Archive for February 15th, 2011

HETs – High-Efficiency Toilets-Take Flushing To The Next Level

Posted on February 15, 2011. Filed under: -- Energy/Being GREEN, Conservation | Tags: , , , , , |


I work for the City of Austin (Texas)  and I wanted to share some information I was reading about HET toilets from our water division’s website. These toilets save thousand of gallons of water per year when used in place of traditional or even low flush toilets, so pay attention. At just 1.28 gallons per flush, they use less than half the water of a standard non-efficient toilet. Dual flush high efficiency toilets typically offer both 0.8 gallon and 1.6 gallon flushes. Have fun flushing!

What is a high-efficiency toilet (HET)?

An HET is a fixture with an average flush volume of 1.28 gallons per flush (GPF) or less. That’s 20 percent less than most toilets on the market today.

How long have HETs been available in the U.S.?

The first HET (a gravity-fed, dual-flush fixture) was introduced in the U.S. in late 1998 by Caroma. At that time, the dual-flush technology had been proven and available in the Australian marketplace for about 10 years. Prototypes of the second category of HETs (1.0-gallon pressure-assist fixtures) were field tested in 2001, but results weren’t ideal. Improved, effective technology hit the marketplace in 2003.

Today, a total of 86 different HET fixture models are available from 16 different manufacturers. The market is expected to grow by 50% in the next year as major manufacturers shift their focus to these exceptionally efficient, high-performance toilets.

Do HETs meet customer performance expectations?

Until recently, most of the HETs installed have been part of pilot programs developed by water utilities, and don’t necessarily represent the range of models available in the marketplace today. However, HETs perform better in laboratory tests than most of their “regular” counterparts, thanks to extensive development and engineering. As with any equipment purchase, we recommend that you research the issue before buying to find the model that best fits your needs and budget. (See Maximum Performance (MaP) Testing of Popular Toilet Models, Veritec Consulting and Koeller and Company, to compare toilet performance.)

What about moving waste in the drainline?

Some customers are concerned about drainline transport (clogging and backups) with ultra-low (e.g., 1 gallon) flush volumes. Unlike some first-generation, “low-flow” toilets, WaterSense labeled toilets combine high efficiency with high performance. Design advances enable WaterSense labeled toilets to save water with no trade-off in flushing power. In fact, many perform better than standard toilets in consumer testing.

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How To Choose a Toilet- Go Green While You Make Brown. Fun Times!

Posted on February 15, 2011. Filed under: -- Energy/Being GREEN, -- Uncategorized, Conservation, Tips | Tags: , , , , , , |


I work for the City of Austin, TX and they are very much into water conservation. Here is information from our water authority on how to buy a toilet becuase a toilet is a major purchase, like any other appliance you would choose for your home, and it deserves the same amount of research and attention. There are many different types of toilets, and many different factors that can influence your decision. Good luck!

  • Performance
    The days of poor-performing low-flush toilets are over — it’s easy to save water and get a toilet that works even better than your old water-waster. The Maximum Performance (MaP) Test measures the maximum amount of waste a toilet can fully remove in one flush. To carry the WaterSense label, a toilet must flush at least 350 grams (a typical baking potato is about 250 grams). 
  • Efficiency
    Replacing old 3.5 gallon toilets with efficient 1.6 gpf models can save $3,000 over the life of the toilet. Newer High-Efficiency Toilets (HETs) save even more water, using about 20% less than a 1.6 gpf toilet.Since 1992, all toilets sold in the United States have been 1.6 gallon-per-flush (gpf) toilets. However, many toilets that are water-efficient when first installed can lose their water savings over time as parts wear out and are replaced. Part of the WaterSense testing criteria helps ensure that these toilets will save water even when flappers are replaced. 
  • Size
    Check the measurements for your bathroom to make certain the toilet you select will fit. Most toilet manufacturers have specification sheets on their websites. Model numbers can be found on the WaterSense Programs list of eligible models. (Please note that models with different bowl types and heights will have different measurements.) Make sure you are comfortable with how the toilet will fit in your bathroom; a 17″-high elongated bowl may not be the best choice for a small half-bath.Also, make certain you choose a toilet with the right “rough-in” distance. The rough-in is measured from the center of the bolts on the floor to the back wall. A standard rough-in is 12″, though 10″ and 14″ rough-ins are also available. A 10″ rough-in requires a smaller tank to fit against the wall. Putting a 12″ rough-in toilet in a 14″ rough-in space will leave a visible gap between the tank and the wall. Several toilet models come with an adjustable rough in, where the toilet can be adjusted on-site for either a 10″ or 12″ space. 
  • Bowl Shape
    Toilets come in both round-bowl and elongated-bowl designs. Round bowls are most common and take up the least space in small bathrooms, but elongated bowls provide more seat room and support. 
  • Flushing System
    There are three basic types of toilet flushing mechanisms. Gravity flush toilets are the most common; when the toilet is flushed, gravity pulls water from the tank to wash the bowl. Pressure-assisted toilets use the pressure in your home’s water lines to compress air in a pressure tank, which is released along with the water when the toilet is flushed. This more forceful flush often clears the bowl better than some gravity toilets, but can be noisy, and requires a minimum household pressure of 25 psi. Less common are vacuum-assisted toilets, which have a chamber in the tank that pulls air out of the trap beneath the bowl to suck water downward with more force.Dual-flush toilets are also available. These toilets are most often gravity toilets, and have both a half-flush and a full-flush option. Some have two buttons or a split button on the top, others have a traditional flush lever that can be pushed up or down to vary the flush volume. 
  • Appearance
    For some, finding a toilet that blends in with the decor is just as important as other factors. There are plenty of toilet manufacturers who offer stylized, efficient toilets in a range of colors. However, it’s important to note that some companies name products by the “design suite” rather than assign different names to toilets that are built and perform differently. As a result, there may be several toilets with the same name, only one of which qualifies for our rebate program. Look for the WaterSense logo on toilet packaging or literature to identify qualifying models, or visit http://www.epa.gov/watersense/product_search.html for a list of WaterSense toilets.Also, while most toilets are made in two pieces (tank and bowl), some one-piece models are available. These generally have a more streamlined appearance, with the added benefit of easier cleaning. However, they can be more expensive. 
  • Price
    The old phrase, “you get what you pay for,” may not always apply to toilet shopping. Many high-performance models are available at a range of prices. More expensive toilets don’t necessarily perform better (although some do). Generally, factors that increase cost are design and flushing technology — a stylish pressure-assisted toilet in a special-order color will be more expensive than a plain white toilet from a manufacturer with less advertising.
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