Monday, 29 June 2009

10 Celebrity Toilet Stories

1. Lenny Kravitz: Music sensation Lenny Kravitz's toilet causes almost one million dollars in damages. Starting in October 2004 Lenny Kravitz has accumulated various lawsuits from neighbors living below the rock star. These lawsuits totaling close to 800,00 dollars worth of damage were caused by Kravitz's blocked toilet, which leaked into the dwellers apartments below the rock star.

2. Leonardo DiCaprio: Eco-friendly Leo went on a spending spree and splurged on a ... no not a Prius, a toilet. Leo spent over 3,000 dollars on the eco friendly Neorest toilet. The Neorest toilet is tankless, and features front and rear warm water washing, automatic air dryer, deodorizer, and a sensor activated lid. This throne is also equipped with a remote that controls water temperature, and other options. Very cool purchase. The flush is only 1.6 gpf. You would think that Leo would be a bit more green and go with a lower flush toilet.

3. George Michael: George Michael has been up to no good, twice in the bathroom. He was caught the first time in 1998 in Beverly Hills for lewd conduct. Eleven years later George was caught with drugs in a London public bathroom.

4. Miley Cyrus and Barbra Walters: Miley is gifted at everything including gift giving. In March 2008 Miley sent talk show host Barbra Walters a golden toilet. Unfortunately the toilet was not life sized, but it was inscribed: "Barbra, So you will always remember the Cyrus family."

5. Dave Matthews Band: In 2004 while driving on a bridge over the Chicago River a tour bus allegedly belonging to the Dave Matthews Band dumped its septic tank waste. Unfortunately the waste landed all over the sightseers on a boat below. The Dave Matthews band is being sued by the city of Chicago for polluting the river.

6. Larry Craig: The Idaho Senator, Larry Craig was caught by an undercover cop in the summer of 2007 tapping his foot in a way that is commonly known to signal a desire to engage sexual conduct in a public restroom. When the cop confronted the Senator he claimed that he had a, "wide stance." Craig ended up pleading guilty to a disorderly conduct charge.

7. Enrique Iglesias: Enrique admits to stage fright. No, he doesn't get scared on stage in front of millions of adoring fans. He gets bladder shy when he is in a public restroom. He claims that he avoids crowded toilets. He later admits to joking about this subject... I don't know, where there is smoke, there is fire.

8. Miley Cyrus: It's Miley again. Before becoming an amazing singer and actress. Miley revealed that her previous job was with a cleaning service. One of her duties with this company was scrubbing toilets. She claimed on the Tyra Banks Show, that she can scrub a toilet. What can't Miley do?

9. Cameron Diaz: In a May 19 2009 interview on the Jay Leno show, Cameron Diaz shares her green bathroom habits with the world. She lives by the credo, "If it's yellow leave it mellow, if it's brown flush it down." Nice

10. Lily Allen: In April 2008 British singer Lily Allen joined her male friends in the men's room at the Royal Albert Hall in London. She was quickly kicked out by the bathroom attendant who had alerted security. I guess the lines were shorter.... waiting lines.

By: FrankHumus

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Saturday, 27 June 2009

The History Of The Modern Toilet

It is hard to imagine that once upon a time people used to do their 'business' in public places, or throw their 'business' out of the window or the front door. The invention of the modern toilet truly has transformed the world we live in.

When people think of the invention of the toilet, they think of Sir Thomas Crapper. It is not hard to fathom why as his surname is 'Crapper'. However, although he can be credited for many of the improvements made in the system, him being behind the invention is largely a myth. The Victorians were largely baffled as to how to build a flushing water closet that would efficiently remove waste in the most sanitary way possible.

Sir John Harrington already had a flushing water closet designed for Queen Elizabeth 1st in 1596, however it did not catch on with the rest of society simply due to the fact that it was seen more as a novelty rather than something of real practical use. The main issue of waste disposal remained. Some people threw the waste out on the street. When millions of people died as a result of widespread cholera in 1832, people then became increasingly aware that it was the unsanitary conditions they were living in that was causing and spreading the disease.

Alexander Cummings was responsible for designing a toilet in 1775, in which the water supply was brought low into the bowl, and some water remained after each flush. This water closet was an improvement to Sir John Harrington's design. His new design had it's benefits. For instance, the excess water stopped the house from smelling of sewage, and also cleaned the bowl after use. On the other hand there were some serious flaws in the system. For example, the seal at the bottom of the toilet leaked and this was continually emitting sewer gases into the home. People largely underestimated how toxic these gases could be.

Sir Thomas Crapper did his part in renovating the toilet system. As a plumber he opened up his shop in 1861 and named it ''The Marlboro Works of Thomas Crapper & Company'. Crapper continuously began testing toilets so that his experience increased and he was able to detect flaws more easily. He had a 250-gallon water tank installed on the roof of his building. Some of the improvements he is known for include inventing a pull-chain system for powerful flushing, and an air tight seal between the toilet and the floor. In addition, he patented several venting systems for venting the sewer gas by way of a pipe through the roof.

So there is an important lesson to be learned here. Next time you feel the need to go to the toilet, do take a few moments to marvel at its invention, and the many hurdles and obstacles it's inventors and plumbers had to go through in order for us to have our lives made much easier.

By: Tal Potishman

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Thursday, 25 June 2009

Hard Water Stains - Cheap Ways to Remove Them From Sinks, Bath Tubs and Toilets!

There are some simple ways to remove hard water stains quickly and easily that will remove even the most stubborn stains and make your fixtures and fittings literally sparkle like new!

One of the most overlooked factors when dealing with hard water stains is realizing that they contain either calcium or magnesium. Therefore, they can be tackled by using a completely natural acid such as vinegar that is found all around the home and is totally safe to use and will save you hundreds of dollars on expensive cleaning products!

Some of the most common household items that tend to accumulate limescale are sinks,bath tubs and toilet bowls. However, knowing the simple ways to get rid of these ugly stains and restore them to their former sparkling glory is something that has been achieved with simple natural products by people who know without the need for potentially harmful chemicals that could poison your children or pets.

Natural Formula to Use:

Pure white vinegar

Method to Use:

1. Fill a clean spray bottle with pure vinegar

2. Spray the vinegar freely over the sink or bath tub and wait for a few minutes

3. If stains are stubborn spray more vinegar and wait a while longer

4. Simply wipe away with a clean cloth to reveal the shine


For toilet bowls add 1 liter of vinegar to the bowl itself and scrub with a toilet brush to dissolve away hard water stains that has built up over time. Also, by adding 1 liter of pure vinegar to the cistern (tank at back of toilet) this not only removes any stains from there but also removes any from underneath the rim on the next flush!

Sometimes stains are extra stubborn, for this make a paste of white vinegar and baking soda and scrub gently with a soft brush or sponge. Never use an abrasive cleaner like scouring pads, powders or steel wool as this will scratch the surface.

Warm Regards,

Patrick Henry

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Tuesday, 23 June 2009

We're Out of Toilet Paper....Again

By Samantha Parker

Living with so many people in one house will almost always guarantee a few things, like running out of juice or bottled water, constantly cleaning up after children and dogs, and trying to come up with new and exciting meal ideas that everyone will enjoy.

The most frustrating thing however is running out of toilet paper before the next scheduled shopping trip, especially when you’re the one in the bathroom and in desperate need of the paper. That is when the call goes out to anyone who is home for some paper napkins from the dining room as a substitute. You hope that someone can hear you or you’re reduced to drip dry or a quick shower in lieu of a bidet. Sometimes I’ll check the garbage can for scraps of toilet paper as there always seems to be an abundance of rolled up, unused paper in the bathroom trash. The question always remains…who should buy the paper when it runs out mid week? And more importantly, with so many people in the house, how do you delegate who is responsible for what?

Most times we really don’t think about who does what. Whatever needs tending to, gets taken care of by whom ever notices first. There will be days when I go shopping for mid week necessities, and other times when my sister in law will do that. Sometimes we’ll both forget.

The question was posed by people who are not in this situation. People who do fight over who has to do what in their household. A few friends have mentioned that their partner or significant other never does the dishes, or the grocery shopping, or the laundry, the list goes on. My thought is, just do what needs to get done, but ask for help when you need it. Nobody should be overburdened with taking care of every single task by themselves.

Don’t expect the other person to just know that you want something taken care of. If I need my father’s clothes laundered while I’m at work, I’ll ask my sister in law to do it. Truth is if she sees the clothes in the laundry room, she’ll take it upon herself to do it anyway. Another example is pasta sauce. We eat pasta daily and we prefer homemade sauce. If I notice that we’ve run out, I’ll take some meat out the night before and ask if she can make it if she’s home and not scheduled to work. If she does have to work, then we figure out who will make it either in the morning or at night. No arguments, no fighting about who does what. It makes for a better living environment that way.

Nobody really wants to live in a house where they constantly need to take care of everyone, especially if other healthy adults are in the household. A friend recently complained to me that her husband refuses to buy toilet paper and will be happy to “hold it in” while she runs to the store to pick some up. Now toilet paper isn’t something that isn’t a necessity. We have become accustom to using toilet paper and there really is no substitute for it. My brother has on occasion used the “quicker picker upper”. Trying to flush this is like trying to flush a towel – it’s impossible. I’ve spent many days fishing that paper out of the toilet or trying to plunge it through the pipes. Maybe there’s an embarrassment that comes from purchasing this one particular item. Whatever the reason, don’t hold it in, pitch in and help buy the paper even if you’ve run out of it on a Wednesday. We all share the same household and we all want to live in a peaceful environment where we can use the bathroom in peace and without fear of the drip dry.

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Sunday, 21 June 2009

Top Tips For Picking The Perfect Toilet

The toilet is known by many names. Everything from "loo", "john" and even "throne" the toilet is, for many reasons, often the centerpiece of most bathrooms today. Regardless of what style of bathroom you have you'll want a toilet that completely compliments your overall design plan for that room. You definitely don't want a pokey looking, cheap toilet anywhere in the bathroom - it would totally take away from the look of the room itself. An important point is to never simply assume that all toilets are created equal. This couldn't be further from the truth.

For many years 5.5 litre and 3.5 litre flush toilets were the standard in most homes. Now, however, there's a move towards what are referred to as "low flow" toilets. They do this by only using 1.6 litres of water to achieve the same flushing performance as the other high water usage toilets. This reduced water usage will obviously save you money on both your waste and water bills each year. An additional, and obvious, benefit is that you're also helping the environment by reducing the amount of waste water being produced. Everybody can win in this case!

There is one single issue with the new style of water conserving toilets and that is that you really do get what you pay for. If you buy an unbranded "low flow" toilet then you'll probably spend more time having it fixed than you ever saved on the initial cost price. DO NOT skimp on the cost of installing a high quality low flow toilet - you'll regret it for longer than you can imagine. There's nothing worse in any family home than the toilet packing up and causing unnecessary stress.

Here's a checklist for buying your new toilet. Try to stick to as many of these points as you can afford to.

1. The toilet must conform to any local standards.

2. Only ever buy a brand name toilet. For example Kohler and Toto.

3. Decide in advance if you want a 1-piece or 2-piece toilet.

4. Do you want a gravity flush or assisted flush toilet?

5. Do you want a round or elongated toilet bowl?

6. Make absolutely sure the toilet fits with your decorating theme.

7. Most toilets need to be mounted 12 - 14 inches away from the wall. Take these measurements into account when you decide to buy.

Bet you never thought there was quite so much to a toilet did you? Now at least you're armed with the information you need to make an informed and worthwhile purchase that will do wonders for your bathroom.

Does your bathroom need a makeover? Are you looking for the best flushing toilets? Check out BathroomCentral for tips on finding these and even more bathroom layout ideas for the DIY decorator.

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Saturday, 20 June 2009

Toilet Paper Holder - Don't Forget It In Your Bathroom Remodel

It's the little things that get forgotten when you're in the middle of a big project like a bathroom remodel and yet some of the little things can turn out to be very important. Who gives any thought to where the toilet roll holder is going to go when they start out on their redesign project?

I'm writing this article because I don't want you to make the same mistake that I did when I remodeled my own bathroom. I had designed the whole thing so that everything fitted perfectly into my tiny bathroom including a new shower cubicle feature that I didn't have before. I watched the workers rip out the old stuff and replace with the new but it wasn't until the whole thing was pretty much completed that I realised my mistake.

There was nowhere to put a toilet roll holder! My worst nightmare had come true and I came out in a cold sweat for a moment until I calmed down and started to think calmly about the problem.

There was no room on the wall behind the toilet because the new shower cubicle was too close on one side and there was some boxed in pipe work on the other side. The opposite wall was out of the question for the toilet roll holder because of the washbasin situated opposite the toilet.

This was terrible, what was I going to do? I could have mounted the tissue roll holder on the side of the bathtub, which was within reach of the toilet, but it wasn't very convenient being so low down and it would have ruined the nice bathtub side that I had picked out.

I could have just given in and kept a toilet roll on the cistern or on the floor but that doesn't have much style to it and it would have looked like I had forgotten about the toilet roll holder in the bathroom remodel, which I had.

Then I saw it, it was the perfect solution and I couldn't work out why I had never seen such a thing before. It was a floor standing toilet roll holder. It was made of shiny brass with a wooden shaft and it looked nicer than many toilet roll holders that fix to the wall.

The free standing toilet roll holder turned out to be a very versatile and useful solution to the problem of providing a toilet tissue holder when there is no convenient wall space to screw one to. It's just the right height and it's always in the right place because you can pick it up and place it anywhere you want.

There is a picture of my bathroom toilet roll holder on my website at Bathroom Remodeling Accessories You will see that it's is a simple device but it looks nice, performs well and fits in very nicely with the rest of the room.

My advice to you when you remodel your own bathroom is to make sure that you give some thought to the accessories early on in your project. It isn't the end of the world if you have to use a free standing toilet roll holder but it would be very comforting to know that you had actually decided on that solution right from the start.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

The Mundane Toilet Brush! - Making the Right Choice

We all have at least one toilet in our house or apartment and many of us have two or more. What should we find close to these toilets? A toilet brush. It is rare to find a toilet in a domestic setting that does not have one nearby. Why do we put so much value in a toilet brush?

A toilet brush is a useful accessory and in fact an absolute necessity when it comes to the cleaning of the interior surfaces of the toilet bowl. There we have it, it is a simle, straightforward cleaning accessory, not a decorative item. It is a brush because it is required to scrub away at those resistant stubborn stains. However we live in times where individuals require that all their accessories fit in with each other and look aesthetically pleasing. Toilet brushes and their holders are no exception to this. Consequently they can be found in all manner of shapes, sizes, colours, and materials and the same applies to the holders. You can have wooden, plastic or metal handles. You can find holders that attach to the wall or are free standing. They can be found as scrubbing brushes with long handles to humorous celebrity look-alikes. Novelty toilet brushes abound in the market place.

When deciding what toilet brush/holder you should get for your toilet consider its function and relate that to its design. It has a specific function and you have to decide if its design is best suited to carry out that function efficiently. Do not buy on impulse or because it looks good and would fit in decoratively.

Let us take a closer look at its function. It is used to scrub away at the dirt and accumulated faecal debris, and when used with the correct cleaning chemical will stop lime scale built up. Lime scale, especially in those areas not so visible will allow dirt to built up because of its roughened surface. Where does all of this collect? Well it can e found any where on the inner surface of the bowl. Faecal matter tends to accumulate on the sides towards the base and below the water line on the whole of the curved inner surface disappearing finally around the bend. This area in particular can become very badly stained. The second and important site for dirt and debris accumulation is under the rim, from where the flush water appears.

The brush should have its bristles orientated in such a way that it makes scrubbing under this rim easy. The handle should be firm but not completely rigid. If it is not firm then little pressure can be exerted in the brushing process because the handle simply bends. If it is completely rigid then you will not be able to get to all the surfaces at the base of the bowl. Avoid handles that are screwed on. Invariably in the brushing action these can unscrew and you will be continually screwing them back together. Metal handled ones are frequent offenders here. Do not purchase brushes that have guards on them that also act as lids to the holders. This attachment just gets in the way of correct brushing and will not allow the brush to reach all the parts that are necessary. Do not be unduly swayed by advertising, which indicates that toilet brushes are unhygienic and hot beds of disease causing organisms. If they are used in conjunction with a good toilet cleaner then anything harmful will be killed despite what the brush may look like. Unless of course it has been used to unblock the toilet in which case it becomes caked in large pieces of faecal matter. In these circumstances it is advisable to get rid of the brush and purchase a new one. As they are subjected to daily use their useful life is often short. So why pay a lot of money for a designer brush that you will soon be throwing out anyway. Some of the best brushes are the cheapest at no more than one pound each. At those prices you can afford to chuck them out at the first sign of wear or staining. At £20 you are going to be a little more reluctant to seek a replacement. The cheap simple brushes and holders do nothing to enhance the aesthetics of your toilet but invariably they do not detract from it either.

Always think function before looks when buying toilet brushes!

Monday, 15 June 2009

The Health Benefits of Using a Bidet Toilet Seat

Who would ever think that using a bidet Toilet Seat or a Washlet (made by Toto) would result in health benefits! This is the big secret that Americans and others have been missing out on for a long time and need to know about. But before I tell you the health benefit of using a Bidet Toilet Seat, let me briefly explain the how.

Simply put, how a Bidet Toilet Seat works is by extending a nozzle spraying warm water on your private parts until you're clean. The first thing you will discover about bidets is that they get you really clean and far superior to what toilet paper could ever do for you. To make my point, imagine that you only clean your hands with paper towels... As you can imagine, your hands will not be clean at all and bacteria will start growing at an accelerated rate, yuck! I think you get my point.

Now let's get to the why! Water is a very effective way to get your rear and front side (women) clean and is not an old idea. Over time people who only use toilet paper will start experiencing health issues because of lack of hygiene. By using a Bidet Toilet Seat, you will obtain health benefits. Let me tell you in what areas they are very helpful.

Hemorrhoids are not fun and are very painful when using toilet paper (almost like sand paper). Constipation is one of the main reasons we get hemorrhoids because of excess straining, using a bidet will help to stimulate you to get things moving again. Keeping your rectal area clean will also help with other problems associated with having hemorrhoids, such as bleeding, itching and tenderness to name a few. Listen, I should know because I used to have them until I started using a bidet toilet seat. For me it was like magic, life changing! So simply stated, using a Bidet Toilet Seat will help you with problems related to hemorrhoids just by using water to keep yourself hygienic and clean.

Feminine hygiene has always been a challenge and by using a bidet, you will dramatically reduce vaginal discharge, urinary and yeast infections, and also very helpful during and after pregnancy. The bidet toilet seat will make your life a lot easier and will keep you feeling fresh and clean. It will also be very helpful before and after intercourse.

Diarrhea can be a real problem if you don't keep yourself clean. After several trips to the bathroom, toilet paper becomes "the necessary evil." A Bidet Toilet Seat will be soothing, hygienic and keep you more comfortable until you get better.

If you have any kind of surgery, this will make your healing process improve much faster and eliminate the risk of damaging your tender wounds in your private area until they heal. I'm certain that most doctors would recommend using a bidet toilet seat as a measure for hygiene and to help the healing process.

Becoming physically challenged or taking care of someone who is can be difficult. A Bidet Toilet Seat will bring back dignity and independence to that person's life and will be a real help to the elderly. I would say overall that if you are not using a Bidet Toilet Seat you should consider one for yourself. Over the long run, you will receive health benefits by keeping yourself clean and free of bad bacteria. Feeling fresh and clean is definitely a bonus that you will really learn to appreciate. You can learn more about how a bidet toilet seat works at this website. Bidet Toilet Seat

What is a Bidet Toilet Seat and Why Would You Consider Owning One?

Bidet Toilet Seats are more common these days but Bidets have been around for about 200 years. They first appeared in France and most likely made out of wood. The porcelain bidet which looks somewhat like a toilet without a tank and toilet seat was invented in the early 20th century.

Some common misspellings of Bidet are bedit and bedet and the word Bidet sounds like "be day". The more common porcelain stand-alone bidets needed extra space and plumbing in the bathroom and very costly to install. These old-fashioned bidets were not easy to use and they required you to squat down over the unit to clean yourself. Afterwards you would need to dry yourself with a towel. I think for a lot of people, this was just too much work and as a result, bidets were never used very much. They did get you clean and that was great, if you didn't mind the extra work.

In 1980, Toto, a Japanese company, started selling bidet toilet seats and later gave them the name Washlet (in the US, more commonly called Bidet Toilet Seats). Now the great thing about the Washlet was that you did not need any extra space or plumbing to install them, nor did you have to get off the toilet to use them. They install on your existing toilet and simply replace the toilet seat and lid. They also function much better than the old-fashioned bidets; clean you much better and you don't need a towel to dry yourself.

The Bidet Toilet Seat is also very easy to install and adds a nice touch to your bathroom decor. In the US, bidets are not very common and mostly because a lot of people just don't understand them. The funny thing is that when people try them with an open mind, they learn to appreciate how well they work. The first thing you'll notice from using a Bidet Toilet Seat is a fresh and clean feeling you'll experience. Most people will never go back to toilet paper after using them.

Let me give you an idea of what you can expect from the Bidet Toilet Seat. The toilet seat has an adjustable temperature setting that will feel warm and be a relief in the wintertime. There are two spray wands that are tucked under the seat and only come out when you press the button; one is for the front side (women) and one for the backside (everyone). In most models, you can adjust the water temperature and pressure. Some of them even come with a massage function that moves the spray wand back and forth with an oscillating water action without the wand touching you.

After you're done cleaning yourself, the wand retracts and goes through a cleaning cycle, therefore keeping the unit sanitary. The last step is to dry yourself with the air dryer that you control the air temperature. Some of the Bidet Toilet Seats even have an air filter to keep the air in the bathroom clean and fresh (this is the part that I really like).

Some of the other functions are a soft-close toilet seat and lid... no more slamming loud sounds. Some of the Bidet Toilet Seats also open automatically when you walk up to them and close the lid after you leave. That's about it and I hope that was helpful. The following website has a lot more information about Bidet Toilet Seats.
Bidet Toilet Seat

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Is it Time to Replace the Toilet Seat?

Although the toilet seat may not be the most honored seat in the house, let's be honest-it's pretty important. If the toilet seat in your bathroom is chipped, stained or discolored from chemicals or time, consider purchasing a new one.

You will be surprised at how this one small piece of "furniture" can set a new tone for the bathroom. With a variety of colors, textures, shapes and special effects, shopping for a toilet seat may be more interesting than ever before.

The Basics

Before starting your search for the perfect toilet seat, keep in mind there are two basic shapes to choose from: round or oblong. This first thing you need to do is determine the size and shape of your toilet. Measure from the front of the bowl to the area between the screws at the back of the lid area.

A round toilet bowl is 16.5 inches and an oblong one is 18.5 inches. Okay, you could probably just "eyeball" it to find out if you have a round or oblong toilet, but using a tape measure makes it more official.

The second choice you should make to narrow down your toilet seat selections, is to decide if you want a plastic or wood seat. As with any product, there are pros and cons to each type and it will all come down to a matter of personal choice. Plastic toilet seats are usually cheaper, but they can crack or scratch. Wood seats are warmer on a chilly winter morning, but they may stain more quickly from cleaners.

Although wood seats are more expensive, they will last longer, but plastic seats may offer more choices in colors, styles and textures. As you can see, we've only just touched two areas of consideration and already the choices are adding up.

Durability, comfort and ease of cleaning should also be factored into your choice of a toilet seat. Take some time to shop around and get the best price but don't sacrifice quality for a few dollars. A toilet seat is important; it's something you will use everyday, so choose carefully.

Special Seats

If you want to go beyond the basics to something more unique, there are toilet seats to take you there. Some seats have automatic slow-closing lids, while others glow in the dark or have temperature controls.

If you want a certain theme in your bathroom, choose from nautical or elegant or modern designs. Young children just learning to use the toilet will especially love the seats featuring cartoon characters. Perhaps some adults will like them too!

The Toilet Seats store - is a retailer of 477 Designer Toilet Seats from commercial designs to padded and novelty versions

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Friday, 12 June 2009

How a New Toilet Can Save You Money

No, you don't have to put a brick in your toilet tank or install any flushing rules in your house, but yes, you can still save money with your toilet usage. Did you know that the average old-model toilet uses about 5 gallons of water per flush? With 4 people flushing 5 times a day, that's 100 gallons of water sent literally down the toilet! Keep reading for answers to common questions on how you can actually save money while sitting on the toilet.

Why should I buy a water-efficient toilet?

The average household can save approximately $100 a year on their utility bills. You'll also be helping to conserve thousands of gallons of water and do your part for the earth. Remember, toilets are the largest single users of water inside most homes. For typical homeowners, replacing a toilet can be the single most significant money-saving efficiency action they do.

How much does a water-efficient toilet differ from a regular toilet? Will I still get the same flush?

Water-efficient toilets work by using an efficient bowl design and actually increasing the flushing velocity. While older high-consumption toilets use extra water volume to push out waste, the water-efficient toilet uses better design.

Most low-volume toilets flush just as well as older toilets and don't require double flushing. Remember, water-efficient toilets have to meet the same cleaning and performance standards set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

How much will a new water-efficient toilet cost?

A standard water-efficient, gravity-design toilet can range from as low as $40 all the way up to several hundred dollars, with most models averaging between $100 and $200. However, the cost of the toilet will be easily repaid over time in lower water and utility bills. So don't be overly cautious about spending a few more dollars on a high quality toilet since the longer-term payback will be substantial.

What should I look for when buying a water-efficient toilet?

Like you would with any home purchase, look online for product reviews, ask for advice at the store and be an informed consumer. Remember, a higher price doesn't always indicate a better product. While all toilets have to pass certain performance tests, the quality can vary significantly and so can the test scores.

Ask your retailer to tell you what toilets scored highest on the ANSI flush tests. A good retailer should have that information readily available. If not, you should be able to locate the information online.

Do I need to install any special modifications to put in a water efficient toilet?

Most water-efficient toilets are installed just like an older toilet. With very few exceptions, they're roughed in the same way and connected to the plumbing the same way. You simply need the patience to set it properly and ensure that water connections are tight to prevent leaks.

Do I still need to put a brick in the tank to save money?

No, the days of plopping a brink inside a toilet tank are over. Because water-efficient toilets are optimized for maximum efficiency, restricting their full flow can actually cause performance problems rather than help.

For information on practical home energy savings ideas, please visit, a popular site providing great insights about energy cost cutting measures, such as garage door insulation, the helpful portable furnace, and many more!

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Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Toilet Problems - Our Favorite Topic

When your home is on the market, the condition of your bathroom will make a real difference in how appealing the home is to the prospective buyer. Of course, there are a multitude of other factors involved in making your home the best it can be but don't forget about the bathroom.

Even if you are not planning to sell your home (at least in the near future) the condition of your bathroom will make a big difference in both the comfort and the safety of your home.

This brief article will focus on issues related to toilet problems, which are near the top of the list when it comes to maintenance in this area of the house. Let's start with the leaking toilet. Finding the source of the leak is the key in getting the problem fixed. Using a little food coloring in the tank is about the best way to trace the source of the leak. After putting in the food coloring, check the toilet bowl. If you find the water discolored by the coloring agent, your problem is a flapper valve that's not doing its job properly. You can try cleaning the sediment or chemical deposits off of the flapper valve, but these items are so inexpensive that a quick trip to the hardware store (taking the flapper valve with you to ensure a match) is probably your best bet. The valve is easy to replace and should stop the problem.

OK, the water in the tank is clean. Take a look at the area where the tank and the bowl are joined. If the colored water is leaking in this area, you will need to replace the seal that fits between these two sections of the toilet. This involves a little more work than replacing the flapper valve. The main job is removing the tank. First, shut off the valve that supplies water to the toilet. This valve is usually near the floor at the back of the toilet and should be relatively easy to turn off (turn it clockwise until you can't turn it any more). Second, bail out as much of the water from the tank as you can and remove the mechanical components inside the tank making sure you either remember or make a sketch of how to replace them. Third, unscrew the fitting that secures the tank to the toilet bowl and carefully lift the tank up and off the bowl. It's a good idea to put towels on the floor around the area to soak up any water that runs out of the tank. Finally, pry off the seal and take it to the hardware store to match up with a replacement seal. Reverse the process and your problem should be solved.

Hopefully you won't end up with colored water on the floor around the base of the toilet after each flush. If this is the case, the wax seal underneath the toilet is damaged and will have to be replaced. You can try to tighten the tank bolts that hold the toilet to the floor to see if this solves the problem. Sometimes these bolts work themselves loose (but not very often). One other possibility is that the toilet bowl and/or tank is cracked. A quick inspection should let you know if this is the case. If this is the problem, you will need to invest in a new toilet (try buying one that uses less water per flush).

Assuming that crack(s) aren't your problem, you will need to disassemble the toilet itself starting with the tank (see above). Next, you need to remove the bowl. Bail out the water in the bowl and remove the four bolts that secure the toilet to the floor. This is sometimes a daunting task because the bolts may be rusty. Use whatever methods necessary to get these bolts out or at least remove the bolt heads. Use pliers or a channel lock or pipe wrench to remove the threaded portion of the bolt. Don't worry about damaging the threads because you will be replacing the bolts anyway.

When removing the bowl, be very careful where you put your hands (use rubber gloves). Many toilets have jagged edges inside the bowl that will cut you quicker than a freshly sharpened knife. Lift off the bowl and pry out the wax seal at the top of the floor drain. Again, this is germ-laden and requires you to be careful not to introduce an infection through any cuts, etc. near or on your hands. Wax seals are pretty much standard in size and are usually available at just about any hardware store. If the bolts were damaged, take a sample with you to make sure you get the right size replacements.

Let's hope that the leaking that has reached the floor hasn't done damage to the underlayment or floor tiles. If it has, you've got a bigger job on your hands because these damaged areas need to be replaced or you're just in for a continuing headache. You can tell if the wood underlayment is damaged by its color and if it's soft or swollen. Please don't ignore the problem. Cut out the area and replace it. Damaged tiles can sometimes be difficult to match unless you have a small surplus on hand. Chances are that you won't be able to find any replacement tiles that match the existing floor. This being the case, considers a small rug that will fit around the base of the toilet and will hide the mis-matched tiles (unless you decide to replace the entire floor with new tiles).

With everything on hand, put the toilet assembly back in place, say a little prayer, and flush it several times.

Hopefully you will have solved the problem.

Chuck Lunsford is the content manager for, a well-known source for home improvement ceiling fixtures. If you have more questions about other home repair topics visit us at plumbing repairs for the do-it-yourselfers.

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Monday, 8 June 2009

Squat Toilets – Where Can They Still Be Found?

Squat toilets are relatively unknown in the Western world. But they are commonplace in many other parts of the world. There is a surprisingly a large number of countries and cultures in Asia, the Middle East and Africa where squatting toilets have always been a part and parcel of daily life.

The locations where squat toilets easily outnumber sitting toilets include the two most populous countries in the world today: China with a population of 1.3 billion and India, with a population of 1.1 billion. In fact, two thirds of humanity (about 4 billion) still uses the squatting position for bodily functions. Less than one third – mostly people in the Westernised countries - uses the seated posture.

In addition to Asia, Middle East and Africa, there are many regions in the world where squatting toilets can still be found. These include a number of European and Mediterranean countries, such as France, Germany, Italy, the Balkans and Greece. Squat toilets can also be found in Russia and many countries in South America.

They may not be exactly prevalent in some of the countries mentioned, but squat toilets do exist in many public areas, buildings and homes. Visitors may or may not encounter them in the newer or more developed areas of these countries. But you move away and go out to the more rural areas, you would find that squat toilets are quite common and widely used.

Most of the world’s toilets, however, are largely concentrated in Asia. Countries like China, India, Pakistan, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Burma, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.

Of course, we must not forget countries in the Middle East and Africa. The peoples of these countries and continent have traditionally been using squat toilets since the beginning of time. Countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Mauritius, Sudan, Turkey, Uganda, Yemen, Zimbabwe.



As a result of increased Western influence, sitting toilets are now making huge inroads even in countries which have a cultural tradition of squat toilets. Nowadays, too many people are giving up - by choice or circumstances beyond their control - squatting toilets for sitting ones. Few, if any, would switch from sitting to squatting types.


Design of Squat Toilets

If you think about it, a squat toilet is nothing more than a hole in the ground. But different races and cultures have their own ideas and interpretations. Many of them have created their own designs and versions to suit their needs and lifestyles.

For example, Turkey has two kinds of squat toilets -- ground level squat toilets known as alaturka. They also have pedestal squat toilets called alafranga that has specially-designed foot rests that allows the user to squat on it at the height of a typical sitting toilet.

The Japanese have a squat toilet that has a unique shape with the user facing the toilet and flush device while his or her back is to the door of the stall.

There is a Thai version which is somewhat of a different design in that it is a squat toilet, but has a bowl that is spiral shaped.

While we have covered squatting toilets used in the "developed" areas of the world, there are specific locations where indigenous tribes or native peoples use some rudimentary version of 'squat toilets'. The toilets are often in the form of a squat style outhouse which does not come with running water or modern plumbing.

Squat or Sit – A Question of Cultural Conditioning

Whether a person uses a squat toilet or a sitting toilet is not always be a matter of choice or based on health considerations. In reality, for many, toileting posture is a culturally ingrained practice decided at birth.

This explains why Westerners would experience quite a culture shock when coming face to face with a squat toilet for the very first time. (It doesn't help that most Westerners have lost the capability to squat easily and comfortably.)

It also explains why some people who love squatting court danger by balancing and squatting precariously on top of a sitting toilet. Or why some would do whatever necessary in order to squat - even to the extent of constructing a metal platform over their sitting toilet!

Does It Really Matter Whether You Squat or Sit?

The type of toilet used by a person is much a cultural choice, one that is often based on tradition. But in reality, there is a big difference between a squat type and a sitting type.

The sitting toilet may look more attractive to the eye, but it is an ergonomic nightmare. By forcing users to sit instead of squat, the sitting toilet makes it physically impossible to achieve complete waste elimination.

Unknown to many, the sitting toilet has also been linked to several colon, bladder, prostate and pelvic health problems. You can visit this toilet-related ailments website for more information on the specific ailments and diseases that have been linked to sitting toilets, and also why squat toilets are better than sitting toilets.

Written by David Ling, Singapore, Website:

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Saturday, 6 June 2009

8 Easy Steps To Choosing The Perfect Toilet

You might be building a new home, or fixing up the one you have. With all the details concerned, you might overlook the humble toilet. Mundane as it may seem, the toilet is an important part of your bathroom. Following a few easy steps can assist you in the choosing the perfect toilet. Remember, all toilets are not built the same!

Step by step now, let’s examine:

1). The bowl shape: The main choices here are an elongated bowl and a round front bowl. The round style is shorter and fits for a smaller space. However, the elongated style gives you more comfort, since there is more open space in front.

2). The toilet size: Toilets come in different widths, heights and lengths. For the right fit, you will need to do some measuring. Don't forget about the rough-in space - the distance of the bowl's center to the finished wall - as this too will determine the toilet's maximum size.

3). How large is your toilet trapway?: This is the end of the toilet where waste and water leave. The smallest size available passes through waste of a 1.5 inch diameter. The larger the trapway, the less likely clogging will be.

4). How the toilet flushes: Due to water conservation laws, toilet tanks in the US hold 1.6 gallons of water. Despite this, different flush technologies give you some choice. The siphon created by the weight of the water pushes through the waste and empties the bowl in gravity fed toilets. For a little extra flushing help, pressure assisted toilets use compressed air in the toilet tank. The extra pressure caused by compressed air helps the toilet to flush better. On the downside, besides the bigger expense, these toilets tend to be noisier and harder to repair.

5). One or two piece toilets: For the budget minded, toilets consisting of the two separate pieces of toilet bowl and tank are appropriate. There are up to six parts in a one piece toilet that seamlessy make it up. This is a more elegant style that is cleaned more easily and requires less space but also has a higher price tag.

6). Maintenance features: Many better toilet designs include features to easily maintain them. For instance, Toto, an innovative Japanese manufacturer, has SanaGloss, a ceramic glaze which prevents bacteria and mold buildup, making the toilet easy to clean. American Standard has its EasyClean feature. Kohler has an insulated liner for some of its toilet lines, preventing moisture build-up on the outside of the tank due to condensation.

7). What does the toilet look like?: Function is certainly essential, but a pleasing form is also important. Fortunately, today’s toilets come in a huge selection of colors and sizes. However, non-white colors will usually cost you more. One approach you may to consider is to choose a toilet that is part of a bathroom suite, thus ensuring that are the fixtures are in harmony.

8). What else?: High end toilets may come with heated seats, warm air drying systems and built-in bidets, such as the Toto Washlets. Kohler makes the Comfort Height toilet with a higher seat for easier sitting and standing.

There, now you have 8 steps to finding the toilet that is right for you and your loved ones!

Rob Barnes writes for All About Toilets, a consumer guide to choosing the right toilet for your home, reviewing styles such as bidets and top brands such as Kohler toilets.

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Friday, 5 June 2009

Toilet Cisterns - Simple Ways to Save Water and Money

The bathroom and toilet cistern make up over 40% of the total water usage for the average household. By carrying out a few simple tests you can find out whether your toilet cistern is using more water than necessary, and if it is take steps to reduce your water usage and save money.

1. Fix toilet cistern leaks
A leaking toilet cistern can waste large amounts of water - more than 12 liters an hour. This quickly adds up to a significant amount of water especially if not noticed or ignored. Households should check for leaks and if any are discovered be vigilant in fixing them, if necessary by a plumber.

A leaking toilet cistern will often make a constant humming sound as the toilet is forced to keep taking in more water to replace the water that escapes through the leak. This is not always the case though or may not be heard, allowing water to leak imperceptibly and unnoticed against the white porcelain of the toilet bowl. If you suspect that your toilet cistern is leaking, a DIY test you can do to check this is to remove the cistern lid and put in a few drops of food dye. If colored water appears in the bowl before you flush, then there is a leak. Alternatively, hold a piece of toilet paper against the back of the inside of the bowl. If it gets wet it would again indicate that you have a leak. In the event that a leak is discovered leaking toilet cistern repair should be carried out as soon as possible to avoid any further waste of water. If you are still unsure after carrying out this test, contact a plumbing service for more information.

2. Install a dual flush cistern
A dual flush toilet cistern is a unit that has two buttons - one for a full flush and a second for a half flush. Though the planning regulations in many countries now require that all new houses and apartments install dual flush units, most older houses and apartments will not have them. Older toilet cisterns are much less water efficient and will use about ten liters of water per flush. By comparison, more modern units will use between four and six liters for a full flush or three liters for a half flush.

It is easy to measure how much water your toilet cistern uses. Turn off the water supply using the tap found behind or under the bowl. If this tap cannot be located or is still leaking, turn off the main water supply to the house. Remove the lid (note that with some units it may be necessary to unscrew the flush button to do this) and mark the level of water using a waterproof marker or tape. Press the flush button and allow the toilet cistern to empty. As you have turned the water supply off it will not refill automatically. Refill the manually using a measuring jug or bottle, counting the number of liters required to fill the toilet cistern back to the marked line. Don't forget to turn the water supply back on when finished!

J Wakefield is retained by PAV Plumbing Pty Ltd as a freelance writer.

If you need a Sydney plumber for toilet cistern repair or installation contact PAV Plumbing.

For further information on toilet cistern plumbing, or plumbing repair please visit the PAV Plumbing website.

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Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Information About Toilet Bowl Mops And Toilet Bowl Brushes

When you think about it, toilets are pretty gross. Public toilets can be used up to 100 times a day, that means 100 people are using them. It is said that whenever a toilet is flushed it releases over 5000 bacteria into the air. So, when you walk into a public restroom that is well frequented, there can be up to half a million bacteria or virus particles in the air. Those bacteria can land on handles, sinks, faucets and even the paper towels that you use to wipe your hands after you have washed them. You can use all the antimicrobial soap in the world but it won't do you any good if your smearing those dirty germs, bacteria and viruses onto your hands after you have used the soap. If you walk into a public restroom and it doesn't look clean my advice is to walk straight out. If it looks dirty to your eyes imagine how it would look under a microscope. One of the dirtiest places in a bathroom is the toilet but a toilet can be kept clean very easily with regular maintenance. If you want to try an experiment don't clean your toilet for 4 weeks and see what happens. Slowly right above the waterline a black or brownish ring will form. If you let your toilet go a little longer before cleaning, that black ring will slowly start to climb in vertical lines toward the toilet rim (by the way, that ring is about 6 inches from your behind whenever you sit down on your toilet). What is that black ring? The nasty black ring is bacteria and micro fecal buildup. A pretty nasty combination when you consider every time you flush your toilet your breathing them in.

There are many things you can do to avoid the nasty black ring on your toilet. The first is to use a low acid toilet bowl cleaner to kill the bacteria. The second is to get your self a really good toilet bowl brush or toilet bowl mop to scrub that acid around in the toilet and remove those ugly stains.

Toilet bowl brushes come in many styles but most are made from a material called polypropylene. Polypropylene won't mold and can stand up to heat and chemicals. Polypropylene strands are abrasive and can do a great job at removing the nasty toilet ring. The two main styles of toilet bowl cleaning utensils are the toilet bowl mops and toilet bowl brushes. A toilet bowl brush resembles a brush and has a wide stiff polypropylene bristle. Brushes tend to last a lot longer that toilet bowl mops because the bristle is larger and does not break away from the toilet bowl brush handle. Toilet bowl mops are meant to be discarded after repeated use and are considered by most to be a disposable toilet cleaning product. Toilet bowl mops have a ball of polypropylene strands massed at one end to form a light duty scouring surface. Over time the strands tend to break off and the mop should be discarded. Toilet bowl mops are usually a quarter of the price of toilet bowl brushes and most are have a plastic handle.

Great cleaning tips and cleaning information by Lee Harris can be found at Lee Harris is an expert in the cleaning industry and can answer all your questions about toilet bowl mops and toilet bowl brushes.

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