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Water conservation and old toilets
I know this is plumbing, but I thought more folks might see this. I have always been into conservation, not the extreme kind, but were you can live a normal life. I've got our original 1903 or so toilet (wall hung tank), down to under 2 gallons per flush and....it works just fine. I really don't know why the American toilet manufacturers have made such a fuss over 1.6 gallon toilets...I can approach that standard with 110 year old technology. One thing I did learn is that the typical toilet flush valve puts way too much refill water into the bowl after the flush. I you want to easily cut your water use, partially plug the rubber fill tube (a piece of #10 or 12 wire will do). Right now I am putting nothing in and the water level is low, but the trap is well sealed. If I add another 1 qt of water the bowl is full, 2 cups is probably plenty. So I need at most 2.2 gallons to make a 110 year old toilet flush just fine. The tank has 3 bricks in it, a 1 gallon jug of water and some rocks to reduce the tank volume. I also lowered the water level some ( and cut the overflow to keep the required clearance) , but have tried to keep the water level high for more forceful flushing.
I've also been working on boosting our vehicles mileage. I've got our 93 Tracer (Escort) wagon consistently pulling 33 to 34 mpg at 65 to 70 mph highway speeds with about 800 lbs load. On the open highway with no traffic jams, but 800 lbs load we are close to 38 mpg. It's only rated at 30 by the new EPA standards. A few simple mechanical and aero changes made a big difference, and I have a few more items to do that I expect to see significant gains. Now to do something about the BEAST (2001 Ford E250).
Just a few words of encouragement to those that like to tinker a little to make things better. It doesn't seem to take much to greatly improve on what is mass produced.
The Steam Whisperer (Formerly Boilerpro)
Chicago's Steam Heating Expert
Noisy Radiators are a Cry for Help