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Cisterns how many litres is enough?

Dual-Flush-Toilet-Cisterns

A Big Stink is Looming

It’s May 15 and we see a big problem slowly rolling towards us. In fact, this problem is rolling too slow and may stop along the way. No, we are not talking in code; we are worried about a basic issue of how many litres it takes to flush number ones and number twos.

Before we dive into this problem (sorry, that image in the film “Slum Dog Millionaire” flashed in my mind) we have to let you know that we are certified enviroplumbers, we care about water wastage, so what we are about to write is in no way “green bashing”.

Around the late nineties we were told that no longer would 11 litre flushing cisterns be sold. The 11 litre single flush cistern was the most common cistern around. Very soon after that we were told that the next step down, being the 9 litre cistern was being taken from production too.

  • Dual Flush Toilet Cisterns

Government insisted we start installing dual flush cisterns. The new dual flush cistern used 3 litres for a half flush and 6 litres for a full flush.
What a lot of people didn’t realise was that their new dual flush cisterns wouldn’t work when they were retro fitted to an old pan that was designed to take 9 or 11 litre flushes. This would cue the customer call:

When I use the toilet I have to flush it five times for everything to get flushed away!
This really defeated the purpose of saving water. The fact was: an entire new suite was required – the pan and the cistern.

So why did we have to bang on about a very brief history of flush capacities you ask?

Well the problem is, there are still lots of old water wasting 11 litre toilet suites out there, and there are still plenty of 9 litre water wasting toilet suites out there. And even worse, there are plenty of miss matched dual flush toilets and 11 litre pans out there.

This problem is now about to get worse a lot worse.
You see, as drain clearing, drain fault diagnosing and drain repair specialists, we are noticing our drain clearing arm is busy very busy. We thinks it’s no fluke that sewer blockages are on the way up as these new water saving toilets appear in more locations.

Caroma Smart Flush Toilet Suites

In about 2007 Caroma introduced its “Smart flush” range. This new range of toilet suites were only going to use, wait for it, 4.5 litres for a full flush and 3 for a half flush.

We could be cynics and declare the Smart flush toilets the greatest thing to ever happen to drain clearers, but that wouldn’t do the customer any good.

  • The Facts

What is needed are some facts right between the eyes. Caroma may bury some of these in the fine print section. We will just give you some basic tips. If you have an old house with original sewer, do not even consider installing a Smart flush toilet suite. Stick with suites that use 6 litres for full flush. We think even 6 litres for a full flush is pushing it for a house with an original sewer.
If you live in a new house or an old with a new, perfectly graded, PVC sewer system, then go for it, knock your socks off and install Smart flush gear everywhere. You will be saving bucket loads of water.

We have just learned that Caroma and Fowler are phasing out a lot of their 6/3 dual flush cisterns. In fact, at the time of writing, we have found that Caroma are only manufacturing 2 styles of 6/3 cisterns and everything else will be 4.5/3. This cuts down the customers’ choice significantly.

We had a customer accidentally break a ceramic cistern last week. It was a 6/3 Caroma. She didn’t want a plastic cistern and didn’t like the look of the new Caroma cistern that we could have retro fitted. Her house already had a dodgy sewer history, so in the end she we supplied and installed a new Kohler toilet suite that was a 6/3.

Before you buy a new toilet

The moral of the story is before you buy something speak to us. See what will work in your house first. We think the Smart flush options from Caroma are fantastic, but we are annoyed they are not running more styles in the 6/3 range. We want you to be thinking about possible blockages. If you really want to install water saving toilet suites and you have an old sewer system, then give us a call to quote you a new sewer system. Removing drain clearing costs and potential water savings are two things to consider.
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