EXACTLY HOW MUCH MONEY YOU FLUSH DOWN THE TOILET EVERY YEAR.

Let’s all just take a moment to contemplate the thousands of dollars we’ve flushed down the toilet.

According to some study by someone I don’t remember on the Internet, the average person uses 20,805 sheets of toilet paper in  one year.   If you assume toilet paper rolls have on average, 500 sheets (some more, some less), that means each person uses 50 rolls of toilet paper a year.  I’ve rounded up there a bit to allow for things like killing centipedes, blowing noses and cleaning the sink when you can’t be bothered to get a cloth.

If you pay full price for premium toilet paper the cost is around $8 for 6 rolls of toilet paper.  So a low average estimate is that each individual person in a household consumes $66 worth of toilet paper a year.

Not bad, right?

Except most people have at least 4 people in a household.  So now it’s $267 a year.

That’s $5,500 every 20 years on toilet paper.  Not accounting for inflation of course.  Right. Down. The toilet.  And if you buy the WRONG TOILET PAPER you might end up spending a lot more money than that.

Here’s how.

The past decade or so has seen a lot of changes in terms of our bathrooms.  Low flush toilets, combined with the creation of premium, super-strong, it could double as a winter blanket,  toilet paper in 1999 has brewed up the perfect sewage storm.

Yes.  It’s a shit storm.

Toilet’s don’t use as much water to flush as they used to.  And toilet paper is now much stronger than it used to be.  It was assumed 17 years ago that we all needed much stronger toilet paper for some reason.  Regular toilet paper was not enough.  We needed something tougher, thicker, stronger.  Something you could use as toilet paper/mountain climbing rope.  This means … sewer line trouble.

Which I’ve had.  About 7 times in the past 3 years.  I’ve had sewer lines replaced, lines flushed, cameras sent down to take a look, more lines replaced and a backwater valve installed.  All in an attempt to stop my sewer line from getting clogged.

This has cost many thousands of dollars.  Many, MANY thousands of dollars.

I know my sewer guy by name. Roger. I know how he takes his coffee.  Double Double.  THAT is how often I’ve had problems with my sewer lines in the past 3 years.

So I am now very, very careful with my sewer lines.

I only use toilet paper that completely dissolves so there’s almost no chance of it clogging.

And I replaced my toilet.

I just replaced my toilet 3 years ago. BUT, I did not  buy a good toilet.

thrown-out-toilet

 

I bought a good looking toilet.

A good looking toilet that couldn’t flush a bug.

When I got the offending toilet (A Pfister by the way) I even called the company and said, Hey.  This toilet doesn’t seem to work very well. I think it’s defective.  The bowl doesn’t fill up with enough water and it doesn’t totally flush and it just doesn’t seem very good.  I was told that’s the way these low flush toilets work.

Huh.  So what makes these new low flow toilets different than older toilets is that … they don’t actually work?

It didn’t make much sense, but the toilet I had before was an ancient water glugging toilet that could suck your spleen out if you flushed it before standing up.  So maybe they were right. I just wasn’t used to the more new age, lackadaisical approach low flow toilets had to flushing stuff away.

So I started to do what everyone who has a bad toilet does.  I’d stand in front of the toilet, wait for it to complete its flush; and then I’d flush it again.

But I persisted with my low flush toilet because it’s better for the environment because it uses so much less water.  It’s also the only type of toilet you can buy anymore.

I’m just a toilet water layman and certainly not an expert in mathematical toilet flushing formulas, but this whole having to flush twice, sometimes three times method didn’t seem to be saving Mother Earth much water.

Also when people came to visit unannounced on more than one occasion I threw a pie in their face as a way of sedating them for a few moments while I ran into the bathroom to make sure the last time I used it I double flushed.

So on January 22nd I bought a new toilet and on January 23rd I installed it.  (this is the toilet that I bought and LOVE) And I filmed the whole process.

On Monday I’m going to have a STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO INSTALLING A TOILET.  I’ll show you exactly how easy it is to install a toilet BY YOURSELF and prove to you that NOT all low flow toilets are created equal.  In fact, some of them actually have that impressive spleen removing flush.

How long does swapping out your old toilet for a new one take?  As little as an hour or two.

Seriously.

It ain’t that hard.  Any of it.

 


 

97 Comments

  1. Jamie Lynn says:

    50 rolls seems *way* low. I live by myself. I buy the 12-roll pack of the store-brand cheapo stuff (I prefer it to that fancy schmancy puffy whatever stuff) and it probably takes me 2 weeks to go through 12 rolls. So figure 48 rolls in 8 weeks. That’s WAY more than 50 rolls a year! But I do see your point. Especially since I’m in the same boat with the plumbing issue, except I can’t afford to have the sewer lines replaced (from what we, and by we I mean the 13 different plumbers I’ve had here over the last 3 years, can discern, there’s a broken pipe somewhere underneath either the house or the front yard). We’ve tried the camera but there’s too much standing water to be able to see past where the pipe goes under the house; we’ve tried three different industrial snakes, one of which got stuck and they almost had to cut it out (thank god they got it out, if not they would have had to cut through the house foundation just to get it out), and countless bottles of drain cleaner and root killer. Basically I can only flush the toilet once every hour or so; a second flush goes maybe halfway then just sort of…stops. I was just lamenting this issue, actually, after I took a shower, since the drain starts to back up after about 3 minutes of running the water. Living in an old house is *such fun* (insert snarky, sarcastic eye rolling here).

    • Karen says:

      I know it does seem low. But I recalculated with sheets x number of goes, and compared it and it’s apparently right. But I do agree it seems low! ~ karen!

      • Stephbo says:

        It depends on the amount of paper you use power flush. I only use about one roll per week. My husband, Captain Megawad, used 2-3 rolls per week.

        • brenda says:

          I’m imagining the lengths you’ve gone to in order to figure out who uses what when and why … happy sleuthing – haha

          • Phyllis Kraemer says:

            I’m with you Stephbo…I don’t understand..I can’t believe the TP he goes through! We pretty much eat the same food, and he is not much heavier than I…???? Can’t help but wonder what is up with that?

    • billy sharpstick says:

      Roots – copper sulfate can remove the roots, is supposedly septic safe, and is cheap, but roots tend to grow at the top of the drain field pipe. There is a foam herbicide that is applied to the field pipes that fills it up to contact those roots. But it must be applied by a professional(not cheap).

    • cindy says:

      Are you sure about your usage? That’s almost a roll a day. I thought I used a lot because of the bowel problems of chemo but not a roll a day. On a bad week maybe a roll every three days. Not trying to be weird but that just seemed awfully high.

  2. Madeleine says:

    re toilet paper–save a bundle…install a bidet hose on your toilet tank. Of course it can be cold but it builds character.

    • brenda says:

      yes – I almost forgot that was my first thought (then I went down the rabbit hole of the whole how much toilet paper does a woodchuck chuck …)

    • Elaine says:

      Oh God! I woke up with a bad back and twisted neck so I’m in a miserable mood BUT reading the words “builds character” completely cracked me up! Thanks for the mood lifter! Can’t quit smiling now. 🙂

  3. Cynthia Jones says:

    Copper Sulphate. Blue stuff. From the Farmer’s Co-op store or your local hardware store. It’s about $8 AU for a kilo bag. They sell it anywhere they sell horse or cow feed.

    Initially put two tablespoons down your toilet once a week for four to six weeks. Then do the same once a month forever.

    You probably have clogged pipes….and the dunny pipes are not so clear either…..yuk yuk……copper sulphate kills tree roots. Big ones and little ones and it will take a few weeks for them to rot and break away and clear the pipes.

    If the pipes have lots of little roots in them in the joins the flush of any toilet will be a bit inadequate I think. Not enough pressure.

    Try it. What have you got to lose. Tell Roger I said he’s an asshole for not telling you this. I know he knows about it. Roger’s a coffee guzzlin’, money-grabbing, floor grubbin’ asshole.

    How’s about you look into one of those thingies that you can attach to your toilet to wash your butt? That would save on toilet paper and would sure make for some interesting well-lit Art of Doing Stuff pictorials.

  4. Laura Bee says:

    Hell yes! Thank you. I would kill for our old toilet in the basement bathroom. It could flush a bucket of ping pong balls easily. (there’s a video somewhere, really) A bathroom reno is in the future (one of the three sliding shower doors shattered a few days ago) I hate almost everything about our bathroom in this house. Toilet, tiles, taps & track lighting. Gah…

    • Laura Bee says:

      On the upside, I bought cheap toilet paper on sale today 🙂

      • Dagmar says:

        That’s the way to do it Laura Bee, just ignore the stuff that drives you nuts, and find a good thing each day. If I wasn’t doing that, I might have a nervous break-down. Cheap toilet paper, yeah !

  5. Kathleen says:

    I, like Jamie, think you have under guesstimated the number of toilet rolls we consume / use. I use approximately a roll a week, although I spend 5 days a week at the office, so thankfully I save there.
    When my partner is home, a roll a day seems to be the norm. That’s a lot of a$$-wiping and money doing down the drain. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Well if you use one roll a week, then 52 rolls (of 500 sheet toilet paper) a year is right then. 2 rolls off. I even just recalculated, lol. (I got the original figure from somewhere on the Internet). But I’ve paid attention recently and I use on average 8 sheets of toilet paper per “visit”. That’s on average. I’m guessing I go to the bathroom 6 times a day. That’s 48 sheets a day. X 365 days = 17,520. Plus of course, extra for whatever. That makes the study’s estimate of 20,805 sheets a year pretty reasonable. I’m not trying to convince you, just proving it to myself. Yup. Seems probable, lol. Tell your partner to get to the dr. a roll a day means there’s some intestinal distress I imagine. 😉 ~ karen!

      • Kathleen says:

        LOL! No she just pulls off reams and reams to wipe a dribble! 🙂
        I am going to check how many blocks I use… all your research and calculations have made me more aware now! 🙂

        • TucsonPatty says:

          To this day I can hear my cousins telling me (at their house) that “Mom only allows us to use three, (yes, 3) squares for a piddle.” If there is a more substantial offering, I now may go hog wild and use 4 squares, folded strategically, and in extreme cases might have to do that two or more times. The wad around and around the hand is just plain crazy! I still go through a lot – don’t know how much, but the last I purchased I thought was the same and realised as I placed in on the holder that it is a significantly narrower roll! Those stinkers!
          They stay up nights figuring out how to get another nickle out of us!

        • Karen says:

          Kick her to the curb. 😉 ~ karen

          • Ronda says:

            When my parents still had their cottage, there were rules to how much tp one could use. AND how often you could flush the toilet. Nuthin like having a septic system! lol

  6. cathleen clark says:

    bidet easy pissy…get a clue from European’s it works!!!

    • Karen says:

      People keep asking and commenting on the bidet in North America so I’ll answer here. Not everyone has room in their bathroom to accommodate an entire other toilet. I definitely do not. My bathroom can barely accommodate my hair dryer. And being that this is North America, finding a bidet/toilet in one is not what you’d call easy. So there you go. My answer in a nutshell. Not against them. I’m not against being a vegetarian either, but chances are I’m not going to become one. 😉 ~ karen!

      • Gillian says:

        There are attachments you can get that would be bidet-like although somewhat awkward. I think what some people are talking about is what I got for pre rinsing cloth diapers. It is a hose that attaches to the pipe leading into the toilet that you can turn on and off. I can’t imagine using it for the purpose mentioned above. I’m shuddering with goose bumps just thinking about it…

  7. maggie aikens says:

    Gosh I love your blog! You had me LOL at this. I have to confess to running around the city in order to get the last non low flow toilet when I changed ours in the powder room a couple of years ago, and yes, I changed it myself! Under the cover of night for fear the low flow toilet police would find me…? I think it’s all in the wax ring twist but that’s just me ? I await your video. I dread the day when I have to go low flow…I know it will come.

  8. cathleen clark says:

    Oops easy pizy…I guess pissy works too.
    Sorry kids in TAODS land shit happens…
    .

  9. Haydée Skeet says:

    I have a five year old and and eight year old. They go to the bathroom by themselves (yay) they use about half a roll per “situation’. (Booo). Half. A. Roll. -The other half just gets dropped in later, usually while washing hands or brushing teeth. (Nope,it’s never on the holder). A plunger lives in our bathroom. We have tried to teach them the Courtesy Flush, but no.

    • Grammy says:

      My daughter, who I inherited when I married her dad, was six when we moved into this old house. We had frequent sewer problems, and they seemed to coincide with when she used the toilet. I had also noticed that her toilet paper usage seemed to exceed everyone else in the household. While I secretly blamed her mother for not having taught her better, I also knew that we had to do something, that her dad would probably not be the one to do it right, and that I didn’t want this sweet child to hate me over a clogged toilet. I told her she needed to use less paper.

      “How much?”

      “Less than now.”

      “But, how much?”

      This continued several more rounds until I finally took a wild-ass guess and said, “Six!” Why six? I have no idea. I never counted. I just knew she was on the smallish side, but didn’t want the poor kid to not adequately clean up because she needed more but thought there was a rule against it.

      “Okay.” She smiled and skipped off to break something or otherwise make a mess. I worried all week about whether I had given her a reasonable amount.

      But most of the sewer problems stopped (in the past 37 years we’ve had major renovations and most of the sewer system replaced, but so has everyone else in the neighborhood). We never discussed it again. I assume it was the correct number.

      I should ask her tomorrow when she picks up her son from my house after work. My grandson would probably really enjoy Grammy asking Mom, “So, how many squares of toilet paper do you use? Is six working for you?”

  10. giddypony says:

    We just have a bucket in the tub for the water that would go down the drain otherwise and use that to flush the toilet. Easy peasy.

  11. peg says:

    at first I thought you were going to suggest something reusable,glad I read on. We live in a rental with cheap little toilets,at least they flush just not comfy for along sit 😀

  12. Tanya H. says:

    As I started reading this, I had an argument going in my head: is Karen going to announce a move to family cloth? She wouldn’t! Would she? It’s effective and definitely DIY, but…nah. On the other hand, there’s a lot of talk about toilet paper waste. Maybe.
    Way to keep me guessing. Enjoy your new toilet (=

    • Gillian says:

      Tanya, I was wondering myself and thought it would be a good experiment – perhaps just for um….wee. That will cut down on a lot of expense and they can easily be washed with normal wash.

      • Mel Robicheau says:

        I use it for number ones! I also have two babes in cloth diapers and I use cloth wipes for them so to me it isn’t an odd transition.

    • Karen says:

      🙂 Nope. No family cloths for me. ~ karen!

  13. Hazel says:

    Maybe the loo rolls (toilet paper rolls) are longer in the UK, but I’m thinking there is no way we use 50 rolls each in our house. There are 5 of us, aged 12 and up, so we should get through 250 rolls a year.
    I buy (recycled) loo roll in packs of 9, and there is absolutely no way I buy a pack 27 times a year. Maybe a pack a month?
    We certainly use less each time (I’m of the 3-sheets-for-a-wee-is-plenty school of thought) but even so…

    I know this is going to go down like a lead balloon, but I also think ‘family cloth’ is great. We haven’t used it in the last year because I haven’t got a system going since we moved- I don’t know why, it isn’t tricky. I must do it today- but for wees it was no trouble. No smell, no soaking, just throw the wipes in with other washing. We kept paper for #2s and visitors. Just think how much money it saves! 😉

    • Karen says:

      Yeah, lol, that’s where I draw the line. No family cloths for me. Toilet paper rolls aren’t standardized, so one roll might be 250 squares and another might be 500. Industrial type rolls are even bigger. So how many you use pretty much depends on that. 🙂 ~ karen!

  14. Marna says:

    Well I’m glad I’m not the only one that hates newer toilets that don’t work right. We bought one a few years ago, and it has never worked right. I hate it. We have trees, and a neighbor has a behemoth tree, which I’m sure has taken over our yard and our pipes. Plus my middle son was awful about flushing a diaper hanging into the toilet (I might stop to do something else while waiting for the water to fill to flush again). I’m sure we have some shreds of diaper fabric stuck in there, which would be for about 26 years, mixed with roots. I wonder if that Copper Sulphate would work on anything, I am willing to try. Await your video. You are so talented! 🙂

  15. MissChris SA says:

    When the video comes up, I am showing it to my man so that he knows how to change a toilet.

    I darn sure as heck aint doing that – there has to be perks for living with my man!!!

    • billy sharpstick says:

      I sure hope your man gives you more perks than that! Like catching spiders. Etc.

      • MissChris SA says:

        Bwahahahaha Billy!
        I catch the spiders in my house – they don’t frighten me.
        If it were snakes – different story – I would be faster than Hussein Bolt.

        This is a family blog so we wont talk about all my perks!! 😉

        Karen, stick with me with the family blog thing please!!

  16. Anna says:

    You can buy toilet seats with built-in bidet function. Most of the major brands carry them: Kohler, Toto, Swash…heck, even Costco has the ever-popular Brondell Swash 300 Bidet Toilet Seat for $249.99! AND some of them even heat the water-stream…character be damned! 😉

  17. Jenny W says:

    We did a complete gut bathroom reno here last March, and changed the sink and toilet around. Bought a $400 toilet – low flow, narrow profile, insulated tank and the seat closes on its own. A thing of beauty, but it won’t even flush pee!!! Plunger sits nearby and guests have been embarasssed when nature calls. The plumber figured we had to stand there and hold the button down till everything was evacuated, like you, sometimes twice. My son, can’t be bothered, 🙁 , plugs it e v e r y time! Thinking I might just go out and get a $99 special at Kents, but I will wait for your next post.

    • Jenny W says:

      Oh no! I just looked at the toilet you bought – it’s the one we have – so good luck with that :/

      • Karen says:

        Is it the American Standard Studio? Or the American Standard Cadet? It might be installed incorrectly then Jenny W. This thing flushes like nothing I’ve ever seen. My old toilet, a Pfister wouldn’t flush a single piece of toilet paper. I can guarantee this Studio not only works well it works great, so I’d have a plumber or someone look at yours to make sure everything is as it should be. ~ karen!

  18. jainegayer says:

    When we moved into our “new” house I peeked into the toilet tank. There’s a big black bladder thing in there and no water in the tank itself. I think the water’s in the bladder. Anyway when you flush, the noise is deafening and I think you’d lose more than your spleen if you were sitting and flushing. I make sure the lid is closed before I flush. That toilet could suck in me, the rug and the shower curtain.

    • Erin says:

      Sounds like a pressure assist toilet, good for when your slope is not quite optimal to the septic tank. We had one when we first built our house. The noise scared the little kiddies; they didn’t want to use it. We were glad to replace ours when the time came.

    • ktr says:

      We have a similar toilet in our house. The previous owners told us it is a “power flush” toilet. It scared my 4 year old at first but it has never plugged. It was put in because the previous owner ran a daycare. And it is just fine with a septic.

  19. Kathryn says:

    I changed all of the toilets in my house to a one-piece from Costco — much simpler to install because you don’t have to put the tank on the base and they have the dual button flush, and actually work really well — I put in one and we tried it out for a while before ripping out the others.

    • Karen says:

      The problem with one piece toilets (if you’re a woman) is if you’re installing it yourself (like I did) they’re incredibly heavy to lift on your own. With a two piece I could lift each piece into the house by myself and lift the bowl into place by myself. With a one piece it’s harder because it’s heavier and more difficult to maneuver onto the bolts by yourself when placing. They look great though and are great if you have someone helping you install. ~ karen!

      • Kathryn says:

        This one really wasn’t too heavy (it’s not online so I can’t look up the weight). The old one took 2 of us to carry out because it was a 25 year old massive tank and we couldn’t get the tank off the base without smashing it. I had my daughter help me carry the new one upstairs, but the powder room was too small to have 2 of us in there.

        It was helpful to have another person watching the bolts to make sure it was going down straight.

  20. Milton says:

    Install a bidet attachment to your toilet- you’ll never go back to toilet paper alone and you’ll save 90% of your toilet paper usage. This is based on 20+ years of experience from me, my family and friends. You’ll also feel cleaner, can cure hemorrhoids, help aged and invalids with bathroom functions, forget about toilet paper stoppages and you’ll never want to use the bathroom anywhere but your own home. Trust me, I once considered a career change to sell these things because I believe in them so strongly.

    This is the best I recommend:

    http://www.amazon.com/Ambient-Temperature-self-cleaning-nozzle-attachable/dp/B001DNY59U/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1457529011&sr=8-2&keywords=bb-1000+bidet

    • Mary W says:

      The most amazing thing about this ad – gift wrap available. WOW that would be an amazing Valentine present. LOL I wonder since the “stream” seems very narrow, could it be damaging or at least force some stuff” up inside where it doesn’t belong? What about when you have many guests for spicy mexican supper and then many “loose” poopers? Doesn’t it get nasty? I just can’t imagine how this works. Well I imagine but it is more like a horror show. Kind of like boiling a “menstral cup” for reuse by using a kitchen pot. My mind DOES NOT want to go there. What am I not understand about this device? I do agree that a bidet would be a really refreshing way to complete the deal – by washing instead of dry wiping.

      • Milton says:

        I agree that the gift wrap is amazing- I would have never thought about it for Valentines, but I have given them as gifts at Christmas before- I warned you I was a big believer. Bidets are not a subject that comes up very often in polite conversation. The only people I’ve ever found comfortable talking about this subject are in health care and have to deal with reality far more than the majority of us. Karen is an absolutely gutsy girl for going into topics with her great humor and slapping us in the face with reality where nobody else treads.

        The “stream” is not pinpoint narrow as you seem to imagine, it is a series of small streams which expand into a tightly focused spray at the targeted area, kind of like a faucet spray. I have never found anyone afraid of or damaged by the spray. It is not powerful enough to force anything where it doesn’t belong, ignoring the fact that anything in that area probably came from there in the first place. The water you are using is pure, clean water- from the same supply line that you drink from in your kitchen sink.

        Your toilet does get nasty, by definition, that is why it is a difficult subject to discuss. If you turn the control knob counterclockwise, the spray is directed downward from nozzles at the top of the wand which clean the upward pointing nozzles. This cleans the wand without your hands ever going near any part of it in the toilet bowl area.

        As to boiling a “menstral cup”, I don’t get any connection at all to that analogy. Your hand never goes anywhere near the inside of or touches anything in the toilet bowl area with a bidet attachment. If you are comfortable with “drip dry”, you’ll never use toilet paper at all and never touch your butt. Contrast that to the conventional paper operation and attempting to wipe your butt clean with tons to toilet paper to protect your hands from touching the waste and that is more icky like your analogy than the bidet.

        As to the toy spray gun suggestions, I can’t imagine holding a spray gun down in the toilet bowl area and attempting to point it up at the target area without the greater risk of fecal contamination on your hand than with toilet paper. Of course, you could wear gloves but that’s another plastic waste environmental topic.

        Finally, we’re not talking about investing anyone’s life savings in this device which will pay for itself in toilet paper savings and plumbing bills. For $60-75, if you install it yourself, its not a major financial risk. Karen could easily do it I’m sure. If your plumbing supply line for your toilet is old or rusted, you need to replace it anyway and save yourself a disaster waiting to happen anyway. If you don’t have flexible stainless toilet supply lines, I recommend that as a worthwhile investment at the same time.

        The only other thing that occurred to me after writing the initial comment is that I live in a moderate climate. In the South, temps seldom go below 5-10 Degrees F in wintertime. The BB-1000 I recommended hooks up to your cold water supply line which every toilet has. Your butt in the target area is surprisingly not as sensitive to temperature as you would expect and I’ve never had anyone have a problem with it. In Canada, groundwater supply temps could be more extreme. Overstock.com has the BB-3000 from the same company for about the same price which has provision for hot and cold water supply lines, although it can be installed fine with just the cold water line. Running a supply line from a hot water source makes installation more complicated but may be necessary in some areas.

        • Mary W says:

          What a great and informative reply – thank you so much. It just may be on my mother’s day request list. I live with my daughter and her family and KNOW the girls would have a ball with this and the little boy would be thrilled – even when not using it for its’ intended purpose. We are on a septic system so I know that TP can be very nasty problem. I appreciate you information very much.

    • Susan says:

      I checked out the website for the self-cleaning nozzle attachment. A couple of things bothered me – 1. Looks as if it could spray wildly around the room 2. The fact they said ‘Used” ones were available!! That REALLY seemed creepy!

      • Milton says:

        The self-cleaning nozzle is not an attachment, it is a built-in feature of the BB-1000 bidet. It will not spray wildly around the room when you turn the control knob counterclockwise to clean it, just straight down into the toilet. However, when you turn the control knob clockwise to operate it, if you are not sitting on the toilet, it will spray across the room. My late wife used to show people the bidet and invariably someone would bend down to get a closer look, turn the control and get sprayed in the face which she thought was hilarious.

        I find the “used” ones a little creepy also, but with proper cleaning, it would be no more “creepy” than a used toilet. As I mentioned before, the whole subject of toilets and poop is a little creepy to the majority of people you encounter and perfectly natural.

        Another point that several people have made is toilet height. In my opinion, you should always replace a toilet with a handicap height or “comfort” height toilet. They cost little more and sooner or later you will need them or grow to appreciate them. When your butt goes below your knee height, it places a real strain on your aging body to pull itself up.

  21. Paula says:

    We live in a century home and we are currently in the process of installing a powder room upstairs which I am very excited about due to no more running downstairs at 3 o’clock in the morning on very cold nights. Our problem is we do not have the space so I purchased the shortest depth toilet at 27 inches. After reading this article I am now second-guessing our choice.

    • Karen says:

      Look for a Gebierit or Duravit wall mounted toilet. We had one in the house we moved out of and I seriously miss it every day! The tank is built into the wall which means the toilet takes a lot less space away in the bathroom. There are so many pluses to these toilets: less noise because the water filing noise is muffled in the wall, easy to clean cause they don’t sit on the floor (toilets are gross inside and out), the flushing power is amazing even though they use very little water (I NEVER had that toilet plug. ….ever and I was on an old septic system) everyday I want my toilet back.

  22. Mel B. says:

    who needs a bidet when squirt guns are really cheap? 😉 the bathroom has now become the math room. 😀

  23. Valerie says:

    Toto toilet, flip lid waste basket for #1 and copper sulphate is my triple suggestion.

  24. Sherry says:

    Thank you – more wisdom and instruction … so why when I went on Youtube immediately following opening this link I got a Purex toilet paper ad… :-0

  25. Mary W says:

    It is very hard to compare usage since having a house of women verses men would vastly change the dynamics. Shaking doesn’t require any paper! Oh Karen – I thought I was the only one that grabbed TP to wipe toothpaste marks off the sink before answering my doorbell. You sure bring it all home so I can laugh at myself.

  26. maggie van sickle says:

    Hey Karen looks like the same one we bought. I love the fact it is elongated and 18 or so inches high as I am very tall. It is very easy to clean and dual flush is a good idea as we are on a septic system and a well so this is important. The only thing I really don’t like is you do have to some times flush twice depending on the situation if you know what I mean but I guess this happens with all toilets in this situation. I like it though. Paid a bit but no problems after 3 yrs of use. Just sayin

  27. Rondina says:

    There are “crappy” toilets. There are low-water flush toilets that do exactly what you described. There is tp that could be used from a second floor to escape a burning building.

    There is also the possibility that the toilet/sink/tub line is not vented properly.

    I hate my toilet. It’s like sitting on the floor. I think the previous owner took advantage of the city’s free water saving toilet program. I improved it by installing a new handle mechanism and a new plastic seat with the auto-close feature. Just those two little things made a big difference for now. How that stopped clogs, I have no idea. I’m going chair-height Kohler when I redo the bath.

  28. leo muzzin says:

    I am not going to comment on paper usage, but noted that in the UK there are 2 types of flushes to save water. There is the maxi flush and the mini flush each done with a separate lever. This is a great way to save on water….mini for #1………maxi for #2 plus brush and mini to rinse. Depending on consistencies there are other combos…. mini+mini, maxi+maxi. mini then maxi …. you get the idea. LOL

  29. Eileen says:

    I have had the American Standard with the concealed sides for a couple of years now and am very happy with it. The year before I had an American Standard (regular “guts showing”) version installed in the other bath where the sides aren’t as visible—that one is slightly less efficient than the newer one. They replaced a 1990s 3.5 gallon and (holy Niagara Falls!) a 1960s 6 gallon water hog. I only use easily disolveable recycled tp. (I mean seriously, cutting down forests to wipe your …..???) I won’t start my rant about the hideousness of “guts showing” toilets now….

  30. Laurie says:

    One word…bidet.

  31. Cindy says:

    I’m with you on the tp farce. My husband is not. I’ve been asked to never buy tp again many times. Unfortunately my certain-to-be-in-the-future-payback-comment of, “Take that and stick it up your wussy butt my love!” will only come with an expensive plumbing bill.
    I’m looking forward to the toilet installation post. Very timely for our household. How can a 6 ft man not realize that one of the two toilets he’s been using for 4 years is sized for a very small person? I’m 5.4 and am tired of having to squat to a less than 90 degree angle at the knees just to sit down on the seat. He was oblivious to the situation until I pointed it out. If I can’t count it as squat reps then its gotta go!
    Thanks for your posts Karen….informative and hilarious!!

  32. The only good thing about buying my house that got flipped was the toilet. Its low-flow and flushes great. Its a Kohler. Everything else that was put in fell apart or stopped working within a year, but that toilet keeps going!

    I’d be all for doing pees out in the yard, but sadly my neighbors all have 2 story houses. Pee is great on a compost pile.

  33. j says:

    D*** Karen! I was told by a plumber that in order to get a good toilet one had to get it from Canada! So I am very interested in how you selected your toilet. I too have to flush twice for every use-and I did not buy the low flow toilet for just that reason. That bit of sharing guarantees eye rolling and a side comment about not saving the planet. [Kind of like when I bought a washer and was ‘proudly’ told about every model’s small requirement of water, so you have to run everything thru twice to get the soap rinsed out.] That’s it, that’s my rant for today! Now I can go back and read all the comments–Thank you for your blog!! You are the best, as evidenced by all the participation you get from your readers from every article!!

  34. Kmarie says:

    I clicked on the toilet you ordered and we have that one which we bought from costco for one hundred and ten dollars…it comes in their stock in alberta about twice a year. We do still have occasionally plugging issues but only a few times a year… my husband is a journeyman carpenter and it’s one of his preferences for installation as well. Good choice:)

  35. Amie M says:

    We have the same toilet! We installed the new toilet as soon as we moved into this old house. The hubs did not want to site where the sketchy previous owners had shat. We have no problems with flushing, on both the low and high flow.

  36. Brenna says:

    OMG! Thank yeeeewwww Karen for this post. I have needed to replace my toilet for ages, and I know I can do it, but I’ve been a tad intimidated. (After all, I only have one toilet in my small cottage and if I screw this up, I’m literally up shit creek without a paddle.) So, looking forward to tackling this task after watching your video. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  37. I bought a Toto seat with the wash option, heat etc, and I feel like a princess. What’s the point of pretty knickers etc. if one’s parts are less than clean? I keep loo paper there since I might as well, but I don’t use it any more.

    Incidentally the white Ikea enamel jugs everyone loves are perfect collectors if your citrus trees need feeding (you get my drift). More discreet than peeing straight on them.

  38. When are you going to make your own Poo-Pourri Karen, or did I miss that post?

  39. lyanne says:

    Has anyone mentioned the toilet flush rating? Before I bought my new toilets I made sure the flush rating was high…800. Low flow but flushes once and they are empty!

  40. Jane says:

    I got a lesson in toilets from the guy at Rona when we were renovating. I was looking at a pretty toilet and he told me that I didn’t really want that one LOL. He told me to make sure the PSI number was above 800 (it’s the rate in which water flows through the toilet), anything below and you’d have trouble with it not flushing. Many people think it’s b/c it’s a low flow toilet that it doesn’t seem to flush well, but it’s b/c the rate in which the water flows through is too slow.

  41. TucsonPatty says:

    I came back to read (lots and lots) more comments, and remembered another suggestion from an older (and probably much wiser) neighbor who vacationed/lived part-time in Mexico. Along with a couple of other commenters – he believed in not flushing any of the pee paper down, and thus saving your septic tank from filling up too quickly. I have since been using his suggestion, and so just toss my three squares into the bathroom trash can, and empty it when it needs, and I’m happy that I’m not having to call the plumbing company to get a septic clean-out. (I hope I haven’t just jinxed myself!) It has been years since it has been done…

    • Edith says:

      When we first went on vacation to Greece two years ago, we could not believe what we read in every single bathroom: “Please, don’t throw paper into the toilet.” But we soon found out that people in Greece throw their paper into the trash can, because their pipes are too narrow. This might even help save tp, as you can actually see how much you use.

  42. Gayle says:

    Same. Exact. Toilet. I. Want! I hate cleaning that porceline intestine looking thing bulging on the sides of the base on most models. (My mom always told me not to get anything that collects dust…but I still plan on keeping hubby. lol) Then, back to tp expense. I’m older–not old, mind you. But I found the tp with aloe really solved that womanly problem of dryness down there. It’expensive. Soothing, but not extra absorbent. (I often wonder why hubby uses it, too) And he seems to be a lot like the other husbands mentioned here. Uses way more than I. He won’t touch those 6 rolls of the regular kind still sitting around. Many yrs ago it was necessary to mandate his n hers bathrooms, and he keeps the tp well stocked in both, so (for many reasons too numerous to mention here), he’s a keeper. Thanks for the entertainment today–laughed right out loud and really had hubby wondering.

  43. Ana R. says:

    This is the exact plot of a great episode of King of the Hill.

    http://kingofthehill.wikia.com/wiki/Flush_with_Power

  44. Anne Riemer says:

    We are on a septic and just replaced our toilet with a Toto and it works great, the water comes out with a woosh and it is gone it doesn’t swirl around and around the the bowl.. We were going to get a dual flush but the plumbing store recommended this as the tank is small and it doesn’t use much more water than the light flush on the dual.

  45. billy sharpstick says:

    Did that study say whether that “average person” had a p*n*s or not? Generally speaking, I think the average woman uses more TP than the average man(Captain Megawad notwithstanding).
    I will cheer for bidets again. Cold water bidet attachments start at $22(needs 8 inches from left bolt to wall). Bidet attachments that tap into your sink hot water start at $36. More elaborate seat bidets start at $136. The deluxe model, instant electrically heated water, heated seat, warm air blower and remote(remote, really??!!)models start at about $190. Any of these would pay for themselves within a year in TP savings for the “average” household. YMMV. (How many daughters do you have?)

  46. Linda says:

    Despite being a reasonably competent person, I have a totally irrational deathly fear of toilets backing up. I tend to freeze and scream for help if the toilet water looks like it is rising too high. So when shopping for a replacement toilet years ago for a previous residence, the bath fixture store salesman demonstrated the Toto toilet they had in the customer bathroom in the showroom. He literally pulled several yards of toilet paper off the roll and placed it in the bowl. Then he flushed and everything went cleanly and easily down the pipe. He showed me pictures of tennis balls going cleanly down the system. Kids toys too.

    Our current house came equipped with 3 Toto toilets – no fussing with selecting flush levels – all low water consumption and never a reflush issue. Toto fan for life!

  47. tk amber says:

    You can buy an add on bidet, it fits right on your normal toilet, only replaces the old toilet seat, it heats the water that squirts you, keeps the toilet seat warm, and has warm air dryer. I LOVE mine. Everyone gets a kick out of it when they come over and they all love and comment on the heated toilet seat. My hubby hooked it all up himself, you need some plumbing experience.
    Just so you know its not thousands of dollars and you don’t need a large bathroom to do this, just a regular toilet. Google it!

  48. Amy in StL says:

    I have the original turquoise toilet in my bathroom. I also have the matching tub and would like to get the sink. I plan on never, ever giving it up. Ever.

  49. Maria A says:

    I can relate! Just went through six months of renovation and I researched everything. I went to a designer bath place for ideas and it was love at first sight with same American Standard toilet! I purchased it at our local plumbing place and they delivered the wrong one! The contractor couldn’t understand what the was the big deal when I insisted it was not correct. The one delivered looked like it had a giant intestine lovely en-glazed in porcelain on the sides…NOT! Finally after all the poop throne drama, I got the beautiful elongated, completely smooth (no intestine!) right height toilet of my dreams. It’s good to be queen of the toilets and now I get to share that honor with you!!! 🙂

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