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Contractors report that the 1.6 gallons-per-flush toilets do not work very well. More expensive 1.6 gpf toilets have more problems than the less expensive models, and use of wax rings and other modifications can lead to even more troubles. Tests show toilets need at least 2.4 gallons per flush to work well. The smaller toilets may save water but ultimately have a negative impact on waste systems.

IN MY JANUARY column, I discussed 1.6 gal.-per-flush water closets and their potential impact on waste systems (pg. 36). I asked for feedback on how you think 1.6 toilets are working. While I've asked for your response before, I never expected the number of phone calls, faxes and letters I received relating your experiences with 1.6 closets.
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The unfortunate part of all the responses was that they were generally negative. In fact, I didn't get a single phone call saying how much water was being saved, although I did get one fax which mentioned water saving. The water savings was about 2 cents per gal. for that area of the country. The note was handwritten on a newspaper article that proclaimed how poorly 1.6 gpf water closets worked. In fact, the article mentioned that many people may be looking for 3.5 gpf water closets on the black market.

I also got some phone calls regarding testing that was performed on commercial 1.6 gpf water closets. The tests indicated an adequate flush generally uses 2.4 to 2.6 gal. of water per flush.

One of the more interesting points was that the better quality water closets tend to have more problems than less expensive best flushing toilets. This seems primarily due to the closer manufacturing tolerances on the better quality water closets.

In another comment on the use of wax rings on 1.6 toilets, the reader took exception to the use of wax rings altogether. I had said in January that the use of a wax ring without a collar or horn seemed to help performance by not restricting the connection of the passageway at the connection of the water closet to the closet flange.

The reader has found using any wax ring can cause wax to restrict the passageway when it is compressed into place. He recommended using a mechanical seal to prevent this situation.

Unfortunately, there is no way to determine if the passageway has been constricted by wax without removing the toilet. Then you're back in the same situation of putting the water closet back with a wax ring. This is definitely something to think about when installing a toilet.

Keep the information coming and I will try to keep you updated with the findings when I can. I would especially like to hear from those of you who are not experiencing problems. We can try to determine what you're doing right and why you're not having any problems.

Stray voltages

Another caller asked me about what effect stray voltages have on water heaters and their failure. To be quite honest, I didn't and still don't know the answer to that question. If you have any information or could point me in the right direction, please tell me. I'd like to pass that information on to you.

Plumbing code issues

I recently received some information from the American Society of Plumbing Engineers regarding which plumbing codes were in effect for different parts of the country. I was surprised to find out that six or seven states do not have a plumbing code at the state level. Where codes are in effect, the local jurisdictions adopted a plumbing code for their particular area.

I also found it interesting that the various model codes were adopted by region of the country, almost without exception. For instance, the Uniform Plumbing Code is adopted in 10 states, mostly in the Western portion of the country. The Southeastern United States primarily uses the Standard Plumbing Code.

There is another plumbing code matter with which you can help me. Please fax me the name, address, phone number, etc. of your state and/or major city code enforcement official, along with which code is applicable to your area.

Source: http://forum.dramexchange.com/viewtopic.php?t=26996