How much money is that old toilet costing you?

How much money is that old toilet costing you?

Submitted by David Heffner of Heffner Plumbing

You may cringe at the thought of changing over to a new toilet because of all of the horror stories about 1.6 gallon toilets. The good news is that the technology has come a long way since 1994 when the Energy Policy Act went into effect.

Water conservation is becoming increasingly important and there are different ways that this can be achieved. In "green speak," using less water reduces the size of your carbon foot print.

Where it all started
In 1992, the United States Congress passed, and former President George H. W. Bush signed, the Energy Policy Act. This act mandated that all plumbing fixtures in the United States meet a maximum allowable flow-rate standard. The maximum flow-rate established for toilets was 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf). This was a radical change from the more recent 3.5 gallon toilet tanks and older tanks that could hold anywhere from 5 to 7 gallons.

Most of the 1.6 toilets on the market in the early 90's did not work well, and many consumers complained about double flushing and frequent stoppages. The technology and design have evolved since 1994, however, and a majority of the toilet manufacturers today have products that work well.

Return on investment (ROI)
This may sound strange when speaking about a plumbing fixture, but there is an ROI that can be attached to an upgrade from an older style toilet to the new 1.6 gallon models.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a website with a wealth of information on water conservation and water saving products. As an example, a household with 2.6 people (national average) using toilets that were installed between 1980 and 1994 will save more than 11,000 gallons of water or $64 on their water bill over a year's time by choosing a WaterSense labeled 1.6 gallon toilet. This is an average calculation. Savings can be more or less relative to use and utility billing rates.

David Heffner is a licensed plumbing contractor in the state of Indiana and is bonded and insured. Heffner Plumbing is a highly rated company with Angie’s List and has received the Super Service Award every year since 2004. Heffner received the 2009 Contractor of the Year Award by the Greater Indianapolis Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors (GIPHCC) and is a complaint free company with the Better Business Bureau.

As of Nov. 18, 2011, this service provider was highly rated on Angie’s List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie’s List.

More Like This

5 Ways to Save on Your Water Bill


sink with new fixtures
Install low-flow faucets or add aerators to your existing ones to save water. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member J.Frank L. of San Diego)

Check out these 5 ways to reduce water consumption inside your home. There are things you can do to save money on your next bill with a few simple repairs.

Post New Comment


What is Angie's List?

Angie’s List is the trusted site where more than 3 million households go to get ratings and reviews on everything from home repair to health care. Stop guessing when it comes to hiring! Check Angie’s List to find out who does the best work in town.

Local Discounts

Daily deals up to 70% off popular home improvement projects from top-rated contractors on Angie’s List!