5 gallons of water. But my NEW, FANCY, LOW CAPACITY, SAVE-THE-ENVIRONMENT-FROM-ALL-THOSE-BAD-PEOPLE-WHO-NEED-TO-GO-POTTY version, I use 4.8 gallons per bathroom trip.

Congratulations, you've succeeded in using even more water, running up my bill AND reminding me why I think there ought to be an IQ test to even breathe in this country.

BTW - for those of you dealing with this terror, you can adjust the flap in the back for a little bit better action. Lord help us all, but I might be getting another .2 gallons of water in a flush, thus allowing me to flush a whole time less.

Anyone else have this problem? If so, what have you done about it? Unless you're walking around with the red-booty from that cheap toilet paper....I'm simply not going there. I'm a Charmin woman.

Deadly DeLeon

26 comments:

Keri Ford said...

I'm Charmin too! The blue one that's extra soft and quilted or whatever and I also have this problem. I do what you do, flush 3 or so times throughout the whole process just to make sure there's no dragging out the plunger unless necessary.

I always thought it was because of the cheap toliet that came with my single-wide!

Christie Craig said...

Okay Jana, I'm laughing.

I have an older toilet, so I don't deal with it, but I have noticed when I go to my dad's place, it's a constant problem. So I can relate.

Too funny. You know, I didn't know anyone was into Potty humor as much as me.

Thanks for the chuckle.

CC

Terry S said...

I needed to replace my really old (pull chain) toilet a few years ago. The plumber recommended I get a particular toilet because it was a "good flusher". So far, thank goodness, we haven't had a problem.

Have you ever read Dave Barry's series on old vs new toilet. Hilarious and frustrating all at the same time. If I remember right there was a toilet smuggled from Canada involved in the end. Suffice it to say you are not alone.

Suzan Harden said...

Terry S,

PLEASE post your toilet recommendation. When we bought our house, it still had the 3.5 gal. toilets. Unfortunately, the downstairs one developed a hairline crack in the resevoir, and I can't get the frakin' one part I need to fix it.

Virginia said...

I used to be a Charmin women all the way but they have raised the price so much and cut the amount down on the rolls that I have switched to the heavy White Cloud in the pink wrapper and it is about as good without all the lint. We put a new tolet in about 18 years ago so I have the old type and I hope I can keep it working for along time because I don't want one of the new ones. My sister has alot of flushing problems with her new one.

Tori Lennox said...

Oh, man, we have the same problem! It's so annoying. I'm all for saving the environment, but c'mon, people making these stupid rules. Use some common sense!

Gemma Halliday said...

I SO hear you, Jana!! How did I deal? I bought a really colorful plunger, a pretty little caddy for it, and called it "bathroom decor".

~Gemma

Wendy Roberts said...

I don't think we have toilet regulations here in Canada lol. Another reason to stay here I guess he he

Terry S said...

To: Suzan Harden

I had to look it up but it is a Kohler Cimarron Model #K34-97 Comfort Height Round Front.

Now you know altogether too much about me :)

There is a Kohler commercial on tv where the husband is pouring everything down the toilet he can possibly think of in an unsuccessful effort to plug it. He so wants to call the really hot woman plumber he saw going into his neighbors house. I first saw this commercial shortly after I got my new toilet. I still laugh every time I see it and think he must have the same toilet as me.

PS - I think the book with the trials and tribulations of getting a new toilet is "Dave Barry I'm Not Taking This Sitting Down". Seriously, I think he ended up smuggling a new toilet in from from Canada before he was done.

Shel said...

Thank you! We have this problem in the office. You have to flush and flush and flush. It is completely ridiculous!

Lucy said...

I obviously have an older toilet and, thanks to this post, I won't leave home without it! :)

pottygirl said...

If you are serious about saving water, want a toilet that really works and is affordable, I would highly recommend a Caroma Dual Flush toilet. Caroma toilets offer a patented dual flush technology consisting of a 0.8 Gal flush for liquid waste and a 1.6 Gal flush for solids. Caroma, an Australian company set the standard by giving the world its first successful two button dual flush system in the nineteen eighties and has since perfected the technology. Also, with a full 3.5″ trapway, these toilets virtually never clog. All of Caroma’s toilets are on the list of WaterSense labeled HET’s http://www.epa.gov/watersense/pp/find_het.htm and also qualify for several rebate programs currently available. Please visit my blog to see how toilets work and why Caroma toilets so well http://pottygirl.wordpress.com/2008/08/01/what-you-should-know-about-toilets/. Best regards, Andrea Paulinelli

Jana DeLeon said...

Keri - I know. At first I thought it was just cheap builders, but nooooooo. Apparently you can pay upwards of 4k for a john and still only get the slow, horrid flush.

I like the blue stuff too. :)

Jana DeLeon said...

LOL Christie! Anything is open for discussion and definitely up for a laugh. Why limit yourself, right? I know you get it. :)

Jana DeLeon said...

Terry - I will look for Dave Barry's toilet tirade. He is hilarious, and I'm so glad to know I'm in such good company!

Jana DeLeon said...

Ugh Suzan - yes Terry, please do post your toilet! I might need a switch out myself.

Jana DeLeon said...

Virginia - not sure where you live but here in Texas sometimes Walgreens of CVS will put the big 24 packs on clearance for $10. I load up with as much as they will let me buy - that and Bounty. In fact, I loaded up in April and still have stacks in my garage. :)

Jana DeLeon said...

Tori - yeah, if only common sense were, well, common. :)

Jana DeLeon said...

ROFLOL Gemma! Bathroom decor - love it! I'm going to look for a turquoise one and maybe glue a seashell on top!

Jana DeLeon said...

Wendy - I'm surprised since Canada is usually environmentally conscience than the US. Oh well, guess someone in YOUR government likes their flushing the way it is.

Jana DeLeon said...

Thanks, Terry!!!! Fantastic information.

Jana DeLeon said...

Shel - total waste, right? Time and money.

Jana DeLeon said...

LOL Lucy - If only I had known. those 1985 toilets in my first house would have become part of the moving van.

Jana DeLeon said...

Thanks, Andrea! I love the internet. There's always someone in the know out there. :)

Jana DeLeon said...

Keri - I know. At first I thought it was just cheap builders, but nooooooo. Apparently you can pay upwards of 4k for a john and still only get the slow, horrid flush.

I like the blue stuff too. :)

Subodh said...

We just put in a new toilet to replace a 20 year toilet. No problems in the last week. No double or triple flushing. It works ...