The good news is that I’m not in the shower this week, but I am still in the bathroom. Virtually, that is. A couple of weeks ago, I profiled a couple of low-flow showerheads that are designed to save water. This week, I’m featuring a dual-flush valve kit that can work with any conventional toilet. For homeowners in Boston, plumbing may not be a specialty, but this DIY project can certainly save water (and money) with each flush.
Water-saving toilets will play an increasingly important role in urban water-conservation efforts. If you live in an area where fresh water is relatively plentiful, you may not think much about water conservation. On the other hand, if you live in the desert, your water bill may be as much of a concern to you every month as heating in Boston would be in the winter.
Enter the HydroRight dual flush valve, designed to fit to conventional toilets. The valve replaces your standard flush handle with a two-button control. Use the upper button when you want to flush away liquid and paper only. This empties the holding tank just halfway and still clears the bowl adequately. For clearing solid waste, the lower button provides the standard full flush. Using this approach, you can reduce the water usage of an average toilet by about 30%.
This is the ideal DIY project. Installing the HydroRight valve requires no tools, no tank removal and is a done deal within about ten minutes. It also eliminates the dreaded chain and handle – common failures in standard flush toilets – and replaces the flapper valve – one of the usual suspects when it comes to leaky tanks. You can also find the HydroRight valve at your favorite home improvement stores for about $20. Depending upon how much you flush, you can recover the cost of the dual flush valve in less than a year, and you’ll be doing your part to help the environment, too.