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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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  1.  
    Just looking into converting an old toilet into a water saving one.

    In the past I recall seeing some retrofit siphons on the waterwise.org.uk site. It seems their product page is now gone. Have been trawling through google searches and can't find any independent opinions on the subject.

    I am thinking of installing one of these - http://www.cyberenergy.co.uk/single-to-dual-flush-toilet-converter-198-p.asp

    Anyone have any experience of this kind of thing? Any recommendations as to the best product?
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeNov 3rd 2012
     
    How about putting a few half bricks in the cistern?
    •  
      CommentAuthorjoe90
    • CommentTimeNov 3rd 2012
     
    I fit these:-

    http://www.diy.com/nav/fix/plumbing/plumbing-supplies/toilet_fittings/-specificproducttype-valves/Opella-203mm-Dual-Flush-Siphon-11477980?skuId=11988687
  2.  
    Hi,
    I have a 1960's bungalow which I refurbished and extended. I had no problems with the drainage until I fitted an eco dual flush toilet. About every six months I get a blockage in the manhole that the toilet empties into. Even on a full flush there is just not enough water to keep things moving in the pipe 100% of the time. The manhole has the soil pipe running through it and has the top half of the pipe removed for access. I have spoken to a friend and he recommends "banking up" the sides wich cement to give a sort of deep gulley to prevent any blockage. I did read an article from an ex Building control officer that this was quite common - New toilets feeding into the old sewer system are not always compatible. Worth keeping an eye on if you reduce the water per flush.

    Richard
    • CommentAuthorchriskemp
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2012
     
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: tony</cite>How about putting a few half bricks in the cistern?</blockquote>

    This
    Although maybe worth sealing in a bag of some kind just to keep the water clean and stop any potential blockage of the water inlet.?
    • CommentAuthortimbrennan
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2012 edited
     
    Posted By: tonyHow about putting a few half bricks in the cistern?


    I think it is a good idea to be able to vary the length of the flush.

    Bricks in the cistern would save some water, but sometimes you would want an even shorter flush than that.
    • CommentAuthortimbrennan
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2012 edited
     
    Posted By: joe90I fit these:-

    http://www.diy.com/nav/fix/plumbing/plumbing-supplies/toilet_fittings/-specificproducttype-valves/Opella-203mm-Dual-Flush-Siphon-11477980?skuId=11988687


    Are these interruptible? I mean if you stop flushing, does the water stop immediately? I think interruptible is the way to go.
    •  
      CommentAuthorjoe90
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2012
     
    timbrennan, No. You can choose short or long flush, short flush by holding the handle down till it finishes or long flush by letting go of the handle.
  3.  
    I have used the Interflush device a couple of dozen times. The first one takes a while, and the subsequent ones take less and lesss time till you can do them in 10 mins. Then you leave a gap of a year or more, forget what made you so quick, and .....the first one takes a while, and the subsequent ones take less and lesss time till you can do them in 10 mins. I rate these very highly. No connection to product manufacturer. Just a satisfied user.
    • CommentAuthorchriskemp
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2012
     
    Depends on your levels of fibre in your diet too...... :-)
    • CommentAuthorRobL
    • CommentTimeSep 29th 2020
     
    Noticed this article in the Guardian on dual flush toilets wasting more water than they save :-(

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/sep/29/dual-flush-toilets-wasting-more-water-than-they-save

    We fitted an Interflush add-on to our syphon flush toilet years ago (Thanks Nick!), and recommend it. The syphon means it won't leak like the dual flush ones eventually do.
  4.  
    :bigsmile:

    I agree wholeheartedly re the 'overflow-into-the-bowl' type. I have heard a few when at clients' houses. If you have one, periodically drape a bit of toilet roll near the top of the bowl. If it stays dry you don't have an overflow, and if it doesn't, you may (or you forgot to let the bowl dry before you did the 'paper trick').
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeSep 29th 2020
     
    There's nothing wrong with overflow into the bowl. That's just a matter of the plumbing inside the cistern, just as the design of the flush valve is. We have three Dudley Turbo 88 Duoflush syphon cisterns and they are all still working as fine as the day they were installed. Syphon versus flap valve, absolutely there's an issue.

    The main way we waste water is due to pan design. Two of our pans are by Vitra and work fine (though one of the soft-close lids is no longer soft-close, but that's another story). The third is by Rak (SWMBO wanted rimless and we wanted a taller pan for aged guests) and sometimes doesn't flush solids completely. Initially we tried a second flush (another 6 L), but even that didn't always work. So now we use a 1 L jug, or a 3 L bucket - pouring that down is far more effective than the flush. The pan is what I think of as a 'continental' design - there's a flat area at the base of the pan at the front and the outlet is at the back (I don't know the proper name). But whether it's that or the rimless flow pattern or what I don't know. The Vitra pans have a more central hole with no flat surfaces and do have rims and seem to flush OK.
    • CommentAuthorEbeneezer
    • CommentTimeOct 4th 2020
     
    A recent episode of Costing the Earth on Radio 4 was very interesting. It discussed the same issue in the Guardian article above but the most telling comment was a member of the trade body for bathroom manufacturers saying that drop valve toilets (the most common dual flush type) will work well for many years if they are properly serviced.

    I've never heard of anybody getting their toilet serviced, so I suspect most of them will be leaking for years before they are replaced.

    Links to listen:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000mznn
    • CommentAuthorbhommels
    • CommentTimeOct 4th 2020
     
    To keep our dual flush mechanism in good nick I put (used) descaler solution in, either at night but preferably when away for the weekend or even holiday. I found limescale deposits are the main culprits behind slow leaks and letting descaler soak for a while does away with that. Note that we have quite hard water and eventually even get deposits on bits that only come into contact with cold water.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeOct 4th 2020
     
    Abolishing hard water in the loos was a significant reason we got a water softener. That and sinks etc.
    • CommentAuthorbhommels
    • CommentTimeOct 5th 2020
     
    Posted By: djhAbolishing hard water in the loos was a significant reason we got a water softener. That and sinks etc.

    Plese tell me about your magic water softener if it A) works and B) does not waste insane amounts during the purge cycles?
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeOct 5th 2020
     
    I don't think I claimed it was magic? It's a Tapworks AD11 (since replaced by NSC11PRO I think, but still available) so you'll need to check its docs for performance, but it works, uses ordinary tablet salt and is recharge is metered so we're happy with it. I have no idea what you consider to be insane amounts of whatever?
    • CommentAuthorSteveZ
    • CommentTimeOct 5th 2020
     
    When we lived in Wiltshire (hard water) we had a Kinetico twin tank water softener for many trouble-free years. Expensive at the time of purchase, but keep it filled with salt (tablet or loose) and that was about it I think it switched and back-flushed the tanks automatically using its own flow meter measurements.

    Moved to Cornwall a few years ago and now don't need one - lovely soft water down here :bigsmile:
    • CommentAuthorbhommels
    • CommentTimeOct 5th 2020
     
    All the water softeners I have looked at so far waste quite a bit of water to regenerate. I'll have a look at the tapworks, but since the chemistry & physics is the same I don't expect it to be substantially better.
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