Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Big Flush, Little Flush

We need these in the U.S. All that business about putting a brick in the tank to save water, or having smaller flushes doesn't solve the problem of occasionally (and not always) needing a big flush!

I first saw one last summer in Scotland, at Bruce and Bernie's house.

In May, I saw one in the airport in San Francisco, and there were directions on the inside of the stall door. It was the first time I had seen urination "officially" referred to as "Number 1" and the other the other number. Theirs was to lift the handle up for a small flush, and push it down for a large one.

Abbi Traaseth said she saw one in Atlanta somewhere (airport, maybe).

In France, last week, they were everywhere, with different sorts of large and small presses, but all clearly obvious even to a child, who wouldn't be able to read directions or think long about whether to lift the handle up or press it down.

I've seen quite a few of them here in the UK now, too, and some of them just allow for holding the handle down harder for a longer flush.

I'll bring other images if I come back across them.
It might not seem like a big deal to some people reading here, but my whole life we've been made to feel guilty for flushing toilets, and for not flushing toilets--for toilets being dirty, for toilets being wasteful. And none of those go-to-the-moon engineers could figure out a variable flush!?


Deb said...

This is so strange to read as we're so used them here now (UK). We even have them in our house - two buttons, one for a big flush, one for small. I think they routinely put them in all new houses they build here. :-)

Sandra Dodd said...

My guess is that it's because you had one toilet technology early (the pull-chain elevated tank) and that lasted a long time.

In the U.S., our kitchens were more modern than yours in the 1940's through at least the 1970's, maybe because you still had some Victorian technology (and it's series of improvements) in the houses.

New kitchens in the UK are much nicer than new kitchens in the U.S.

We're leapfrogging each other on domestic technology, maybe.

North American showers are better than those here, I think, though. :-)

Sandra Dodd said...

And your bathtubs are better.

Michael said...

I first saw these when I went to the UK a few years ago and immediately started looking into how to convert my existing toilets. Fortunately it's extremely easy! I got a HydroRight and installed it myself, having never attempted any kind of plumbing project before in my life. It really does take ten minutes to install with no tools needed - unless your existing handle is held on with a bold that requires a wrench to loosen it, which mine did. But that's it for tools, and the instructions are very clear.

I was so pleased not to have to replace my toilets. $40-ish instead of god knows how much to replace toilets that are otherwise completely fine! And of course they pay for themselves over time anyway as you're using so much less water. It's made me really conscious of how much water we'd been wasting, too, because I can hear how much longer it takes the tank to refill when I do a big flush and I'm more aware of how infrequently that's really necessary. I highly recommend checking out the HydroRight. :)

Miranda said...

These are standard issue in Australia. I don't think I ever saw one without the two flow rate options.

Stephanie said...

They have some up and down handle ones at the library we go to (in Vegas).

Marin Holmes said...

I just installed a dual flush dealie on my toilet the other day! I used a $20 kit from Home Depot and I did it in about 10 minutes. The hardest part was removing the nut that held the old flush handle in place.