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Examining the brick trick

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Examining the brick trick

Many people actively look for ways to become more efficient. Whether it is installing solar panels to reduce your electricity use, installing low-flow water fixtures or placing bricks in toilets’ water tanks to conserve water, people are seemingly always looking at ways to reduce utility bills and conserve natural resources.

For those that aren’t familiar, the logic behind placing a brick in a toilet’s tank is to occupy space in the tank, displacing water and reducing the amount of water used for each flush. When done correctly, it has proven to be effective, but if done incorrectly, it could damage your toilet and plumbing.

Any toilet built after 1994 is reasonably water efficient to begin with. These toilets meet, if not exceed, the standard established by the Energy Policy Act of 1992 of 1.6 gallons per flush. Currently, water-efficient toilets use about 1.3 gallons or less per flush. It’s important to understand a brick would reduce about a quarter of a gallon per flush, which does add up over time, but is still not a huge reduction.

However, bricks are usually dirty to begin with and gradually break down over time, which could lead to deposits ending up in your toilet and its plumbing. Some people have avoided this by tightly wrapping the brick in plastic and sealing it with duct tape. A safer method would be filling a plastic two-liter bottle with water or pebbles, which greatly reduces the risk of damage to your toilet or its plumbing.

Once you’ve determined which item you may wish to use, proper placement is important. Placing the item under your tank’s lower fill line doesn’t help. In order to realize the desired conservation impact, the item needs to be placed above the lower fill in.

Correctly applying tricks like placing bricks or plastic bottles in your toilet tank can help with conservation, but if you’re really serious about conserving your home’s water usage, we encourage you to check out DrinkTap’s Water Conservation page.

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