Flush with less water

Written by terrapass


Making a few simple modifications to your toilet is an easy, low-cost way to start reducing water waste and your water bill, too! Here are some simple steps to creating a lower-flow toilet.

1. Put a few inches of gravel or pebbles in the bottom of an empty gallon jug. Fill the rest up with water and cap it. If you prefer slightly more water for flushing, use a smaller jug.

2. Remove the lid of the toilet tank and flush. Notice the location of the flushing mechanism.

3. Place the filled jug in the tank, making sure not to interfere with any part of the flushing mechanism.

4. Allow the toilet to fill back up.

5. If the jug floats a little, add more gravel to weigh it down.

6. Replace the toilet tank lid and use your toilet as normal.

Note: a brick is not recommended for sinking in the toilet tank, as it may eventually begin to deteriorate and could damage the toilet mechanism.

**How this helps**

Flushing with less water cuts your water use without compromising the effectiveness of your toilet. The effect is most dramatic if you have an older-model toilet (i.e. one that requires more than three gallons to flush). Although a toilet made after 1994 already uses only 1.6 gallons to flush, it’s still possible to further reduce this amount, but be wary of flushing with less than one gallon.

**More information**

Read this tip in full at GreenYour.com.

**Related tips (from GreenYour.com)**

– Check your toilet for leaks.
– Install a graywater system.

This tip is reproduced with permission from GreenYour.com.

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  1. Basai

    if you are concerned about mold then I would recommend what I did which is an in expensive product called the Toilet Tank Bank which rant me about $2 and did the same thing but is treated as not to get moldy.

  2. Anonymous

    Has anyone ever had a problem with mold in their toilet tank? Any of the crud you see in there should just be mineral deposits.

  3. GD Stevens

    Toilets are designed to be flushed with the amount of water that’s in the tank. Using less than the design volume may create a need for “double flushers” which use more water than what you might save. If you really want to save water, buy a more efficient toilet, let it mellow if it’s yellow, or do “Number 1” in the bushes in your yard.

  4. Shamus Thornton

    Someone recommended to me that I buy a very expensive toilet with two flush buttons. The small button is for flushing with half the tank for number 1, and the big button is a full tank flush for number 2. I told them that I already installed a $4 rubber flapper in every toilet in my house. You hold the lever down until the bowl is cleared. You use as much water as you want, but no more than you need. It takes less than a half tank to flush number 1, and less than a full tank for number 2. You can install the rubber flapper yourself with no tools in less than five minutes. The only thing discarded is the stiff old flapper, and maybe the old chain.

  5. Sam-Hec

    I use a reclaimed kitty litter container as an ad hoc Chamber Pot for the Number 1’s. When a Number 2. comes around, the container is poured with that.
    In the shower, I use a 5 gallon bucket to collect some of the water, this is then usually used in the dry california summer to water patio plants, but in the rainy winter it will be used to flush toilets.

  6. Anonymous

    Whoa! wake up America!!!!!
    In parts of Australia every household uses a bucket in their shower!! This is the only water allowed for watering the plants. Should this happen here, yes!!!!