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Old 01-02-2020, 02:02 PM   #1
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Default High Efficiency Toilet Tank

Fixed a leaking toilet tank for an elderly lady. Saw the sticker still proudly on display on the front of the tank. Enough to make any Californian who pays a water bill wince.
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Old 01-02-2020, 03:57 PM   #2
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In the late 70's there was a couple year drought in CA that was pretty scary. One saying from the time gives a good indication of the general mindset.
"It's it's brown, flush it down. If it's yellow, let it mellow."
Restaurants stopped serving water unless asked for. The logic was that a used glass would need washing which used a lot more water than the 8 oz. poured into the glass.

Among other things, the legislature passed a bill mandating 3.5 gpf (low flush) toilets. At the time most toilets used 5 gallons per flush. Some older ones as much as 9 gpf.
The first generation of these P.O.S's were worthless. They didn't flush worth a damn.
Plumbingware manufacturers were in such a hurry to comply, they didn't bother to go back to the drawing board to design from scratch. They did it the easy way be fiddling around with add ons to existing technology and CA consumers were stuck with being beta testers.

One of the ironies of low consumption faucets and fixtures is that our waste systems were originally designed (thank you Mr. Hunter et. al.) to handle quite a bit more flow per capita than what goes down the drain now. Fortunately, the model codes are finally addressing this discrepancy. The 2021 UPC will reflect an increase in the maximum number of 6 unit traps on a 3" line, courtesy of a code change proposal from yours truly.
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Old 01-02-2020, 04:52 PM   #3
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Most restaurants in my area have been serving water only on request. I think some stopped that after the flooding following the Camp Fire though. And yeah, times have changed for plumbing fixtures. I just saw a toilet kit at Ferguson that was a 0.8 gallon flush. And most stores up here have those waterless urinals.
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Old 01-02-2020, 07:03 PM   #4
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Most restaurants in my area have been serving water only on request. I think some stopped that after the flooding following the Camp Fire though. And yeah, times have changed for plumbing fixtures. I just saw a toilet kit at Ferguson that was a 0.8 gallon flush. And most stores up here have those waterless urinals.



Waterless urinals are GARBAGE!!! I would like to punch every person in the face who got them installed in our area.


Waterless urinals are disgusting and clog frequently. If any maintenance guy wants to keep them running they quickly end up not being waterless urinals because buckets of water get dumped down them several times a day. I have installed several water spigots under lav sinks and sold them washer hoses.



We don't have a shortage of water with the exception of maybe two customers. And one of those two customers is a commercial property that could easily make use of a grey water system aka gutter drain fed buried concrete cistern. Instead they spend loads of money on unclogging their waterless urinals and run the well dry every time a flapper or fill valve fails which is often because they have so much crap in their water. I have even had several of those kohler flush cans break because of the mineral build up and the plastic becoming brittle, presumably from the sulphur in the water? No other customer of ours has this issue with those flush cans.




















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Old 01-02-2020, 07:04 PM   #5
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We have tons of 4" cast iron and orangeburg around here so every time someone gets rid of old faithful they start having issues till they learn to multi flush.

99% of our customers have wells and septic systems. It's essentially a closed system and no water is wasted.






















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Old 01-03-2020, 05:26 PM   #6
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We have tons of 4" cast iron and orangeburg around here so every time someone gets rid of old faithful they start having issues till they learn to multi flush.

99% of our customers have wells and septic systems. It's essentially a closed system and no water is wasted..
You have the luxury of having a reliably plentiful water source. There are many places in North America which do not. Saving water by limiting gpf is a low hanging fruit. Other means of increasing the water supply or decreasing demand are available. Desalination, deep well pumping or use restrictions all would have greater yields, but at what cost.
When our legislators start to proscribe societal behavior there can be unintended circumstances.

If your well were sharing the same aquifer as my septic tank, would you call that a closed system?
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Old 01-03-2020, 07:17 PM   #7
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You have the luxury of having a reliably plentiful water source. There are many places in North America which do not. Saving water by limiting gpf is a low hanging fruit. Other means of increasing the water supply or decreasing demand are available. Desalination, deep well pumping or use restrictions all would have greater yields, but at what cost.
When our legislators start to proscribe societal behavior there can be unintended circumstances.

If your well were sharing the same aquifer as my septic tank, would you call that a closed system?





Yes, I know it is a luxury. But I also know that it "costs" a lot more to drive my 11mpg van to your house to unclog your whatever because you're not using enough water. What's the environmental "cost" of me driving around all day unclogging drains?








Also, if MY septic tank went into the same aquifer as MY well, which it does, than it would be a "closed system". Our leach fields rely on percolation, not evaporation. Most of our effluent is filtered as it percolates and then ends up coming out of our wells.


Some septic effluents get pumped to the city sewer. Some houses have wells and city sewer. Some houses have city water but also a septic system. All of these are much less common than having a well and a standard septic system in my area.






Instead of paying me to unclog their main waste line because they have a low flush toilet they could put solar panels on the roof and pump some more water. But that kind of solution isn't simple enough for the generally lazy and dumb public.












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Old 01-03-2020, 09:56 PM   #8
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You have the luxury of having a reliably plentiful water source. There are many places in North America which do not.
That's the ONLY argument on low flow fixtures. As long as 100% of water is returned then why low flow? Either septic or sewage treatment plant returns water 100%.
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Old 01-04-2020, 01:12 AM   #9
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That's the ONLY argument on low flow fixtures. As long as 100% of water is returned then why low flow? Either septic or sewage treatment plant returns water 100%.



This is why shower heads have easy to remove restrictors. Same with spring-flo aerators.


When I get a customer who has the mind to handle it, I explain to them that if they want a good toilet to find one with a 2" flapper and an oversized tank, and to buy a pro57 flush valve at the same time. Add one big orange flapper and it's almost as good as a mid-eighties AS.












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Old 01-04-2020, 01:20 AM   #10
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I don't understand why more new houses don't have cisterns like the good old days. Especially in california in the areas that don't freeze.



Where I live there are many old homes that have buried 1000 gallon concrete cisterns with a hand pump on top in the yard. The gutter drains feed it and there would have been a piston pump in the basement sucking out of it.


While this idea disgusts me for drinking water there is no reason you couldn't hook this up to only feed the toilets. Add in a check on the grey line, a backflow preventer and prv on the domestic side and you have a simple grey water system with domestic back up.


Even if it does sound gross we actually have more than a comfortable number of customers with gravity spring fed cisterns in their basements. Some have added uv lights but most haven't. This one woman, 80 years old, said she lived in the house her whole life and the water's always been great. I bet her immune system is like fort knox because the basement floor is the top of the cistern.











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