One familiar old wives’ tale recommends placing a brick in your toilet’s water tank as a convenient and cheap way to conserve water. Many of us have heard this one right? But using a brick may not be the best option- for your pocket book or your plumbing.
By filling valuable space in the tank, the brick allows less water to flow in, thus reducing the amount of water allotted for each flush. But the problem with this flawed advice is the fact that bricks have been known to disintegrate over time, leading to damaged plumbing that may cost you down the road. If you’re determined to use a brick to combat water waste, wrap it in a plastic bag first.
Experts say a brick isn’t the best object to use. Instead, place some sand or rocks into a two liter plastic bottle, fill it with water and place in your tank. Make sure you don’t disturb the toilet’s working parts in the process. The majority of toilets flush well using this submerged bottle method, but experiment to learn which size bottles work best and produce the best flush.
Most toilets flush just as well with less water than you’re used to using. The average American toilet model uses three to six gallons per flush, but placing a wrapped brick or bottle in the tank will save at least one gallon of water per flush- or up to 10 gallons a day in the average home.
For the more experienced do-it-yourself types, you can always purchase a kit at your local hardware store that will convert American-style flushers to European-style dual-flushers which offer a half-flush option for liquids. They cost around $20 each.
Calculate how much water your household uses each day, month and year at http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/conservation/thepowerof10/