How to choose the right toilet…and save water

How to choose the right toilet…and save water

Replacing your old toilet with a new, efficient one can help reduce your toilet’s water usage by up to 60 percent and save you an average of $110 a year on your utility bills.

When it came time to remodel her bathroom, homeowner Carrie Tamminga did her homework.  She wanted a toilet that helped conserve water.

“It was really important for me to get the dual flush because of the less water, and I knew it would save on bills,” Tamminga said.

The Energy Policy Act in 1992 required all new toilets to be low-flow or low-flush, restricting their water usage to 1.6 gallons per flush instead of what used to be the average of 3.5 gallons per flush.

“A low-flush toilet would be anything from 1.6 all the way to down to 1.28,” Plumbing Showroom Manager Mary Wright said. “You have dual flush toilets now that are .9 to 1.28. A dual flush toilet usually has two buttons or two types of levers on it that would be for your liquids and your waste. Those are becoming more and more popular.”

“Your options are really endless,” said Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks. “Toilets have become very sophisticated over the years. You can find a very basic toilet for a few hundred dollars all the way up to thousands of dollars for the state of the art toilet.”

“Different toilets like heated seats or washlets or have open and shut lids that are automatic – all those features are very desirable, they are not necessary but at the end of the day they are quite a nice feature to have those because they can actually save a lot of time,” Wright said. “They have dryers built onto them. They have deodorizers. So the dryer function alone saves on toilet paper usage.”

“Installing a toilet in and of itself is not a real complicated job, but you have to keep in mind that a toilet can be rather heavy, especially the porcelain, so you are going to need some extra hands to help you put it into place,” Hicks said.

Angie’s List says a plumber typically requires an hour or two to install a toilet.

Expect to pay between $125 and $260 for the installation.
That price can fluctuate depending on several factors including whether you want the plumber to haul away your old toilet and if your plumbing components are in good condition.

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