Decisions, Decisions

by Magdalene Cunningham

Toilet Decision editedThis summer, my husband and I are remodeling our bathrooms and kitchen and it’s involved a lot of choices. Toilets, for instance.

I just wanted new toilets to go with my two new bathrooms; little did I know I needed to make several decisions.  Do I want chair height or lower which is better for small children?  Do I want a rounded or elongated seat?  Do I want a regular flushing system or one of the newer engineered varieties such as the push 1 or push 2?

One decision was simple.  Since I work for EPA, I‘m familiar with the benefits of buying a high-efficiency WaterSense product, and it helped me work my way through toilet row at our big home improvement store.

One of the things I’ve learned is that toilets account for nearly 30 percent of an average home’s indoor water consumption and that older, inefficient, toilets use as much as 6 gallons per flush which can be a major source of wasted water in many homes. WaterSense-labeled models can reduce water used for toilets by 20 to 60 percent – saving nearly 13,000 gallons of water and $110 every year.

After I selected my WaterSense toilets, my husband had the fun job of getting two of these new-fangled toilets onto the cart and wheeled to the checkout cashier.  We were very lucky that the ones I picked happened to be stored on the floor and not an upper shelf.  The last time we bought toilets (15 years ago when we bought the house), each toilet came in two boxes: one for the tank and one for the seat part.  Unfortunately for my husband’s back, toilets now come already assembled in one very heavy, very large box.

If someone had thought to videotape our attempts at getting those boxes into what I used to think of as our “mid-sized” car, we’d win a prize on Funniest Home Videos.  He actually did a “Rocky” pose when the second one fit into the back seat.  After installing and using the WaterSense toilets, they work just the same as our old ones, just a lot faster and with a lot less water.

Our next trip: a new energy efficient refrigerator with water and crushed ice available on the outside – at least that can be delivered.


About the Author: Maggy started with EPA in 1987 and has worked in the Water Protection Division as the Region 3 Clean Water State Revolving Fund Coordinator for the past 17 years.  After 23 years of marriage, Maggy is happy to have survived this current and all previous home improvement projects.

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