6 thoughts on “Good Job, Guys”

  1. I made the huge mistake of replacing the old style diaphragm & float fill valve with the float cup type in an upstairs toilet. My hard well water ate the float cup type valve within 3 months. Had to switch back. Still going after many years.

  2. The old Siphon-Flush system is more or less unique to the UK with not much uptake elsewhere.


    I was living in the UK when the legislation changed to allow flapper-valve toilets, and predicted this result at the time.

    The legislation was also changed to allow “internal overflow”, so if the fill valve for the cistern doesn’t shut off, it the excess water just runs down into the bowl and down the drain. Before this, in the UK it was required to run an overflow pipe to an outside wall so that you and all the world could see that your cistern was overflowing, because of the unexpected fountain feature outside.

    The new stuff was much less expensive to buy (produced for a much larger market, and much less tubing to run to outside walls), and the plumbing codes mandating the odd UK designs undoubtedly were to some extent in place for trade-protectionist reasons, although the water-saving reason was explicit in the text and justification of the plumbing regs. (siphon can’t leak, flapper needs replacement regularly. Internal overflow can be overlooked, running the overflow so that it cascades onto your front sidewalk is pretty hard to ignore)

    Last toilet I installed there I used ‘internal overflow’ largely because the new cistern was lower than the old one, and it saved me from the requirement of drilling a 1″ hole through the thick masonry outside wall of the house.

    1. Curious, did UK regs allow you to plumb all external overflows together in a single run? Would have saved extra drilling through masonry walls.

      Yeah, I don’t know why we didn’t go with siphons in the USA in place of flappers. Thus the traditional US toilets have two sources of leakage. From the flapper valve (common) and the failure of the fill valve to close (less common, but does happen). In both cases they run off through an escape pipe placed in the tank for internal overflow. But the newer plastics used in modern flappers seem to be more leak resistant if my experience is any example. And my water is loaded with iron oxide and magnesium. The flappers do tend to fail first however.

  3. “[Low flush toilest] were seen as environmentally friendly because they gave users a choice of how much water to use: A full 1.6-gallon flush for solid waste or a half-flush for urine.

    Old-school toilets typically use at least 3.5 gallons in every flush.”

    Okay, let’s say that in the US we adopted ultra-low flush toilets. Ones that didn’t just use 1.6 gallons per flush, half that. We have 331.5 million people in the US, and have always been accused of being a country of four-flushers – so let’s say we all flush four times a day.

    The super-low flushers would save us 3.5 – 0.8 = 2.7 gallons per flush, times 4 per day, times 331.5 million people.

    That’s 3.58 billion gallons per day. Sounds like a lot, right?

    The US consumes 500 billion gallons of freshwater per day. We would “save” 0.716% of that. Water meters have an accuracy of +/-1.5%. We would barely be able to measure the effect.

    My disdain for this kind of thing began when hotels started their holy campaign to have everyone reuse towels, for the sake of the planet. In 2015, the United States reached a total of 5 million hotel rooms. If all of them were occupied 365 days per year, and all of the towels were washed daily (as opposed to none), the difference in total national water usage would be 75 million gallons per day, tops. That’s 0.015% of our national usage, and beyond our ability to even detect.

    It pisses me off that a hotel wants me to pretend that I’m saving the planet just so they can put off doing their damn laundry.

  4. David – Re internal overflows:

    My recollection is that it was allowed to combine overflows for bathrooms on the same level of the building, and that approach has particularly been used in buildings with multi-stall public restrooms.

    Large buildings also often use a tundish arrangement if outside walls that can be reached by gravity flow aren’t conveniently located:

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