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9611 SE 36th Street
Mercer Island, WA 98040
Phone: 206-275-7662
Fax: 206-275-7663
Contact: Ross Freeman
Email: ross.freeman@merce. . .
Hours: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm (Mon - Fri)
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Why You Should Buy Water-Efficient Toilets

Save Water…Save $$$
For many businesses, more water is used to flush toilets than for any other purpose. Switching out older toilets to water-efficient ones is the single best water conservation opportunity for most commercial customers. New toilets use 1.6 gallons per flush (GPF), while older units use between 3.5 and 7 GPF, depending on their age. Rebate dollars are available to help with the installation of 1.6 GPF toilets. In most cases, water and sewer savings will pay for the cost of the new toilets in just a few years. There is a $75 - $150 Rebate for the replacement of inefficient toilets and urinals with water-efficient models.

Toilets & Urinals For All Types Of Businesses

There are two basic types of toilets installed in commercial facilities: flush-valve models and tank models. Flush-valve models typically have a chrome valve and handle on top of the toilet. Flush-valve toilets tend to be used in installations that receive high use and have the potential for abuse. Urinals are typically flush-valve units. Tank models are typical home toilets. There are essentially two types of water-efficient tank toilets: standard tank and pressure-assisted. Pressure-assisted toilets may empty the bowl faster, although not necessarily better, than a standard tank toilet. Pressure-assisted toilets generally receive very positive reviews, but they are louder and tend to be more expensive than a standard tank toilet.

Assess Your Current Situation
Try to install new toilets that are similar to those currently in place. Most tank toilets are standard sizes, and should fit easily with the existing plumbing. If you have flush-valve toilets, have a plumber or contractor inspect them first. In most cases, replacing flush-valve toilets is standard work. In some cases, pipe lengths, the number and location of mounting bolts, and flush-valves hidden behind walls can result in difficult installations. You can save a lot of time if you know about these difficulties from the beginning.

Choose Quality Products

As with any product, some toilets are better than others. Research before you buy. Good sources of information include plumbers, home and hardware stores, the Internet, consumer magazines, and other businesses. Federal regulations requiring 1.6 GPF toilets in all new installations have been in place for almost a decade. Design improvements continue to result in toilets that are better than previous models. The vast majority of consumers using 1.6 GPF toilets are very happy with the performance – and pleased with lower water and sewer bills. Customer surveys reveal that over three-quarters of those with 1.6 GPF toilets say the new toilets flush as well or better than their old 3.5 GPF toilets. With flush-valve toilets, small adjustments done during installation will ensure that the toilets flush properly. Once again, remember to research before you buy and talk with other businesses about their experiences and product choices.

How Much You Can Expect To Save

The following table estimates water and sewer savings for commercial toilets based on the number of units and estimated number of flushes per toilet, per day.

Annual Savings - based on flushes/day for each toilet
# of toilets  10 flushes  20 flushes  30 flushes 
1    $40    $79    $119   
5    $198    $396    $594   
10    $396    $793    $1,189   
25    $991    $1,981    $2,972   
Assumptions are $6/CCF combined water and sewer costs, 5 days of use each week, 3.5 GPF for existing toilets and 1.6 GPF for new toilets. If you have toilets older than 1980, your savings will be even greater. Rebates are not factored into savings.

Ready For Installation?

If you are ready to proceed with a project or would like more specific information about business water conservation opportunities and financial incentives, take a look at the Water Smart Brochure and Rebate Application. These are available by calling (206) 684-SAVE (684-7283). Rebates are available for all commercial installations of toilets and urinals.


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