HydroRight toilet converter saves water, eliminates bricks
In my last blog I wrote about conserving water, principally through the use of dual flush toilets. But I also confessed my attachment to a set of avocado green fixtures, original to my home that was built in 1955.
My water conservation strategy for that toilet was, until this week, to place bricks in the tank to displace some of the storage area in the tank and reduce the flush volume. In the past few days, however, I learned of another low cost strategy to reduce the flush volume of my avocado green toilet. A product called the HydroRight Dual Flush Converter sells for about $25 and is getting rave reviews for ease of installation. In the midst of penning this blog, I decided I couldn't write about this product until I'd seen it in action.
I checked the Internet to see if Home Depot carries the converter. They do, and it was on sale for $17.98. At the end of my workday, I scurried to the store and found it in stock. Once at home, in between making dinner, checking in on homework, and comforting my 16-year-old son miserable from a head cold, I managed to motivate my husband, Tom, to devote the time to install the HydroRight converter. In our house, Tom pulled many toilets a few years ago to clear foreign objects lodged by our young boys' curiosity and ferocious aim, and he is our resident plumbing expert.
Internet reviews of the HydroRight claim a 10-minute installation. In the end it was probably closer to 25 minutes – 15 for the retrofit and another five or so to check the operation. The directions suggest marking the water level in the bowl with a pencil before beginning the changeover. (Tom used duct tape instead of a pencil. Here I am avoiding the temptation to wax poetic about the best tool in the house.)
The converter is a unit that replaces the flapper and the handle. It works by setting a short flush mode with a higher float so that the tank only empties partially when the short flush button is pushed. When the long flush is activated, the full tank is employed to evacuate the contents of the bowl. We stood over the bowl placing a single sheet of toilet paper in the bowl as the directions suggested and confirmed that the short flush would carry it away. It did, and the bowl refilled to a few inches below the pre-fixed water level.
About this time, Max, my 13-year-old, wandered in wanting to claim the first flush with our new toy. So we let him push the button and watch the results. And he was given the privilege of removing the duct tape as our toilet joined the ranks of the other dual flush toilets in our home.
I don't expect to see a great reduction in our water usage since this was the only remaining water hog in the house. But now, at least, I feel I have a more reliable solution than bricks. And I can continue to admire my vintage avocado green toilet at the same time.