Low Flow Toilets

Originally Posted By: sbeckman
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I have a question about low flow toilets and shower heads. Lately, some of my Realtors are asking me if the toilets are low flow, due to the fact it is required here is certain areas. I say I’m not sure , not part of inspection bla bla …but I am interested in knowing the difference.


How Can I visually tell the difference between a low flow toilet and non, low flow. Also shower heads, low flow or not.


Probably an easy answer, just can’t find any answers in the search feature. Thanks guys…and gals. icon_exclaim.gif


Originally Posted By: tpope
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Scott,


As of Jan. 1st 1994 all toilets manufactured had to be 1.6 gal. per flush or less. They should be stamped/etched in the tank or somewhere like that.


Not sure on the showerheads…


Originally Posted By: away
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Scott,


Typically, I find either a permanent marking somewhere near the seat hinges (along with the mfg name) or it will be stamped into the tank porcelain.


As far as a being a requirement, they are only required for new construction or if replaced. I don't believe you can even buy the larger ones at retail places, you have to know someone from Canada or Mexico and bring it in under the radar so to speak.

Shower heads may be stamped somewhere along the threaded section or on the face. If not then it is a crap shoot.

Even though they are marked as such, the mfg's were smart and made the flow restrictor removable in the earlier models. Rather than completely redesign and retool they just designed the restrictor to fit into their existing products. It wasn't until recently that the restrictor was required to be non-removable. I would be very cautious about claiming a shower head is low flow, especially one that is more than a few years old.

The low flow requirement for shower heads, just like commodes, is only for new construction. Also, like commodes, I don't think you can buy the high flow shower heads any longer.


--
Andrew Way
Keystone Residential Inspection Services PLLC
817.441.9598
www.keystoneinspections.com

Originally Posted By: jsieg
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Good Answer Andrew…


You said everything I was going to say including the Canada/ Mexico thing...

The only way to know for sure on faucets and shower heads is to remove them & reinstall...

Even then on the older units the arrestor could be removed after your inspection...


Originally Posted By: jpope
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Scott,


If they aren't clearly marked inside the tank or at the bowl (between the seat mounts), I write that they "did not appear to be low flow type as required by LADWP."

The seller is required to certify the home so it really doesn't matter to the buyer. If I'm asked about other fixtures, I typically defer them to a retrofitter and explain that they are the only ones qualified to make that determination.


Originally Posted By: rfarruggia
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last time I went to Canada I smuggled a pair of 3 gallon per flush Kohlers and a few boxes of Havana’s finest back with me.


I have regularly been enjoying both.


Originally Posted By: Jay Moge
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rfarruggia wrote:
last time I went to Canada I smuggled a pair of 3 gallon per flush Kohlers and a few boxes of Havana's finest back with me.

I have regularly been enjoying both.


Get it....."regular..." toilet....ha ha ha ha. ![icon_lol.gif](upload://zEgbBCXRskkCTwEux7Bi20ZySza.gif) ![icon_lol.gif](upload://zEgbBCXRskkCTwEux7Bi20ZySza.gif)


Originally Posted By: jfeig
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I drilled out my shower heads holes to increade the flow. Now I can rinse off the soap in 1/5 the time.


Back to the question. If its not labeled, try this.

Shower head - The best way is to bring a 1 gallon emty jug and hold it under the head while running. Measure the time to fill in seconds. Multiply seconds by (1 gal x #sec x 1min/ 60 sec = # gal/min) or in short form seconds devided by 60 and you get gal/min flow rate.

Toilet - you would need to measure the holding tank in inches. Height at top of fill, lenth and width. Use this equation Lxwxh x (1cu ft/ 1728 cu inches) x (7.48 gal/1 cu ft) = gallons capacity. Short form - Lxwxh/1728 x 7.48= # gal.

These methods give exact answers and it they are close to the specs your ok.


Originally Posted By: jfeig
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OOps I made a mistake on the shower head calculation. You will need to take 1/the answer.


Originally Posted By: rray
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tpope wrote:
As of Jan. 1st 1994 all toilets manufactured had to be 1.6 gal. per flush or less. They should be stamped/etched in the tank or somewhere like that.

Can you provide a link to that requirement?

Here in San Diego, the city requires low-flow toilets and defines them as 3.5 gallons per flush or less. They define "ultra low-flow toilets" as 1.6 gallons or less.

The ultra low-flow toilets will have 1.6 gpf/6 lpf or something like that stamped on the toilet somewhere. The low-flow toilets (by their definition) typically don't have anything stamped on them.

Home Depot here currently sells lots of toilets that are not ultra low-flow.


Originally Posted By: rray
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The City of San Diego also approves of sellers turning off the valve at the toilet, flushing the toilet, and then using a one-gallon jug to fill up the tank, thereby determining how many gallons the tank holds, so many listing Realtors are now using that method to help out their sellers.


Originally Posted By: gmartin2
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There are some really crummy low flow toilets out there. (1.6g) I worked in a facility that had some poor ones and in some cases modifyed the flappers to get the ‘floaters’ to flush out-of-sight!( don’t get some thing for nothing)


Geo


Originally Posted By: tpope
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rray wrote:
tpope wrote:
As of Jan. 1st 1994 all toilets manufactured had to be 1.6 gal. per flush or less. They should be stamped/etched in the tank or somewhere like that.

Can you provide a link to that requirement?



Try these:
http://www.epa.gov/OW-OWM.html/mtb/hi-eff_toilet.pdf


http://www.toiletology.com/low-flow.shtml


Originally Posted By: rray
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Very interesting reading. Thank you.


I wonder, then, how the very specific City of San Diego requirements appear to circumvent the "national" requirements.

As with the City of San Diego's wastewater treatment plants, which have been getting, I believe, 5-year exemptions from various requirements and standards, I'd be willing to bet that the national standards for low-flow toilets falls into the City's exemption.

And where is Home Depot here getting their 3.5-gallon toilets? From Canadian suppliers.

I'll have to see if I can find someone who can get me the exemption document from the City.


Originally Posted By: jpope
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San Diego City has the same requirements as Los Angeles I see. Except LA requires the SELLER to pay for the retrofitting. . .


http://www.sandiego.gov/water/conservation/selling.shtml

http://www.sandiego.gov/water/pdf/trrc.pdf

http://www.sandiego.gov/water/conservation/ultra.shtml


Originally Posted By: rray
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Quote:

Toilets which are manufactured to use more than 3.5 gallons per flush (gpf) must be replaced with Ultra-Low Flush Toilets (ULFTs) that use 1.6 gpf or less. Modifications intended to reduce the flow of an existing toilet, such as the use of toilet bags, dams, bricks, or other alternative flushing devices, are not permissible and do not comply with the Code provisions.


That would explain why Home Depot still sells 3.5 gallon toilets.

And I think there's actually a 2.9-gallon model, as well.


Originally Posted By: lewens
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Low flow toilets, while maybe not code here yet, are becoming the norm in new construction. There is an American Standard plant near here that makes them and I don’t think they are making anything larger than a 1.6 gallon flush.


Larry


Originally Posted By: rray
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I got curious about Home Depot, so I trucked on over to my nearest one late yesterday evening and investigated (and came home with $252.81 of stuff that I probably didn’t need).


While there are many models that have tanks much, much larger than a mere 1.6 gallons, the secret appears to be in the flushing mechanism. Stupid me didn't even think about that. However, now I'm wondering if the larger tank provides a way for people to modify their toilets to provide more than 1.6 gallons per flush. Indeed, after reading those articles again in Timothy's post, one survey found that the average flush was something like 1.94 gallons. Hmmmmmmmmmm. How do you get 1.94 gallons out of a 1.6 gallon per flush toilet?