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Under the Hood of my Ugly ’80s Toilet

Hey, they don’t make ’em like this anymore! Thank heavens! This is my hideous 1980s-vintage gold toilet. For a variety of reasons, I’m not in a position to get rid of the 3.5-gallon flusher just now. I have, however, modded it “under the hood” to use less water. (I don’t know the total amount of water these add-ons save; does anyone know how I would determine this?)

Anyway…first, I’ve replaced the constantly-kinking flush chain with a piece of rubbery cord that I pulled off of a retail pants hangers. Try this freebie hack if, like me, you get leaking water due to the flapper not seating firmly when the chain tangles. (Look for a hanger like this one.)

Next: see that blue thing attached to the fill tube? This is a clever little device that saves water by equalizing the bowl/tank fill rate. Most toilet bowls are finished filling long before the tank is full. While the fill valve continues filling the tank, it also continues overfilling the bowl, and the excess bowl water goes over the siphon trap and down the drain, wasted. With this adjustable gizmo the tank and bowl both finish filling at exactly the same time. (I got mine from eBay, but here’s a similar one.)

Next…Julie O’Fee, a friend from the UK, sent me a Thames Water giveaway Save-a-Flush which saves up to one litre per flush, according to their website. It’s a bag of crystals made from a harmless silicone gel. Once you place it into your “cistern” within hours it swells up firmly against the sides of the tank.

With a little more room in the tank, I added the 20 oz. glass; it just sits there in the tank and when it’s flushed the water stays in the glass and the whole deal displaces that additional amount of water.

So this will suffice as I continue to dream of my future Euro-styled dual flush. Now if only I could do something about the color…