Archive for the 'toilet stuff' Category

The dreaded water bill and life with a Water Meter

I am interested in MY water bill and the use of water in my house, not the theoretical average house that I have read about.

SHOULD WE CUT DOWN ON SHOWERS?

It is said that only about 12% of the average household water use is within the shower and this is the sort of figure that I think is meaningless.  Some showers use 2 or 3 times as much water as others and the size of the household will also make a difference. I noted in my blogs last week that we could make considerable savings (hundreds of pounds per year) in our house by changing our shower head.

I can’t reduce the amount of water we use in the toilet so forget about that: then in our house I believe the shower is possibly our biggest single area of water use.   Our shower uses 14 litres of water per minute and there are 5 people in this house.  Many showers use 20 litres or more but around 15 is typical.  Our new one is on order it is a 9 litre per minute device, you can get lower than this.

In the future, when we are ready to invest in more than just a shower head (at less than £50) there are loads of super efficient showering options that could save more water and energy.

In my recent blogs I suggested that in my house we might shower for about 7 hours per week.  That was a guess.  Sometimes I am in and out of it in minutes but an hour a day is a nice round figure to work with.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO RUN A SHOWER?

If it flows for 30 minutes per day at a rate of about 14 litres per minute it will cost about £500 per year in water.  I don’t know how much it will cost to heat the water.

It is said that approx 30% of water is flushed down the loo.  If you have an old loo then it could be using 13 litres per go, one of those FREE water saving devices you put in the cistern will save you a fortune.  Encouraging your children to be scared of the flush is also a money saving strategy, I sincerely believe that loud noise will awaken the monster that sleeps in the loft and it might come crashing through the ceiling to eat its favourite food: young children.

HOW MUCH WATER IS USED by a modern dual flush toilet?  4 or 6 litres per flush.

I’ve got no idea how many times we flush per day but it is the sort of thing that interests me so I might just start counting!

REDUCING LAUNDRY to CUT THE WATER BILL

If you are buying a new washing machine then spending an extra £100 or two to buy a more efficient model could quickly pay for itself.  I based my previous calculations on doing 20 loads per week at 40 litres per load – I like round numbers.  I have checked the details of my model, it is a more efficient larger capacity model (8kg) and about 40 litres per load is a good estimate.  I have worked out that I can’t possibly be doing anything like 20 loads per week and for the sake of easy maths lets say it is about 10 loads per week.  I don’t think I can make any savings here.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO RUN MY WASHING MACHINE? In my house the cost of water for laundry I estimate will be a little less than £90 per year.

HOW MUCH WATER DOES MY DISHWASHER USE? About 10 litres per wash – for a modern model.

I already do most washing up in the dishwasher, it is always full and I will be doing as much as possible in there in the future.

 

What have you got Next to Your Toilet?

Loo paper, of course, perhaps a wash basin and hand towel? Perhaps your bath towel, toothbrush, hair brush and some entertaining reading material are also near by?

I have always been fascinated by scientific research into anything toilet related so even as a teenager I knew germ-rich water particles shoot out in all directions every time we flush (based on research begun in the 1970s and repeated with similar results over and over by various scientists).

The best idea is to do the do, then wash hands, finally flush and run.  Don’t be tempted to loiter watching it all swirl away (even if there is some doubt whether that monster will go with just one flush).

Particles/germs travel several feet in all directions and land on whatever you have in the room. Is it wise to leave your toothbrush out of the cupboard or your damp bath towel hanging so close?

http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/other-shows/videos/time-warp-toilet-flush.htm

Speaking of hand towels…

if you were visiting my house, and used my loo would you use the hand towel? If I was using your toilet I probably would not use your towel.  I know the towels in my house are clean, new towels put out regularly.

& I know that is not true in other places.

The problem is not just that it is near the loo and being subjected to the flush cloud but also that other people with poor hand washing practices will have used it.  Many people do not wash their hands properly, so if we all use the same hand towel we are wiping our hands on a dirty rag sodden with bacteria? yuk!

If we could see poo on the towel we would not use it!

For this reason I change the hand towel AFTER any guest has used the little room!  Some people do not provide hand towels but a basket of small flannels for hand wiping, one use only and a bucket for putting them to be washed, a highly sensible practice IMHO. I really like using the Dyson Blade hand drier when I go to Pizza Express.

If you like fireworks or maths then you might like this clip and article about the direction particles travel after the flush http://www.fastcoexist.com/3021884/a-high-speed-super-zoomed-video-of-what-happens-to-a-toilet-when-you-flush

The Toilet Seat Museum – a plumber’s private collection

Someone pointed me towards the Toilet Seat Museum, which is in the news on various websites.

Here is the Museums Facebook Tribute page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Barney-Smiths-Toilet-Seat-Art-Museum/258301387544372

This is a must for all those who are interested in all things toilet related.

What were toilets like in Roman times?

My twins tell me they don’t like to poo at nursery, they save it until they get home!  At what age and why do we develop such a need for privacy when we poo?

Here is a postcard we bought last week after admiring latrines at Hadrian’s Wall.

 

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

Had to edit this page today when I spotted a rogue apostrophe.  I know better than that.

Synchronised Toilet Flushing – What a Great Idea!

If ever there was a news story to capture my attention it was this one! Apparently it will happen in Zimbabwe at 7.30pm every Monday.  Not just for the fun of it – though why not – but to help flush the sewers through, keeping them clean and trying to limit the risk of related disease.

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/synchronised-toilet-flush-clear-city-sewer-010805092.html

They are currently 1 hour ahead of us so if you fancy joining in at 6.30 on Monday, wouldn’t it be great to make an event of it.

It reminds me of that time a few weeks back when we were all supposed to ring our door bells at 8am, or something like that.

Open air toilets at Sea

In case you missed this here is a blog on one of my favourite subjects: toilets, from a fellow Ramsgate resident:

http://thanetonline.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/ramsgate-maritime-heritage-and-toilet.html

Are the Dirtiest Toilets in Thanet in Ramsgate?

Over the past 10 years I have only visited these toilets because needs must. Given their location in a large retail establishment, with a cafe, it is quite amazing at just how bad they are. Not the state of repair but the total lack of cleaning! This is not just recently – they have always been shocking.

Interesting that this chain is attempting to market itself as well located to offer an alternative to motorway services. Well the food and atmosphere might be be nicer but motorway services have far nicer, cleaner toilets and that is important to me.

I don’t think the photos taken with my phone really show you how bad they are but I can only think that management and staff there must have their own staff facilities and never visit the public ones.

MR TP has a slightly different view on this. He tells me that some materials used are very hard to keep clean and that there are hard-wearing easy to clean and maintain products that should be installed in public toilets.

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What are those plant pot, half full of pot-pori, bringing to the rest rooms?


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