Plunger or Brush?

During my very first visit to the US (during my honeymoon, to be precise) I had my very first, very embarrassing experience with a plunger. After all, it happened at my mother-in-law’s house. As it happened again at a hotel in Las Vegas a few years later, I still didn’t understand why I clog a toilet in the US, but never have before in Germany.

I moved to the US many years later and bought an older home. As the drought in Georgia worsened in 2007, I noticed that the toilets in our home used 3.5 gallons for each flush. I started looking around in home improvement stores and was stunned that all toilets available used 1.6 gallons for each flush. As toilets with the option of using very little water for flushing No. 1 have been available in Germany  for a very long time, I could not believe I couldn’t find them here. So after much research, I finally found Caroma Dual Flush toilets and decided to spread the word and help Georgians flushing less water and money down the toilet. After I learned why Caroma toilets work so well with very little water, I realized why American toilets clog. So finally, 16 years later I realized that there was nothing wrong with me, or my diet, that I clogged a toilet on my honeymoon!

Standard US toilets clear the bowl with siphon technology, so the waste in the bowl gets pulled into the drain and out into the trap way. In order to create this siphon action, the trap way needs to be as narrow as possible, usually around 2 to 2 3/4 inches. You can see how siphon vs. washdown technology works here

Although most of the time this flushing method gets rid of the waste efficiently, there is a tendency for blockages to occur in the toilet trap way.

Australian and European designed toilets use a wash down method which “pushes” the waste down, instead of “pulling” it. This is why European toilets have a larger diameter trap way which results in less clogging.

One drawback of wash down toilets is the smaller water spot in the bowl, which can result in “skid marks” happening on occasion. So it really comes down to a matter of personal preference. If you are comfortable with getting out a plunger to unclog your toilet every now and again, then stick with an American style toilet. If you have issues with clogged toilets and don’t mind using a toilet brush every now and then an Australian or European style model may work better for you.

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Why do American toilets clog?

After I moved here from Germany I noticed that Americans often have a plunger in their bathrooms. It took me not very long to find out that toilets clog more often in North America than they do in Europe. I didn’t learn about the reason why they clog, until I started ecoTransitions during the drought in 2007, supplying Australian designed Caroma Dual Flush toilets to Georgians. It’s a matter of design, trap way size and flush method.

Standard US toilets clear the bowl with siphon technology, so the waste in the bowl gets pulled into the drain and out into the trap way. In order to create this siphon action, the trap way needs to be as narrow as possible, usually around 2 to 2 3/4 inches.  You can see how siphon vs. washdown technology works here

Although most of the time this flushing method gets rid of the waste efficiently, there is a tendency for blockages to occur in the toilet trap way.

Australian and European designed toilets use a wash down method which “pushes” the waste down, instead of of “pulling” it. This is why European toilets have a larger diameter trap way which results in less clogging.

One drawback wash down toilets have versus siphon models is the smaller water spot in the bowl, which can result in “skid marks” happening on ocassion.  So it really comes down to a matter of  personal preference. If you are comfortable with getting out a plunger to unclog your toilet every now and again, then stick with an American style toilet. If you have issues with clogged toilets and don’t mind using a toilet brush every now and then an Australian or European style model may work better for you.

pottygirl’s blogging year 2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on fire!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 4 fully loaded ships.

 

In 2010, there were 90 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 198 posts. There was 1 picture uploaded, taking a total of 171kb.

The busiest day of the year was May 3rd with 93 views. The most popular post that day was Who’s To Blame For The Great Pacific Garbage Patch? Look In The Mirror..

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were en.wordpress.com, greenhomeguide.com, search.aol.com, linkedin.com, and google.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for penta water scam, caroma toilet reviews, the great pacific garbage patch facts, water conservation, and water scams exposed.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Who’s To Blame For The Great Pacific Garbage Patch? Look In The Mirror. September 2009
1 Like on WordPress.com,

2

10 drinking water scams exposed November 2009
1 comment

3

Toilet Rebate Programs in the US February 2009
5 comments

4

Caroma Toilet Review | H2O Report October 2009

5

City of Raleigh, NC WaterSense toilet replacement rebate program June 2010
2 comments