Home>Discussions>BATHROOMS>Would like to keep old vintage toilet and convert to 1.6 gallons?
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dmr
Would like to keep old vintage toilet and convert to 1.6 gallons?

My condo assoc. is requesting me to get new toilet with water saving feature, but would like to keep my old toilet and convert to 1.6 gallons. Is this possible and what supplies do I need and can my plumber do it easily?

dj1
Re: Would like to keep old vintage toilet and convert to 1.6 gallons?

A couple of ideas pop into my mind, but I have to tell you that they are not as good as replacing the tank and bowl:

1. Install a new fill valve with adjustable water level setting.

2. Insert a gallon of water container into the tank, space permitting. I don't like this method, it might interfere with the daily operation of the flapper, and I don't know the size of the tank.

Like I said, toilets are so inexpensive and there is no reason to keep the old one. Replace it.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Would like to keep old vintage toilet and convert to 1.6 gallons?

Best bet is to replace the toilet, yours was not designed to properly flush with 1.6 gal.

Jack

ordjen
Re: Would like to keep old vintage toilet and convert to 1.6 gallons?

When the new lower water usage first came out, many of the manufacturers simply put a barrier around the drain to prevent half the water from exiting. It was a real pain in the rear if you had to pull the toilet because you had to bail out about a gallon and half of water which was trapped in the bottom of the tank. The point is, nothing really changed.The important thing is that the height of the water head was still the same so that the initial flush was just as strong.

DJ is corrrect, anything that displaces the water without interferring with the flush mechanisms will accomplish converting the tank to lesser water usage. It could be a couple quart water bottles filled with water or a few bricks. Maintaining the height of the water in the tank should still give you a good flush. The force of the flush is determined by the height of the water, not just the amount. Remember hundred year old homes where toilets had their tanks mounted high on the wall? That height facilitated a really powerful flush!

This all being said, I agree with the others - I would change the toilet!

johnjh2o
Re: Would like to keep old vintage toilet and convert to 1.6 gallons?

The first 1.6 gallon toilets were not the same toilet with buckets around the flush valve. They were totally redisgened to operate on 1.6 gallons of water. That was evident in the smaller area of water in the bowl. Gerber which is a secondary manufacture of plumbing fixtures did use a bucket around there flush valve but the toilet was redisgened. The major manufactures redisgened the flapper so it closed before the entire volume of water in the tank was used. No toilet that was designed to use 3 gallons will flush completely with less water. Change the toilet or you will be using a plunger more often the you would care to.

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Would like to keep old vintage toilet and convert to 1.6 gallons?

What John said plus;

Most of the water in an old style terlit was used to create vacuum and suck the effluent from the bowl. If you reduce the amount of water in the operation, there will be far less vacuum created and hence the rise in pllungering as John described.

Get yourself a new terlit.

Tom
Re: Would like to keep old vintage toilet and convert to 1.6 gallons?

Get a new toilet. They are down to 1.28 G per flush and I have installed three of them recently. They do a great job and the savings on your water bill are substantial. I even replaced many of the toilets in our 100 year old apartment building because everytime I remodeled a bathroom it was almost impossible to get the wall hung tank leak-free so I just bit the bullet and put in a water saver 1.6 or recently 1.28 G toilet. They even make toilets that look like vintage toilets but are water savers. I installed two in my 120 year old Queen Ann and they fit right in.

Fencepost
Re: Would like to keep old vintage toilet and convert to 1.6 gallons?

There are a number of low-flow toilets available in historic designs. Performance is a lot better than the first low-flow toilets, too. Just stay away from the Big Box Specials and bargain-basement loss-leaders; their performance isn't as good.

You might not be able to find something that exactly matches what you have, but you should be able to find something that goes well with other period fixtures you have, unless those period fixtures are harvest g0ld, olive green, and orange.

http://www.us.kohler.com/us/Color-Timeline/content/T1-color-timeline.htm

Mastercarpentry
Re: Would like to keep old vintage toilet and convert to 1.6 gallons?

The first thing to try is adding bricks. I don't like water-filled containers since then there is only the weight of the container offsetting the displacement of water. Bricks are less dense than water but offer a better displacement value so they will stay put a lot better. With enough bricks you will displace enough water to get around a 2 gallon flush with most toilets. It also keeps the water 'head' as high as original while tapping flow at the bottom where pressure is highest- a far better idea than the conversion 'wells'. It is very possible that you won't have any problems doing this but that will depend on the toilet and the resistance to flow in the nearby drain piping. And if it works you can tell the Condo association that you have converted to a low-use system without lying- just don't say it's a 1.6 unless it is. They probably won't ask anything more.

I don't know what's in your covenant, but most concern only the exterior and internal design issues (number of bedrooms or inhabitants etc.). None that I know of can demand that you change properly operating plumbing, only that any repairs or renovations meet the current codes when the work is done. I know that I would never sign on to one that told me what I could do to the inside of my home like this. Sounds to me like you've got busy-bodies in the HOA that need to be voted out. Or you could do like a friend of mine did- run for President of the HOA so that you could do what you wanted to :cool:

Phil

johnjh2o
Re: Would like to keep old vintage toilet and convert to 1.6 gallons?

Chances are the HOA pays the water bill and their just trying to cut down on their expenses. Which in turn helps to keep HOA fees in check.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Would like to keep old vintage toilet and convert to 1.6 gallons?

Around here, apartments, condos, duplexes, and pretty much everyone else has installed individual water meters to get away from run-away utility cost increases. Only a small handful of places come with water provided until you get out into the country where wells dominate.

A cheap 1.6 toilet that flushes well is under $100 and an easy enough job that I would replace an older one anyway, then take it to a non-profit recycle store for a tax write-off. Within under a year the whole thing pays for itself and the savings keep coming in. Guess I should have said that in my first reply!

Phil

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