Dual flush toilets save water, money

Dual flush toilets save water, money

With traditional toilets wasting up to 4 gallons per flush, a significant amount of money and wasted water is figuratively and literally going down the drain.

If you’re in the market for a new toilet, consider purchasing a dual-flush toilet. And if you're one of the many Angie's List members in the D.C.-area planning a bathroom remodel -- there were more than 9,000 category searches for kitchen and bathroom remodeling in just the past six months -- then a dual-flush toilet might be worth considering.

Not only does this type of toilet add aesthetic appeal and a modern feel to your home, it's among the most environmentally friendly flushers. Until recently, these toilets were predominately popular in other countries. In recent years, they have slowly made their move into the United States.

As suggested by the name, dual flush toilets provide two flush systems; one with less water use for liquid waste and the second choice provides more water access for solid waste flushing. Think of an airplane toilet: In a similar fashion, the dual flush toilet has a lower water line, due to the lack of siphoning. The lack of siphoning also means that it requires less water to operate.

Purchasing a dual flush toilet can lower your use of water by more than 65 percent because dual flush toilets use no more than 1.8 gallons of water, while standard toilets require 3.5 gallons. Clearly that is a huge positive for both the environment and your water bill. A downside, however, is that dual flush toilets tend to cost more than other low-flow toilets, due to more complex mechanisms.

That extra cost could be offset by incentive programs offered by various state and federal rebate programs specifically for environmentally-friendly home products and appliances, such as an HET dual flush toilet with a WaterSense label.

Look to your local service providers -- Angie's List has a list of over 700 top-rated plumbers in the Washington, D.C.-area -- to help you find the best system for your home and then help you install the new toilet. Professional plumbers can be excellent sources for information and feedback on various dual flush toilets.