I was skeptical. For one, my toilet is the kind that make people hate low-flow toilets. It sometimes doesn’t work in, eh hem, certain cases. We have lived with the toilet’s shortcomings for a while. So anything that might reduce efficacy further seemed like a bad idea.
But I put in the WaterSaver anyway, just as a test, and measured. The simplest way is to measure fill time. Before installation fill time for my toilet was a bit less than a minute; afterward it was about 52 seconds. After three flushes, I calculated that I used about 10% less water. I rushed off to write this blog post, but was distracted by reality. That was four months ago.
But is my forgetfulness is the ultimate endorsement of this product. My concerns were unjustified. The failed-flush rate is no different than before. I had completely forgotten that this little device was in there … saving a little every flush, for months.
The WaterSaver works simply. After a toilet is flushed, water runs to fill two parts: the tank and the bowl: it stops filling when the tank is full. The WaterSaver diverter just sends a little more water into the tank, and a little less into the bowl. And thus, the tank fills more quickly, with less water being sent directly down the drain through the bowl.
You might ask, why doesn’t the toilet maker do this from the start? The answer is simple: the fill devices used on most commodes are commodities that can be purchased at any hardware store. One size fits all. Only a very few companies (e.g. Toto) actually optimize their toilets for consumption (and have a proprietary fill valve) — the rest just meet whatever standard they must, apparently without much thought of how. So, diverting a little water into the tank (instead of the bowl) saves a little water.
As I said, installation is a snap. Take the lid off the tank and you’ll see a small plastic tube that is clipped to a larger, vertical pipe — this fills the bowl part after a flush. You just slip the WaterSaver on the end of the plastic tube and clip it back on the pipe. No tools are needed.
So head on over to the WaterSaver site and get one for each of your potties. And while you’re at it, get Darryl McMahon’s book, The Emperor’s New Hydrogen Economy — I can’t vouch for the book yet, but I can assure you that the WaterSaver is a simple, effective way to save a bit of water.