Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Need a New Toilet? What Type Should You Choose?

With today's growing concerns regarding saving water and cutting down on utility costs, more people are directing their attention to their toilet. The toilet accounts for as much as 30% of total household water usage and as such, should be a primary concern to cut down on your water wastage. However, the toilet isn't exactly most people area of expertise when it comes to choosing the right design for your needs. Here is a breakdown of the most common types of toilets, and their functions.

  1. Gravity - The vast majority, as much as 99% of household toilets are of the gravity type. Since the inception of 6-litre toilets, gravity type flushing action has been vastly improved. A gravity bowl works on siphoning action, pulling water from the bowl and with today's design technology, 6-litre gravity toilets actually outperform old large volume toilets.
  2. Vacuum-assist - Unlike gravity toilets, vacuum-assist toilets have a mechanism that creates a small vacuum in the trap to aid in the flushing water from the bowl. The fill valve and early closing flappers are identical to gravity type toilets.
  3. Pressure-assist - This toilet design doesn't use a traditional flapper mechanism, instead there is a vessel inside the toilet tank that traps air. The tank fills with water and uses the pressure from the water line to compress the trapped air. This compressed air is released and instead of a siphoning action sucking water from the bowl, you have a pressurized "push", clearing waste from the bowl. These toilets are much louder than gravity type and vacuum-assist toilets, they are also more expensive and can usually be found in commercial buildings and institutions.
  4. Tip Bucket - This zany toilet utilizes a bucket located at the top of the toilet tank. The bucket, rather than the tank is filled with water, and when the lever is depressed, the bucket tips over into the tank and drains into the bowl. The basic idea is the same as a gravity type toilet, but the difference is with the water stored in the bucket, you don't need to have a flapper in the tank, so you have no chance of leaks and no internal components to replace. There is also the possibility of an adjustable tank making the toilet adaptable to both 10-inch and 12-inch gaps between the bottom of the base and the wall.
  5. Dual Flush Toilets - Dual Flush Toilets are unique in that they have two handles or buttons. One handle typically flushes a 1 gallon or 4 liter flush while the other handle delivers a full tank. This allows for a reduced flush for liquid wastes and a full flush for solid wastes. Dual flush technology has been mandated in Australia for many years and is very common in Europe as well, however the technology is just starting to catch on in North America. This toilet type can actually use up to 26% less water than any other 1.6 gallon toilet.

When choosing a toilet design for your home, be aware of the possibility of leakage and the toilet tank volume. Older toilets can be retrofitted or replaced and the initial cost will pay itself off in spades when you start counting the gallons of water a day that can be saved. With only a little awareness, you can drastically cut down your family's water footprint and reduce your utility bills.

Tag : toilet,toilet paper,toilet training,toilet repair,toilet seats

Monday, 27 July 2009

Toilet Train Cat - Are You Kidding Me?

There has been a lot of discussion over the years about whether you can toilet train cat, dog or any other animal. The fact of the matter is, it is a relatively simple thing to do if you want to toilet train your cat. As far as getting your dog or other animal to go to the bathroom in the toilet, good luck with that. If you want your feline, however, to begin using the porcelain litter box then you need to start moving it in that direction slowly. Here's how you do it.

The first thing that you need to do is to move the litter box next to the toilet itself. This will get the cat used to its new area that will be going to the bathroom from now on. You also need to make sure that the seat is constantly down but the lid is always up on the toilet. If you have a man in the house that likes to leave the toilet seat up, he needs to be trained as well. If the seat is up, your cat will not be comfortable walking around on the porcelain rim and it's not very sanitary, anyway.

Every day, begin lifting the litter box up a little bit closer to the level of the toilet seat. You could probably add one or 2 inches to the height every day, just make sure that it is always stable as your cat will sometimes jump up into the box and the last thing you want to do is knock it over. It may take a couple of weeks, but eventually the box will be up as high as the toilet seat itself. Now it's time to move your cat over to the toilet.

You're either going to have to use a metal bowl that is the same size as the toilet bowl or fabricate a wooden box that will neatly fit down into the toilet area. Fill this box with litter and your cat will begin using it, just like it uses the litter box. Begin training the cat to keep its paws up on the seat and eventually, you will be able to remove the litter box from the toilet altogether. Your cat is now toilet trained and you can begin enjoying a litter box free house from this point forward.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Tall Toilets - A Big Idea

When the ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act required the manufacture of what many call tall toilets or raised or elevated toilets a cheer went up from groups everywhere.

From those who are disabled or wheelchair bound, to those who are elderly and finally to those people who are just extremely tall, these models have made life better for several groups. We'll look at these versions and if you are looking to remodel your bathroom or build a new home, help you decide if these types of toilets are right for you.

Just exactly what is a tall toilet? Is it more than just the height? Are some models better than others? Are these hard to install? These questions are the most common and today we'll take them one at a time and try to give you basic information on tall toilets and how they might fit into your home.

Let's start with what these toilets are. As the name implies these models sit higher than a normal toilet. The ADA required these heights to make it easier for people to get up and down and for those bound to wheelchairs to be able to slide in and out. And as we mentioned above for those whose only challenge is the fact that they are extremely tall these models have been very helpful.

Are some models better than others? To answer this question we'll use data from regular toilets sales since we have more sales to go by at this point in time. Toilets from major manufacturers will do the job and while some might be slightly better than others for the most part you will be safe with your choice. These taller versions are the same in every way except for their height.

The inner workings and plumbing are identical to a normal size toilet so there are no worries there. Are they hard to install? Since they are the same except for the height the answer is no. But do make sure you have enough space for the extra height. For instance if you have a cabinet that is above the toilet, it might need to be removed or simply moved higher.

We hope we have shed some light on these helpful alternatives to the standard toilets. Models today are better than ever, are made to last and in some instances use less water too. No matter if you are remodeling or building a new home, we hope our tips help you make the best choice .

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Toilet Brands - More Choices Than Ever

Toilets have been around since the last 1800's with many manufacturers being involved in their making since those very early days. Four of the major toilet brands including American Standard, Briggs, Kohler and Toto USA.

Let's look at those brands along with others, the manufacturers who make them and the history behind them. If you are getting ready to install a new model in your house we'll try to give you a little information about the choices you have today, hopefully making your selection a little easier.

Although American Standard, Briggs, Kohler and Toto USA make up the bulk of the market there are a few other brands as well. Let's take a look first at the four dominant brands for manufacturers of some of the top toilets. American Standard like most of these companies began in the 1800's are credited with several innovations including the one piece bowl.

Briggs which is another very well known brand began in 1908 and started off as a company that sold car parts believe it or not. It was not until the 1940's they ventured into toilets and they have been a mainstay ever since.

Kohler began in Germany and founded by Michael Kohler is also one of the originals. They invented the process of covering toilets and sinks and bathtubs in enamel. And finally Toto USA is a Japanese company that began making toilets in America in 1989 although they have been in the business in Japan since the early 1900's,

Barclay is another major player that we should include. Prices on this brand run from the $400's to the $500's and they have many models available. Other brands are Caroma and Laufen. Caroma is one of the toilet brands known for water conservation and is great for areas where you need a smaller or shorter toilet simply because you do not have room for a standard size.

They are also famous for their dual flushing motion a large exit pipe (trap way) which greatly helps prevent clogging. Next we profile Laufen which looks different than most other toilets and might not be for everyone in style but they are unique. Laufen's collection includes toilets that can be hung on a wall to help conserve space. They are also height adjustable which can put them into the category of tall toilets.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

A Unique Toilet Seat Makes a Fine Gift Idea

Got someone to buy a great gift for, but they've already got everything? Have you considered a unique toilet seat?

A toilet seat isn't the first thing you'd think of if you're looking for a great gift idea. Let alone a unique toilet seat that is different from anything else they've ever seen. But an unusual toilet seat can be quite a different, and interesting, gift.

There are stacks of unique gift ideas for the home. All sorts of unusual items that make a home look different. That differentiate your home, or someone else's home, from all those others out there. A gift idea that says look at me, I'll be you've never seen one of these before.

And if you're looking for a gift that's outrageous, different, startling and quite out of the ordinary, then you've got your work cut out to come up with something really - unique. After all, just about everything in the way of outrageous and different gift ideas have really been done, haven't they?

But not a unique and outrageous toilet seat. There's stacks of novelty toilet seats that you'd never believe existed. Ideas so outrageous and fun that when you see them you just have to laugh. Toilet seats that just stand out and say wow, look at me.

And what are you giving a unique or funny gift for other than to get someone to see it and say wow, look at that? To give people a good laugh, to make them smile and stop in their tracks just because the object is so - unique.

And it's not just the recipient of the gift that gets to sit back and go wow either. Because of course they might do that the first few times they see it, but after a few times it's lost a little of it's impact.

However give someone an outrageous toilet seat for a gift and it's a gift for everyone who comes to visit them too. Every time there's a new guest in the house the owner can just wait with baited breath for the first time they go to the toilet and see the reaction when they come out. And a gift that makes people laugh like that will make guests laugh for years to come.

So if you're looking for a fine gift idea, an outrageous funny gift that will make everyone go wow and laugh out loud, then consider a unique toilet seat. It's fun, it's outrageous, it's unique. It'll make their toilet a fun place to visit.

Friday, 17 July 2009

How To Toilet Train Your Toddler

Potty training time can be very difficult for parents and their toddlers alike. While different children will always have different reactions to potty training, your child can experience apprehension, fear, and even anger at potty training time. There are many different studies on the subject of potty training. In this article you will learn the facts about potty training-the facts that are backed up by experts and researchers that have studied potty training methods and progress.

When you're ready to start potty training your toddler, you need all the tools and resources you can get. Not having the proper resources can leave you lost and wondering.

In fact, that's what happened to Sherry Clark. Sherry felt pressured by her in-laws to toilet train her daughter Cheyenne before she turned three years old. The problem was that Cheyenne didn't display any signs of being ready to toilet train, and Sherry's family sort of left her to make her own decisions. "I really felt like I was doing a terrible job as a parent, because Cheyenne didn't want anything to do with potty training. In fact, I probably prolonged the process because I pushed her into training when she clearly wasn't ready," says Sherry. According to child specialist Theresa Cornwell, Sherry may be exactly right. "Toilet training depends on the parent and the child. Both have to be ready and prepared for the changes. Forcing a child to use the toilet may only stunt her progress."

Sherry decided to simply wait and let Cheyenne come to terms with using the toilet before she tried to train her again. In just a few months, Sherry tried again and was successful. In fact, the actual training time went very quickly and with very few incidents.

Here are some of the best-known ways to toilet train your toddler.

Do Not Panic

Often, parents can think there is something wrong with their child because he or she is 3 or 4 years old and they aren't potty trained. Children develop differently, and some children may simply be late bloomers. This is most definitely not a reason to believe there is something wrong with your child. The child's gender may even have something to do with it. In fact, researchers have found that girls are easier to toilet train than boys are. There are many reasons that this is true, including the fact that girls comprehend language earlier than boys and may therefore understand your teachings more quickly than a boy would.

One of the biggest messages that experts try to get parents to understand is that you shouldn't panic. If your child is a late bloomer, it doesn't mean there is something wrong with him or her at all.

Use Consistency

One of the most important things a parent can do when toilet training their toddler is to be consistent. This is the fastest way to teach your child how to use the toilet. For example, as soon as your child wakes up in the morning, take them to the bathroom.

Offer a small prize for using the potty. One thing that many parents do is to place a clear jar in the bathroom with small treats and cheap toys. The child sees this and knows that if he or she successfully uses the toilet, they will get one. Continue this every morning without fail so that your child becomes accustomed to and familiar with the process.

Another way that you can use consistency is to inform other caretakers of the potty-training plan. If your child just loves spending time with Grandma and Grandpa, and does so frequently, let Grandma and Grandpa in on the plan. This way, even if you're not there, the same process will be followed, which should put the child at ease. If each different caretaker uses different methods to help your child use the toilet, it can get very confusing. By simply discussing the methods you're using with any other caretakers, you can speed up the training time and keep things consistent.

When is Your Child Ready?

Although each child develops differently, experts agree there are a few things to look for that will signal your child is ready to begin toilet training. Since they will not be able to learn how to use the toilet until the muscles of their bladder and bottom are fully developed, you will want to look for the following:

* Your child can go several hours without emptying his or her bladder.

* Your child goes all night without wetting his or her diaper.

* Your child is mature enough to listen and understand what you say, as well as to communicate with you. This way, they can communicate the fact that they need to use the bathroom.

* Your child is starting to notice that when he or she eliminates in his or her diaper, it is dirty. They may not like the fact that they are dirty.

Any or all of these signs may tell you that your child is ready to begin potty training, and there are a few other things you will want to keep in mind when you are toilet training your toddler. Praise is the best method, and experts agree that a child should never be scolded for accidents. This could make them develop a complex about using the potty.

In fact, a study was done in which the researchers asked parents to praise their children and speak of defecation in a positive way to them. This study was published in the Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine. The researchers found that when parents spoke positively about defecation, the child was less likely to want to hide during the process and responded better to toilet training. It can be difficult to potty train your child, but with consistency and praise, you can soon say goodbye to diapers!

Tag : toilet,toilet train,toilet seats,toilet paper

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Three Easy Steps to Repair a Leaky Wax Seal on Your Toilet

Symptom: There is water on the floor around the base of my toilet or water leaks from under the base of my toilet when I flush.

Usually this happens when the wax ring looses it's seal. Replacing the wax ring under the toilet bowl should repair this problem.

The first step in making this repair is to turn off the water source and remove all the water from your toilet tank and bowl. A good maintenance tip is to have a stop valve installed before the water supply line to the toilet tank. This is very common in most residences. If there is no stop valve the water will have to be turned off outside to make this repair. Many times an inline shut off valve will be installed where the water enters the home. The water can be turned off here, or at the street where the water meter is installed. A good maintenance procedure is to install a shut off valve right outside the house where the water enters from the street. It is also very convenient for making other plumbing repairs.

Next, once all the water is out of the toilet tank and bowl and the water is turned off, disconnect the water supply line to the toilet tank. Next Remove the nuts from the bolts that hold the toilet bowl to the floor so you can lift the bowl off the floor and away from the toilet flange(top of the sewer pipe). Inspect the flange for deterioration or damage. Cast iron pipe flanges rust over time and may need to be repaired or replaced. There are several options for repairing a cast iron flange. Putting a new steel ring over the top of the cast iron flange, chipping off the rusted flange and replacing with a new cast iron flange, or inserting a PVC (plastic) flange with an expansion joint are some of the options for repairing a damaged or deteriorated cast iron flange. Repair techniques for PVC flanges include using a "half moon" metal part, or a PVC spacer. All these parts can be purchased at your local home improvement store.

The last step, once you have inspected and/or repaired the toilet flange is to install the wax ring that you purchased at the local home improvement store. The wax ring is applied to the bottom of the toilet bowl. Set the bolts in the toilet flange and carefully set the toilet bowl over the bolts onto the wax ring. Install the nuts onto the bolts being careful not to over tighten. Reattach the water supply line and open the valve. Check for leaks. Once the tank is full, do a test flush to be sure you have a good seal at the flange. Your repair is complete!

Tag : toilet,toilet repair,toilet paper,american standard toilet

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Potty Training Methods - Potty Seats vs Toilet Trainers

Potty training is a huge milestone for your child, and probably a welcome relief to parents and their pocketbooks. It would be nice and maybe easier if there was one, set method to potty train your child. But, like most other things having to do with your child - you have a few options as far as potty training goes.

One of the decisions you get to make about potty training is whether to potty train using a potty seat, or a toilet trainer. There are a few differences between the two and both methods have their pluses and minuses.

A potty seat is a miniature potty built just for your little one. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some are simple, just the pot, while some have whistles and bells included - literally. Some potties are programmed to play music or light up or do something fun when your toddler goes potty in them. Here's a good assortment of potty seats you can check out.

A toilet trainer is a little different from a potty seat in that it fits over the family toilet. Most toilet trainers consist of a seat, built to fit your little one's smaller fanny (so they don't fall in!) and they can be attached to or placed on a regular toilet seat. But, like potty seats, toilet trainers have a number of different options as well - colors, size, cushioning, etc.

The good thing about potty seats is that they are built specifically for tiny tots. They are easy for them to use, and the toddler doesn't have the risk of falling off the potty seat (unless they fall asleep on the pot!). A lot of kids enjoy having their own pint sized potty, it makes them feel important to have one specifically for themselves.

One of the problems with potty training on a potty seat is that your child may only want to use their potty. There might be times when you're out at a friend's house and don't have their potty with you. They might be afraid to use the big toilet when their potty isn't around. Not only that - there's also the clean up involved. You're probably used to it by now having spent two years working with diapers - but then again, you've spent two years cleaning up poo!

Toilet trainers are good because they allow for the child to become used to using a regular sized toilet. There is no transition period involved after you've potty trained your child. They already know how to use it. Plus - it flushes! And that's the moment we've all been waiting for.

On the other hand, you need to be extra careful when using a toilet trainer as the child is going to be higher up than if they were on their own potty seat. Many children are going to need some sort of stool as well to get up to the big toilet. And don't forget to lift it up when you want to use the toilet!

There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing a potty seat or toilet trainer - as you can see at the Potty Training Store. There are also many advantages and disadvantages to both. But - parents have been successful with both - so don't worry. What you need to do, is decide which of the two is going to work best for your toddler and you.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Practical Toilet Cleaning Tips

This may not be exactly your most favorite house chore but unless you are willing to pay for some professionals to do it for you, you will need to know how to REALLY clean your toilet. Besides, it is considered to be one of the most important parts of your daily house maintenance.

During the cleaning process, you have to focus on really dark surfaces, both in the inner and outer parts of the toilet. Emptying the toilet bowl with water first usually works well as this gives you more space and lesser hurdles to work with.

This begins by removing the connection between the main pump and the toilet. After which, the toilet bowl must be flushed several times until all reserve water is emptied. Then, you can begin the work.

Remove the stains using several cleaning agents such as muriatic acid and specialized toilet cleaning agents, depending on your preference. Treat all surfaces while brushing, wiping or spraying the cleaning agent. Once the entire surface of the toilet is done, you can now start reloading the water reserve. Don't forget to place toilet bowl disinfectant so as to help extend the cleaning process.

If you have children in the house, however, and you are very cautious of using toxic substances, you can find great alternatives that work great as well. Here are some of them:

To help keep the odors and clogs, it is advisable that you pour one cup of baking powder on your bowl every week. Also, make use of citric acid to remove the stains in the toilet.

Orange juice helps a lot as a toilet cleaning agent. Use two teaspoons a day, put these in the toilet swish, and then let it sit for a while. For finale, scrub the toilet vigorously while adding more orange juice powder.

Plain cola works well too! Try pouring a bottle of cola on your bowl, let it settle for an hour then flush. You will see how wonderful carbonated beverages work.

You can try leaving vitamin C capsules in your bowl too. Since it is an acid-based substances, impurities in the bowl and stains will likely react to it and thus, loosen their hold on the bowl.

As you can see, even ordinary things in the house could make good toilet cleaning agents.

Friday, 3 July 2009

The Toilet - Victim of a "Definite" Lack of Recognition

Yes the toilet has had a definite lack of recognition. In the world of today, our bathrooms boast the utmost in amenities, not only the typical bathtub or shower, but steam shower, massage shower, multi-jet showers, jet tubs and whirlpool tubs, heated floors and towel warmers just to name a few.

But what about the toilet? A very necessary fixture in our homes. As a matter of fact, one of the more polite terms for the bathroom at one time was "the necessary room". Bathrooms were looked at with distaste, and even today the toilet is often thought of as a necessary evil, and looked upon with a certain amount of disdain.

But just stop for a moment and think about your home without a toilet! Not a pretty thought at all. Toilets have gotten a bum rap.

Although codes in most municipalities by the 1920's required an indoor flushing toilet in new construction, many of the old outhouses were in existence adjacent to existing homes for many years thereafter.

The house I grew up in was just such a house. It was probably 70 years old when my parents took ownership and it had no indoor plumbing. I remember outhouses vividly. It was some years later that remodeling took place, and we had an indoor flushing toilet. Ah, the sweet smell of success!

Toilets are not a new invention

We, in the 21st century think we are so smart, but the toilet is not a new or recent invention. Rather, the toilet is a newly accepted invention that has been improved upon and that finally gained popular usage over the last 85 years or so.

The toilet dates back at least as far as the fifteen hundreds and Queen Elizabeth I. Other primitive attempts were made at improving the toilet through the centuries until they became widely accepted in England just prior to World War I.

The word toilet is derived from the French and was first used to define various articles used in grooming from coverings worn while dressing the hair to items found on the dressing table, and finally to the act of dressing itself. If you've read many novels set in the 16th to the 20th century you've probably come across the term toilet in regards to grooming or dressing.

Today the toilet has been refined, we have modern sewage systems and running water and should praise the convenience and improved hygiene this adds to our daily lives and at such little cost from us.

Toilets cost us little in either expense or time for the service they provide. The new toilets use much less water, so our water bills are significantly decreased, and if we have the good sense to choose a model with sleek lines and few crevices they are easy to keep clean looking and sanitary. A toilet will provide many years of reliable use with only a minimum of maintenance. The toilet is a truly ingenious yet simple, and indispensable luxury!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Toilet Paper: Some Trivia and History for a Fun Party Accessory

If you stop for a moment and consider that the average American uses over 21,000 sheets of toilet paper each year, it is very hard to imagine what may have been used before toilet paper’s invention. That’s over 100 single rolls per person! The answers are mind bogling, really. Items like sticks, leaves, paper, rocks, grasses were all used. Now, even when camping in the most remote parts of the wilderness, most people pack some form or another of toilet paper. Some people use toilet paper for more purposes than simply cleaning oneself after using the toilet. Many people us it to wipe their nose, remove makeup, and to bandage shaving cuts. In fact, people use toilet paper for a lot of different reasons.

Toilet paper was first developed around 1880 by the British Perforated Paper company. It was sold in boxes of individual squares, not the rolls we are so accustomed to today. Scott Paper Company, an American company, began putting toilet paper in rolls around 1880. The first rolls were not perforated so the toilet paper dispenser had serrated edges with teeth that cut the paper to the size needed.

The basics of toilet paper have not changed much since its 1880 debut, it is still generally made from virgin paper that is created from a combination of hardwood and softwood trees. The most significant change is probably the fact that the rolls are now perforated, although other modifications such as fragrance, embossing, and colored dyes have also been added to the production process. Ironically, it is the softwood characteristics that give the toilet paper its strength, while the hard wood fibers add a softer texture to the composition. Generally speaking, toilet paper is made of a combination that consists of 70% hardwood and 30% softwood fibers.

Toilet paper can be made in one or two-ply thicknesses which are considered to be more absorbent. Some brands come in colors to match personal decorating tastes. In addition, suppliers of party and holiday goods, generally sell holiday specific toilet papers which are great subtle additions to any holiday get-together or party. From the bathroom to use in the games of the evening, a fun holiday-themed toilet paper can really give your guests something to talk about.