California Drought Report #11

hydro_repair_kitWith the Governor’s demand that we reduce our water consumption by 25% we took an inventory of where we use water. Since we built our house in the early 1980s, we did not have low flow toilets. I went on line and looked for ways we could use the existing toilets, but reduce water use. I went on Amazon and found the device on the left, and ordered one to give it a try in our master bathroom, the most used toilet in the house. Well, that was the easy part.

The HYR460 HydroRight Total Toilet Repair Kit with Dual Flush Converter arrived and I put off making the switch for a few days as I thought through the task, including reading the direction. Yes, I read the instructions. On Wednesday I started the project and that is when the problems started.

Installation was straight forward as described in the instructions, but when I replaced the flush lever with the dual mode control button I noted a faint hairline crack in the water tank. During the float valve adjustment phase, I noted another hairline crack starting at the back of the tank. None of these cracks were leaking, however when I turned on the water after the installation was complete, the shutoff valve leaked. I could not discover how to stop the drip, drip, drip . . . from the valve.

We were going to need a plumber to replace the valve on the wall. With hairline cracks forming in the tank, we decided that a new low flow toilet was also in order. Ellen suggested that if we were going to remove the toilet, perhaps this was a good time to update the flooring, which in her mind no longer complemented the shower tile.

This whole project to save some water had become much more complex, it went from a DYI water saving project to involving a hardware store, a plumber and a floor covering specialist. Not my intent, when I started the project.

About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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2 Responses to California Drought Report #11

  1. Dena says:

    Getting low flow toilets can be a real problem. Our 30 year old condo and the new house built in 2007 both had “low flow toilets” and we were unhappy with both. The ones on the condo just reduced the amount of water and sometimes had problems moving waste products with a single flush. The house toilets have a smaller diameter waste flow in the toilet so from time to time something gets stuck in the neck during the flush. These are the cheapest toilets available in the home improvement store and there is the problem. There are low flow toilets that work well but they are costly. They are designed to push a small quantity of water into the bowl very fast so a larger drain neck will get the correct flow. One of theses days I may get feed up with using the plunger and spend the money for a good toilet but for now I am hopping the good ones will go down a bit more in price. If you aren’t going to do the research when buying a toilet, the second best advice would be to stick with a major brand name. Some of the stuff shipped in from China isn’t worth the price.


    • Russ Steele says:

      We selected a name brand with good review ratings. Having to flush low flow toilets two or three times seem to be counter productive. A good idea, not well executed.


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