Tips for Keeping Low-Flow Toilets Working Smoothly
New toilets sold in Florida must meet federal WaterSense standards. WaterSense certification provides that plumbing fixtures use at least 20 percent less water. For toilets, that means using 1.28 gallons of water or less per flush, as opposed to the federally mandated maximum of 1.6 gallons per flush.
While low-flow toilets will save up to billions of gallons a year in Florida alone, they can present a few problems. With less water to work with, you may find yourself flushing the toilet more than once because of their lower flushing power. This of course defeats the purpose of having a low flow toilet and should be avoided.
Often the problem is caused by an under-filled toilet tank. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for setting the fill valve to ensure the water is at the correct level. Some tanks will have a fill line, but if there is no line a good rule of thumb is to keep the water level about a half inch below the top of the overflow tube inside the tank.
Second, open the tank and adjust the tension on the flapper chain. The chain should only have a little slack, if it’s too loose the flapper won’t open all the way when the toilet is flushed and water in the tank won’t empty completely.
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