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Converting to a Dual-Flush Toilet

No, we didn’t get a new toilet. We converted our old one with a One2flush kit. Turning the handle one way makes a half flush and turning it the other makes a full flush. And it’s easy to increase or decrease the water levels of both of them if necessary by adjusting the settings on the flapper.

It's not actually as scary in there as you might think.

Our toilet was already a modern, low-flow toilet, using just 1.6 gallons of water per flush. But you really don’t need 1.6 gallons for every flush. That’s now the default setting for the full flush, and 0.8 gallons is the default setting for the half flush, but we’ll have to continue playing around with the water levels to figure out what’s the least amount that we can use.

The kit was relatively simple to install—you can tell by the fact that two very non-handy people did it without flooding the bathroom. Taking the toilet tank off was obviously terrifying, and a little difficult, too, because the bolts were corroded. But this video walked us through the whole thing step by step.

We did run into one problem when we were done. The fill valve continued to allow a steady trickle of water through, even when the tank was already full. We were afraid we’d have to replace the whole fill valve (or shamefacedly ask our landlord to do it), but cleaning the valve did the trick.

The problem? The previous tenants had put bricks in the toilet tank to save water. The bricks had started to degrade in the water, and brick dust had gotten into the valve. This is why people now emphasize that if you want to displace water in your toilet, use a bottle of water—don’t use bricks!

Cross posted on the Cambridge Energy Alliance blog.


Comment from Erin aka Conscious Shopper
Time February 16, 2010 at 3:54 pm

I want to do this! I’ve read that it can be a bad idea to put a bottle in a toilet that’s already low flush, so this is very cool. How much do the kits cost and where did you get it?

Comment from Brenda Pike
Time February 16, 2010 at 4:03 pm

They’re so cheap: just $30! I got mine at Greenward, a great “eco-boutique” in Cambridge, but you can just as easily find it at Amazon.

Pingback from Truly Low-Flow Showerheads « Pragmatic Environmentalism
Time March 2, 2010 at 9:51 pm

[…] navy shower, water conservation, yes my shower has a window in it – no peeking Ironically, we converted our toilet to dual-flush before we switched to a low-flow showerhead. Changing showerheads is one of the easiest things […]

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