Thursday, 30 June 2011

Unclog A Toilet

Another thing that is certain in this life besides death and taxes is the fact that someday you will need to unclog a toilet. Many items can clog your toilet or the plumbing in your bathroom including hair, toilet paper, and yes, even razors, jewelry, or if you live in my house, toys. You do not need to call a plumber every time your toilet clogs up. In fact, there are some very simple tricks you can use to unclog the toilet yourself. A rule to follow here is never flush the toilet more than once when you see that it is clogged. This can easily cause the toilet to overflow, and if you are not prepared, you will have a huge mess in your bathroom!


One of the most common and easiest ways to loosen a clog in your toilet is by squirting some dish soap into the toilet drain, followed by a large bucket of hot water. This works by raising the temperature of the water surrounding the clog, and may loosen whatever is clogging your pipes enough to let it go free. The dish soap also gives a bit of lubrication during this process. Once you have done this, and the clog is gone, dump another bucket of hot water down the toilet to remove any excess gunk that might have built up in your pipes.


Plunging is probably the most common way of unclogging a toilet. I can honestly say that I use this method at least once a day in my household. Unfortunately this does not work if the clog is caused by something hard like a toy, but if you know that the clog is either caused by toilet paper , hair, or something else, reach for the plunger! Make sure there is water covering the ball end of the plunger. If there isn't enough water in the toilet to do this, you will need to add more water. This will create a better seal and allows for more pressure. Use the plunger firmly and once the water leaves the toilet bowl, you can safely flush the toilet again to make sure the clog is fully removed. After you have plunged the clog away, dump a bucket of hot water down the toilet to release any excess debris that may clog the toilet in the future.


Another option you can try if neither of the above worked for you is to use a sewer snake. Sewer snakes are coiled wires that can easily move through the pipes of your household plumbing, loosening anything that may be clogging it up. What you need to do is insert one end of the snake into the toilet and work it through until you have reached the clog. When you cannot go any further, twist and push the sewer snake until you break through whatever is clogging the pipe. Once the water begins to drain out you can simply flush the toilet again to remove any excess debris.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

The Waterless Toilet

Most people don't realize it, but it is not washing dishes or taking a shower that uses the most water during the day. It is actually the act of flushing a toilet. Older, less efficient toilets operate by passing over three gallons of water through the plumbing system with each flush. As water resources become more scarce, ways to cut down on some of the water that is literally being "flushed away" are being sought.

One method gradually becoming more popular is the use of a waterless, or composting, toilet. These toilets are rare in cities and suburbs because of the difficulty in securing appropriate building permits, but they are more common in rural areas. Composting toilets convert human waste into compost, which can be utilized as fertilizer once it has been treated.

Waterless composting toilets (also known as biological toilets) are waterless systems which rely on the principles of composting by mirco-organisms to decompose human waste, paper and other materials.

In this type of system, chambers or bins are installed below floor level. Extra organic matter such as wood shaving, paper or lawn clippings, are added to create an ideal composting environment. Micro-organisms decompose the collected material, with about three-quarters being converted to carbon dioxide and water vapor. Air drawn through the pile removes these gases and assists the micro-organisms with the decomposition.

Waterless composting toilets do not treat waste water from showers, sinks and washing machines, an additional system is required for their treatment. A waterless toilet can range in price from as low as $400 to nearly $3,000, depending on the type and features. Many models look like regular toilets and are available in a wide array of colors.

Until the use of waterless toilets becomes more common place, removing and replacing an older toilet with a more efficient one can save the average homeowner 4,000 gallons of water per year. If every older, inefficient toilet was replaced with a WaterSense-labeled toilet, nearly 640 billion gallons of water could be saved each year.

What is a WaterSense toilet? It is a toilet given a label by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifying that it uses 20 percent less water per flush than current federal standards. Typically, a WaterSense toilet uses 50 to 60 percent less water per flush than older models.

The water efficiency of a toilet depends on its age and type. Most toilets installed prior to 1992 are considered inefficient by today's standards, and typically use more than three gallons of water per flush. This means that a leaky, constantly running or simply inefficient toilet is the largest water-waster in a home, since toilets are by far the main source of water use in a home. In fact, flushing toilets accounts for as much as 40 percent of residential indoor water consumption.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Novelty Toilet Seats Give Brilliance to Your Bathroom

Are you feeling fed up with the same old look in your bathroom or powder room? One way to give it a facelift would be to redecorate -- maybe even undertake a full remodel. While that solution might have the potential to give you a truly stunning effect, it's likely to be expensive and require time as well as money for all the planning and professional work that a complete makeover would probably involve.

So how can you quickly achieve a fresh and vibrant effect in your bathroom without all the hassle of replacing fixtures and fittings, installing new light fixtures, repainting or putting up new wallpaper? One answer may be to spruce up your existing decor with one of the many novelty toilet seats available, combined with other new accessories and bathroom linens.

Let's start with the toilet: it's a vital fixture, of course, and in some respects it forms the focal point of the bathroom or powder room. And yet, all too often, people play safe with their bathroom design by choosing all white plumbing fixtures and losing the opportunity to put the stamp of their own personality and taste on this central item. But many homeowners feel that they should keep fittings such as the toilet, the sink, and the bathtub a neutral color in order that they can blend in with a wide variety of decorative choices in the rest of the room.

This may well be a sensible decision, but it doesn't stop you personalizing the loo with a novelty item such as a decorative toilet seat. Most toilet seats are relatively inexpensive to replace, can be attached to the bowl in just a few minutes without needing any hard-to-find tools, and can always be swapped out with a basic white alternative -- for example, when the time comes to show the home to prospective buyers.

You can even choose a unifying theme to link a decorative seat with other items in the bathroom -- for example, using a common motif on the toilet, on the shower curtain, on the bathroom rug, and so on.

When you start to look at the unusual toilet seat designs available -- particularly through online suppliers -- you begin to realize that there is practically no limit to the creativity and inventiveness that you can bring with this approach, as well as the opportunity to indulge a quirky sense of humor if you have one!

Here are some examples of some of the decorative toilet seat styles on the market, ranging from the weird and wonderful to the tastefully discreet:

Extreme and unusual toilet seats: who would want to sit on barbed wire? And yet, there are some models that have it embedded in acrylic, or printed as an image on the seat! It's similar to the effect that's achieved with some of the razor blade toilet seat designs also on the market.

Artistic toilet seats: when you're talking about painting or printing an image, there's no limit to what the imagination can conceive. Designs range from abstract shapes and patterns to animal prints, the enlarged image of an eye, birds, butterflies, even nude images. You can find craftsmen who specialize in decorating toilet seats, producing not only a unique accessory but also a true work of bathroom art.

Toilet Tattoos: this clever idea allows you to customize the look of your toilet without even having to replace the seat itself. These tattoos are actually pieces of electrostatic vinyl that you can remove from the backing paper and stick to the lid without needing any adhesive. In this way, they can even be peeled off and reused. Due to the applique method, they work best on plastic toilet seats. There's a whole range of different styles and patterns, and it's an inexpensive way to achieve an unusual effect in a short space of time.