Monday, March 10, 2008

#188 - Dropping A Brick In The Toilet

Sounds Like A Euphemism For Taking A Crap

But it's not. It's actually a way of further reducing the amount of water you use every time you flush the toilet. Only, in my case, I didn't use a brick. I used three empty glass honey jars I had sitting around - one for each toilet tank in the house. I filled each one with two cups of water and placed it in the tank, away from all the moving flushy-type stuff.

Tada! Instant water savings every time I flush! Which is much less often than it used to be (yeah, have I mentioned that this is a slippery slope change? Once you get used to seeing pee in the toilets, you tend to stop flushing unless the toilet paper is actually coming up over the rim ;-).

Also, have I mentioned how much I am LOVING Technology-Free Day? The only downside is it doesn't leave me much time to work on my Monday post, so they end up being kind of short. Like this one.


Savings:
Two cups of water per flush and I'd say we're now averaging eight flushes per day. So 8 x 2 = 16 cups per day, or one gallon. In one week, that's seven gallons of water. In a year, 365 gallons saved! That shaves another percentage point off my riot numbers! Woo Hoo!


Difficulty Level: 1 out of 5

This literally could not be easier. Fill jars with water. Set jar in tank. Forget about it forever. The only caveat I'd give is to make sure the labels are off the jars. You don't want them to come off and float around in the tank -- they might interfere with the flushing mechanism.

13 comments:

Green Bean said...

Ha, ha. We did this too with a couple old yogurt containers. Whenever I lift the lid on mine to refill it with water from the shower warming up, the boys laugh and shout "Mommy's yogurt!".

The pee in the potty thing is a slippery slope here too. I only flush now if we're having visitors or I think the toilet paper will clog the toilet. :)

leslie said...

http://www.lesliehawes.com/wordpress/?p=8
I did a post about "A Brick in Your Tank".
It is one of the easiest ways to save water. This is one of those "if everybody did it" things that can have a huge impact.
I really like your jar idea.

Brian said...

Yes, and NEVER use a brick, it can dissolve and interfere with the flushing or clog your pipes...oh yeah, my favorite piece of toilet-based equipment...the ballcock...

The last time I had to replace ours, I managed to work it into our conversations for about 3 days...

:)

MamaBird said...

Thanks, we used to have a jar of pennies in there but come to think of it we fished it out last time the toilet broke. Gotta put another jar in! You know, kids are actually good for keeping us from flushing, at least kids who sleep lightly! We hardly ever flush at all since we are so used to making as little noise as possible in the loo. Smile.

Chile said...

Ok, now take it a step further. Put a stack of cloth wipes next to the toilet and use those instead of TP. Then you never have to flush until you have dropped a brick in the toilet. :)

Gruppie Girl said...

That water savings really added up fast.

Thanks for the tip!

Burbanmom said...

Chile... not quite there yet... I think finding a little basket of pee-pee cloths might be the proverbial "tipping point" for my marriage! ;-)

See... these baby steps I take? They're not all for me... they're to give hubby a chance to adjust!

Fake Plastic Fish said...

If only we could do that at Chez Terry-Stoler, but alas, the toilet nearly clogs every time we flush as it is. Any less water, and nothing would ever go down.

BUT I am making progress on the furnace filter front. Will fill you in later!

Beth

Heather said...

As the wife of BALL-COCK BOY (above), I would like to mention that he also enjoys replacing windows because it allows him to work "My caulk is getting hard" into conversations for about 2 more weeks.

Yes, it's like living with a sixth-grader. Or Howard Stern.

gregra&gar said...

Somehow multiplying the savings of this tip by three toilets to amount to a greater savings seems to be ignoring something very obvious. Or is it me?

Fake Plastic Fish said...

Hi gregra&gar. I think it's you. I re-read her post. She never said that she was multiplying by three for a greater savings. It sounds to me like it would be the same number of flushes regardless of how many toilets she has. As long as she displaces the same amount of water in each toilet, the savings will be the same whether it's one toilet or ten, right? She said they were averaging 8 flushes per day; not 8 flushes per toilet.

Just trying to be helpful instead of doing my job.

gregra&gar said...

Good point fpf, but the obvious I intended was Three toilets!!! Even the public bathroom in the next post only has one and must deal with much more traffic than a family of four. I was speaking more to our need for excessive stuff for convenience than about recessive water from thoughtless use.

Heather said...

In Erin's defense, I can assure you that she wasn't responsible for the installation of three toilets in her house.

More than a couple years ago, when she and I were still living with the parents, Erin and I decided we were going to remodel the bathroom. We hopped in the car, drove to the local building supply store, and I followed Erin around while she grabbed a variety of tubes, nails, long pokey things and duct tape.

"You sure you know what you're doing?" I asked.

Erin rolled her eyes at me and said, "Duh. Of course I do. I watch Bob Vila."

After four tubes of mis-used caulk and a couple of hammer-blackened thumbnails, we abandoned the renovations and went fishing.

We won't tell the story of the 28 bullhead Dad found in our bathtub later that day . . . .