With concern for the environment rising, many homeowners are looking for simple but practical ways they can lessen their ecological footprint. Reducing water consumption is a great first step. Since toilets are responsible for about 25% to 30% of indoor water use, a low-flow toilet would seem a smart way to painlessly reduce overall usage.
But how much water—and money—does a low-flow toilet really save?
Save Big When You Ditch An Old Toilet
How much water you’ll save by upgrading your toilet depends greatly on the flush volume of the toilet you currently have. Since 1992, the U.S. federal standard for toilets has been 1.6 gallons per flush. By comparison, toilets made between 1980 and 1991 used as much as 3.5 gallons per flush and older models used up to 7 gallons per flush.
Switching from a 1980 model to a federal-standard 1992 model can cut toilet water consumption by more than half. If you flush approximately 5000 times per year, that means a savings of 9,500 gallons. Municipal water prices vary widely across the U.S., but for a family of four using 100 gallons per person per day, yearly savings could vary between $27 – $119.
If you switch from a vintage model to a modern regular toilet, you’ll cut toilet water consumption by over 400%. Using the same parameters as above, that means a savings of 27,000 gallons and $78 – $337 per year, depending upon your municipal water rates.
Modern Low-Flow Vs. Regular Toilets
Most low-flow toilets use approximately 1.2 gallons per flush compared to the regular federal standard of 1.6 gallons. Using the same parameters as above, upgrading will yield you a savings of about 2,000 gallons of water and $6 – $25 per year.
Pressure-assisted flush toilets can use as little as .8 gallons per flush. Switching from a regular toilet to this ecologically smart model can save you 4,000 gallons of water and $12 – $50 per year, every year.
If you’re considering upgrading an old toilet or installing a water-smart fixture, your trusted plumber can help you make the right decision for you and your home.