One of the goals I had for 2019 was to replace the toilets in my house with high efficiency models. A toilet’s efficiency is measured in the amount of water used per flush (e.g. 1.6 gallons per flush).
When my house was built almost ten years ago three 1.6 gallon per flush “builder basic” toilets were installed. Up until the past year the toilets have worked with relatively little trouble save for the occasional clog from an overzealous use of toilet paper. In the past month or so, two of the high use toilets have begun to develop the annoying habit of not sealing after a flush so the water runs continuously until someone jiggles the handle.
Repairing a toilet can send someone down the rabbit hole of wildly different parts. Do you have a 2, 2.75, or 3 inch tank outlet? Well, if you want to repair that leaky flapper get ready to find out. Even if you happen to figure out the exact size be prepared for one brand of part to not fit quite right so you spend the day at Lowe’s or Home Depot staring blankly at toilet flappers, repair kits, or the mirage of a six pack of beer to get you through the nightmare.
Or, you can just replace the whole toilet. This is the route that I chose to take. I chose to install a Kohler Transpose:
I went the complete replacement route over a replacing the “guts” of the old toilet because as I disassembled the old toilet I found the rubber gaskets to be falling apart. Not enough to cause a leak, but it did cause me to question just how much life was left in the entire system.
The Transpose’s selling point over similar toilets was its smooth sides. No visible trapway snaking down to the drain hole, collecting dust, and just being kind of a pain in the ass to clean. Not a problem now.
The new toilet uses 1.28 gallons per flush versus the old toilet’s 1.6 gallons per flush. The .32 gallons per flush saved equals 1.28 gallons after four flushes, so the fifth is “free.” At least that is the math that I am sticking to in my head. A twenty percent savings per flush is a big deal. Imagine the pressure on our municipal water systems that could be reduced if every toilet suddenly became twenty percent or more efficient overnight.
Per my New Year’s “goal” I was setting out to replace all of the toilets in my house. I think, based on usage patterns, I am only going to replace the two high volume commodes. The toilet in our basement is used infrequently and the water savings will hardly make up for the cost/embodied energy of a new toilet.
NOTE: I bought the Kohler Transpose toilet with my own money, installed it of my own free will, and receive nothing of any kind from Kohler.