Jimbo & the Dual Flush Retrofit Kit
Leigh Curry of championfiberglass.com contacted Dreamline Colonizer about testing out the Dual Flush Retrofit Kit. Basically the kit is installed in the tank of an existing single flush toilet and turns it into – as the name states – a dual flush model. Personally I have plenty of experience with dual flush toilets, as I have a number of them installed in my home.
However, I still have a few regular 1.6 gpf toilets (the standard in California) in my older units, so I was eager to give the device a try.
Leigh assured me that it was a do-it-yourself type of job, but after opening the package and realistically assessing my handyman skills, I called my plumber.
Jimbo loves me. I’ve put his kids through college. His reaction to my request was, “Why are you always the first one to try new things?” Heartwarming.
Installation of the Dual Flush Retrofit Kit does require that you remove the toilet tank. Novices should be warned that the process can be tricky. Because the nuts and bolts can become rusted together, you “risk cracking the porcelain”, as my plumber put it. Fortunately, no Sawzall* was required and Jimbo was able to remove the tank quickly and easily.
As Jimbo pulled out Dual Flush Retrofit Kit parts and grumbled about hating to read directions, he remarked that, “Whoever made this really thought this out”. The installation wasn’t particularly difficult and an experienced maintenance man could, with practice, probably install it in thirty minutes.
Jimbo spent a fair amount of time bolting the tank to the bowl because the bolts are very long and the gaskets are squishier than he’s used to, but he did note that the Dual Flush Retrofit Kit was “over-designed” to insure against leaks.
The level of water in the tank can be adjusted and Jimbo and I spent a fair amount of time peering into the tank after every test flush to make sure we had the right amount of water flowing with each flush.
I’m happy to report the Dual Flush Retrofit Kit works well and I am now flapper free! Since most toilet flappers develop leaks at some point over their brief lifetimes, I feel pretty lucky to have dispensed with that worry. In terms of the installation or subsequent use, there were no glitches and I am looking forward to lower water bills for many years to come.
Thank you to Leigh of championfiberglass.com for providing a test model. Jimbo was curious about what the kit cost and when I told him $20-30, plus shipping and handling, he said, “It’s a pretty good product for the price.”
Of course, that’s assuming you don’t crack your toilet tank during installation! Test your bolts, if they seem to be stuck in place by mineral deposits or rust, then the Dual Flush Retrofit Kit may not be for you. If you find yourself with rusty bolts and have an older toilet that uses more than 1.6gpf, your best bet is to upgrade to a new high efficiency toilet and there may be rebates available.
On the other hand, if your toilets are in fairly good shape then consider saving yourself some water, money and worry about flappers — remember 1 in 10 flappers are leaking as we speak. Are you flushing money down the drain?
* Sawzall: (1) A reciprocating saw often used by do-it-yourselfers.