Remember those water restriction rules and regulations we were all following in the early 2000s?
While the drought of the early noughties is over, that doesn’t diminish the importance of saving water. If anything, it should serve as a reminder that water is a finite resource that needs to be saved!
In a country as dry and drought-prone as ours, it’s always a good idea to save water. It’s also a great way to lighten your household budget.
This week, our Melbourne plumbers take a closer look at the humble toilet. How can you save water every time you flush?
How can you save water with your loo?
Invented in 1980 just over the border in South Australia, modern dual-flush systems are now mandatory for new builds in every state (excluding NSW).
But while modern toilets are light years ahead of their forebears in efficiency, there are many older homes that missed the dual-flush revolution and continue chugging along with wasteful, outdated toilets.
While the amount of water flushed away depends on your toilet, some older toilets use up to 12 litres of water per flush – multiply that by the average five or so flushes a day and that’s a whopping 60 litres per day – and per person in the household!
Be sure to check the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) label to find the most water-efficient appliances available on the market.
Dual flush conversion
A tight budget may put the kibosh on your water-saving plans. Fortunately, however, that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with your wasteful loo!
Depending on your toilet, you may be able to install a dual flush converter to your cistern.
Using a mechanism identical to a proper dual-flush system, conversions kits can be retrofitted into your existing toilet with relative ease, giving you the benefit of a water-efficient toilet without the associated expense.
Of course, some toilets won’t be able to support an update. If you’re unsure, be sure to ask for a professional’s opinion first.
Your home water fixtures generate two different types of wastewater: greywater and blackwater.
- Greywater: wastewater from non-toilet fixtures like showers, taps and basins. Generally safe to recycle.
- Blackwater: water that’s been mixed with toilet waste, as well as dishwater and runoff from your washing machine. Not recycled.
Greywater recycling is another way you can save water with your toilet.
Runoff from your evening shower is piped to a greywater tank rather than to the sewer system. This allows greywater to be reused for non-drinking purposes like watering your garden and – you guessed it – flushing your toilet.
Have you sprung a leak?
Drip. Drip. Drip.
A leaky tap is more than an annoyance when you’re trying to fall asleep at night – every second your tap drips is money literally going down the drain.
And the same applies to your toilet.
Even the most efficient toilet can still cause wastage if your pipes aren’t in tip-top condition.
Are you experiencing some of the symptoms of a leaky pipe or plumbing fixture?
Your plumber can help you identify and fix any leaks, potentially saving you a small fortune.
Change your habits
You may have heard the phrase “if it’s yellow, let it mellow.”
Fortunately, we’re not advocating for action that drastic just yet! However, there are other water-saving toilet habits you can get into in the meantime.
If you have a habit of using your toilet as a rubbish bin, we encourage you to put a stop to that.
Tissues, wet wipes and cotton buds aren’t designed to flush like toilet paper – as such, they can easily get stuck in your pipes, forcing you to use multiple flushes to clear them.
Not only does frequent flushing waste water, but flushing anything other than toilet paper can also lead to a completely clogged loo: not something you wish to face – trust us.
Is it safe to drop a brick in my toilet – and does it save water?
It’s an ancient life-hack: leave a brick in the toilet cistern to save water.
The idea is that the brick will take the place of water, reducing the amount of water required for flushing.
At Watermaster Plumbing, this is one common question we get when the conversation turns towards saving water. And while in theory, it sort of does make sense, it can cause long-term damage to your toilet.
It may be difficult to believe, but bricks disintegrate over time when exposed to water.
Fortunately, your house’s brick exterior walls are usually dry; a brick that gets left in your toilet cistern, on the other hand, is going to be immersed in water 24/7.
Not only will it lose effectiveness over time, but chunks of it can even block your toilet’s plumbing – or even worse, break it entirely.
And if the brick takes up too much room, you won’t have enough water to get the job done, necessitating a second flush and completely cancelling out your attempt at saving water! (And, just like we mentioned above, can lead to a particularly nasty blockage.)
Instead of trying your hand at DIY plumbing (which we strongly advise against), consider calling your local Melbourne plumbers instead!
Call Watermaster’s Melbourne plumbers for water-saving help
When it comes to saving water, your local plumber is your best friend. With their experience, equipment and know-how on your side, a lower water bill that doesn’t compromise on quality or comfort is completely doable!
Are you based in Melbourne’s southeast? Do you want to start saving water?