Basement Refinishing 101Basement Refinishing 101


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Basement Refinishing 101

When it comes to expanding your home living space, one of the most effective ways to do it is to finish the basement. You can turn a full basement into an entire floor of extra living space. You may even be able to create bedrooms, install a kitchen, and add a bathroom. I created this site to share my experiences with basement renovations and construction. My hope is that sharing what I have learned will help others to see that it's easier than you think to finish the basement and create the space you have always envisioned in your home.

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All About Low Flow Toilets

An easy way to save water around your home, without even having to make much of an effort, is by installing low-flow toilets throughout your house. Low-flow toilets have come a long way since they were first introduced into the market, and have been shown to save a substantial amount of water. If you aren't familiar with low-flow toilets, how they operate, as well as the benefits that they provide, read on.

What They Are  

Low-flow toilets are simply designed to do what old school toilets can do, namely safely dispose of liquid and solid waste, but in a much more conservationist method. This is done by modifying the base design, and relying more on gravity and atmospheric pressure to help water disperse from the tank to the bowl in an efficient manner. With low-flow toilets, instead of using large amounts of water to help pump water into the bowl and flush down waste, different mechanisms are used such as pumps. The legal mandate for gallons per flush on these types of toilets is 1.6 gallons, a stark difference compared to the 3.5 gallon and up standard model toilets that were commonplace in American homes and businesses before the water conservation laws came into effect.

Different Models and Mechanisms For Low Flow Toilets

Although low-flush toilets rely on gravity to help move the water from tank to bowl and waste down your pipes, gravity can't do it all. With the introduction of pressure assisted flush toilets, the pressurized air held in the tank allows the water pressure to rise and come out in a more powerful way, which in turn makes the toilet more efficient all around. Pressurized low-flow toilets tend to have very little water in the actual toilet bowl, instead relying on a large powerful burst of water that exits from the toilet's tank to the bowl when you flush.

Other designs feature more advanced trapways, the holes where water exits the toilet bowls, that feature larger opening and a smooth glaze to help prevent any waste from getting stuck. Larger flush valves, the parts in toilet tanks that help move water into the bowl, are also common in low-flush toilets. In some cases, where cost is not an issue, electric powered toilets featuring power flushing are becoming more popular as an option that not only looks good, but still saves a large amount of water and makes up for the loss in water pressure with electric optimization.

How Much Water, and Money, They Can Save

Reports about the money and water saving power of low-flush toilets since water conservation laws have been enacted have ranged all over the place. Some figures, such as those found in reports studied in San Francisco, have estimated that low-flows save at least 20 million gallons of water per year. As well, the American Standard reported that low-flush toilets have saved an estimated 18 trillion gallons of water total during the 20 years that they have been in use.

Other users have reported significant cost and energy savings, as well as the overall beneficial feeling of helping the environment. Studies have shown that many homes can theoretically save about $90 per year. This totals to about $2000 over the lifetime of the toilet in use. This is no small number to handle when considering the overall cost and maintenance many regular flush toilets end up requiring. By switching to the low-flows, people have encountered a greater return on the investment, while satisfying somewhat controversial laws at the same time.

If you are looking for a simple way to cut down on your water usage and shave some money off of your water bill each month, install low-flow toilets in your home. Choosing the right low-flow toilet can be overwhelming, but plumbing services can help you figure out the best toilet for your family and home. The process to replace your toilet should take less than a day, quickly putting you on the road to conservation!