Why are my toilets using so much water?

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  #1  
Old 10-21-16, 03:08 PM
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Why are my toilets using so much water?

I recently had some water issues where I had ended up keeping tabs on how much water my appliances use. I fixed the issues, but I noticed that my toilets were all using a little over 3 gallons of water per flush. They are all 1.6 gpf toilets. After tinkering with one toilet, I was able to get it down to 2.2 gallons per flush. I set the water level to 1-1.5 inches below the over flow, I added a refill tube with a clamp (to lower the wasted water into the bowl), I added a new 502 Fluidmaster flapper that lets me adjust the water used (it's on the setting with the least water used), and I checked for leaks with the dye test.

My question is, am I missing something simple here, or are 1.6 gpf toilets not really 1.6? I know about the brick trick, and the half gallon trick, but I just want to make sure I'm not missing a very easy solution here? I know it's not the most important issue in the world, but I was curious, and as my name implies, I tend to miss the obvious.

Thanks.
 
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Old 10-21-16, 03:42 PM
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The problem I've seen is if you get the toilet adjusted to flush
with that little amount of vwater.... it has a tendency to clog.
 
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Old 10-21-16, 05:44 PM
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How did you measure the water usage of your 1.6 gpf toilet and determine that it is using over 3 gallons per flush?
 
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Old 10-21-16, 10:10 PM
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I recently had a spike in my water bill, so I had been reading my meter a lot and jotting down how much water each appliance uses.

I can understand 1.6 gpf being too low for a strong flush. I'm just wondering how they expect it to reach 1.6 gpf without lowering the water level to nothing?
 
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Old 10-22-16, 05:00 AM
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So, you did not measure the amount of water your toilet uses. The source of your high water bill may be due to a leak. Make sure all faucets are turned off, all toilets are filled and not running. Basically make sure nothing in the house is using water. Then go out and not the reading on your meter. Then go back in half an hour or hour and read the meter again. If it has changed you have a leak.
 
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Old 10-22-16, 07:04 AM
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The first generation of low-flow toilets were crap. For at least the last fifteen years they have been using computer modeling along with real-world testing to make good flushing low-flow toilets. Most tanks hold considerably more than 1.6 gallons and they only dump about 1/2 to 2/3 of their contents during a flush, UNLESS you hold the handle down.
 
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Old 10-22-16, 10:51 AM
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Pilot,

There is no leak. I fixed my water issues. I was simply curious as to why my toilets use 3 gallons per flush when they theoretically should be using 1.6 gpf. I know they use 3 gallons b/c I read the meter, flush the toilet, then read the meter again. I've done this multiple times w/o anything else running.

Furd,

I agree, the tanks definitely hold more than 1.6, so they must expect you to only use some of the tank when flushing (as you said). My tank gets mostly empty after a flush, even with the adjustable Fluidmaster 502 flapper. I wonder if I need the original manufacturer flapper for that specific toilet to get 1.6? Either that or do they expect you to adjust the water level to 1.6 gallons? That would seem strange since the tank is so big, but maybe the tank needs to be that big for the valves?
 
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Old 10-22-16, 12:19 PM
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They (the manufacturers) cheated. Yes, they can make a toilet that creates a visible flush and gurgle sound with 1.6 gallons. But it could only do it with water and absolutely no obstruction on the outlet. Actually removing solids from the bowl and not clogging was not part of the government requirement. Old/early 1.6 toilets and even cheap modern ones pale in comparison to whats available now.

A modern Toto Drake (and others) is truly amazing. It's got at a .6 or .8 gallon flush and it really does it. You depress the lever and you hear a quick ker-clunk and the flush is finished with the level in the bowl barely dropping. So, before going crazy trying to get an older toilet to meet a flush standard I say get a modern good toilet. No, it will not be $89 at a big box home center but$ 180 will get you something much better and $250 will get you a toilet with amazingly little water use and a good, clog free flush. It's one case where paying more really does get you a benefit.
 
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Old 10-22-16, 12:37 PM
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There's also the old water saving adage where water has to be hauled and everyone is on septic. "if it's yellow, let it mellow....if it's brown, flush it down".
 
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Old 10-22-16, 09:24 PM
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Just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything obvious. So I guess 1.6 gpf isn't really 1.6. I've got the toilets down to 2.5 and the flush seems strong, so I can live with that.
 
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Old 10-24-16, 09:01 AM
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The toilets that are sold today (in the United States) are tested and have to flush an amount of water not to exceed 1.6 gallons per flush. Toilets sold today are rated as 1.6, 1.28 or less when it comes to gallons per flush. In order to flush a "full" bowl the tank normally holds up to 3 to 3.5 gallons of water which is approximately 24-25 lbs of water weight to help a gravity toilet to flush with proper force, while the flapper valve is what regulates the amount of water to be flushed into the bowl. When using aftermarket products you can adjust both water level(s) in the tank and the bowl and regulate the flapper by adjusting the settings available to you on the fill, refill and flapper components. You should be able to set these items to factory settings or at the very best very close to original settings. For information concerning "Fluidmaster" products I suggest calling their Technical Services line, their toll free line is 800-631-2011.
 
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Old 10-27-16, 07:28 AM
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The water going through the thin overflow tube to the overflow channel during the fill cycle does not count towards the 1.6 gallon mandated flush usage. Chemistry supply houses sell an adjustable screw operated "pinch c0ck" that can adjust the overflow tube flow downward. But if you limit (or eliminate) this flow you could increase the chances of clogging when there is a lot of solids.

"If it's yellow then let it mellow."

Letting urine persist in the toilet bowl can leave deposits that make cleaning the toilet more time consuming (and water consuming).
 
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Old 10-27-16, 11:45 PM
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Well, I didn't mean for a week Allan. With my meds I probably go 6-8 times/day or more and normally flush 2-3. I never get any deposits or discoloration other than the typical minerals right at the water line.
 
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