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Our new Duo Flush System (plus a giveaway!!)

And the winner of the giveaway is…..Megan! She helps the environment by working PR at a
water utility company, teaching customers about water conservation.
I hope you enjoy your new Duo Flush System!

Okay, guys and gals – Let’s get real about the bathroom. Before you start letting your imagination run wild, breathe – I’m just talking water, specifically water conservation.

When chatting about water conservation, my first thought is usually the shower. I’m an early morning, first-thing shower taker, and it’s pretty much my version of a cup of coffee – Without a nice hot shower in the a.m. right after rolling out of bed, I’m equivalent to your run-of-the-mill, screechy-violins-in-the-background monster. In an attempt to conserve our water usage though, I’ve done my best to put myself on a time limit in my showers and so far, it’s been working. But I knew there was something more I could be doing…

 

Sometime last year, I stumbled upon a blog talking about a modern convenience that really got my mental gears working – The couple in question had installed a dual flushing system on their bathroom toilet. For those of you not familiar (although in this green day and age, I’d bet my bottom dollar you know what I’m talking about), a dual flushing system allows potty users to choose between a half flush and a full flush.

There’s definitely something to this invention. Makes sense right? Why waste a ton of water when sometimes all you need is a gentle surge to take care of (your) business? To get to the point, I’ve been pondering adding just such a system to our home for a while now.

Enter the miracle email.

A few months ago, I was approached via email by a public relations and social media rep from Fluidmaster. Yup – You guessed it. They make the very Duo Flush product that I had been pining over! To make things all the more exciting, they offered me my very own to test drive on our loo.

DISCLAIMER: Yes, I received free product in exchange for a review on my blog – But I am giving you my honest to goodness opinions here today. Click here for my promotional product policy for the nitty gritty, but to summarize, I only accept products that we’ve been in the market for in the past and insist on an extra added benefit for you, my faithful reader. Hint: It’s spelled g-i-v-e-a-w-a-y. We’ll get to that in a moment…

After chatting with the rep, I learned more than I ever thought I would about toilets – Did you know that toilets are one of the leading wasters of water in a home? According to their stats, the Duo Flush system has the power to save 50% more water with every flush. For green penny-savers like us, this thought was more than appealing.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and this lovely little box was carried up to our master bathroom and immediately ripped open.

Just as I was told, the process of installation was as simple as can be. I’ll admit that the plethora of unfamiliar plumbing parts was a little daunting at first, but between the really thorough instructions complete with pictures for visual learners like myself and color-coded/labeled parts, we were able to motor through without a single incident.

To begin, I was told via the paper instructions to identify my “flush valve seat.” Thank goodness for the the photos…I was able to glance back and forth between our existing hardware and the pictures of the possibilities on the instructions to easily deduce that we had an angled seat. Based on my findings, I was told to find the yellow bag labeled “B” and follow the instructions there.

Yellow bag labeled “B”:

It really was that simple, especially for people like me who have never done any kind of plumbing in their lives…Although the part inside bag “B” was alien to me, there were plenty of directions and even a little arrow to point me in the right direction (as seen on the bottom of the part below, angled toward south east).

After installing the adaptor part (that grey rim pictured above was super sticky and pliable, and I just pushed it right into place as directed), it was time to get rid of the old parts and make way for the new – Namely the Duo Flush Valve and the PerforMAX Fill Valve. Both were again accompanied by thorough instructions on installation, and even more arrows to really make sure I couldn’t screw things up.

After about five minutes, our toilet tank was looking pretty fancy and techy. I almost WISH that I could say we had a rough time with it because this post is sounding more and more like a bonafide infomercial for the product, but it really was THAT SIMPLE.

To program the half flush and full flush, we were told to set both dials to MAX. Then we were directed to toss three squares of toilet paper into the potty and flush. If the toilet paper went down, we needed to turn the dial down a notch. We repeated the experiment a few times until it didn’t go down anymore (i.e. we had reached the minimum water flow needed to get the job done). In the end I think we got the half flush down to the MIN marker and the full flush one above that.

Oh, and check out our cool new flusher handle! Pull up for half flush and down for full.

You can hardly tell we did anything, but under that tank is a pretty darn sophisticated system to help us save money on water and help save resources for the environment. Can’t go wrong with that!

Now having had the system in place for about a week, I can safely say that it’s pretty cool – No leaks (which means we must have succeeding in our install) and the flusher is working like a charm. The only thing that’s taken some getting used to is remembering that there are now two different ways to flush. We’ll get there.

Now for the giveaway…

Want to snag your very own Fluidmaster Duo Flusher system? Here’s your chance:

To enter:
Leave a comment on this post telling me YOUR favorite way to conserve, may it be water, energy or any other resource/material. (Don’t forget to include an email address in the form so I can contact you!)

Bonus entry:
For extra chances to win the prize, follow DreamGreenDIY on Facebook and/or Twitter and leave another comment here letting me know you did. (it’s a win-win since you’ll be able to keep up with my daily updates once you’re a follower – But of course, there’s NO pressure to do so. You don’t need to do this in order to win the prize)

Deadline:
You have until Monday, July 23 at 11:59 p.m. to enter. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, July 25th – Don’t forget to check back to see if you’ve won.

Nitty gritty:
Prize ships only within the U.S.A. (sorry international readers!!!!). The winner will be selected using random.org.

Good luck!

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  • July 18, 2012 - 10:37 am

    Andea Goolsby - We save water by putting out buckets to catch rain water. And of course we take quick showers. The Duo Flush product seems like a really cool way to save water. The toilet flushing has always seemed like a waste to me. There’s a saying in Jamaica about flushing, “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.” Seems strange to us Americans, because we are a bit spoiled with resources. (: Thanks for the opportunity to get one of these for our home.ReplyCancel

    • July 18, 2012 - 10:43 am

      Carrie - Thanks for your tips! (hysterical saying, by the way)ReplyCancel

  • July 18, 2012 - 10:38 am

    Andea Goolsby - I am also now following you on fb. And are you on pinterest?ReplyCancel

  • July 18, 2012 - 11:13 am

    etcroft - I bike everywhere! I’m lucky to live in a city that’s very bike friendly, it’s not exactly water conservation, but it means I don’t drive or take public transit. I do take quick showers, turn off the water while I brush my teeth, turn off lights when I leave the room, etc. My room mates and I don’t even turn on our ac, we just leave all our windows open, unless it breaks 100 degrees out, then we give in and turn them on low. :)ReplyCancel

    • July 18, 2012 - 11:19 am

      Carrie - I think biking is an AWESOME way to conserve! And your other thoughts are fabulous too – Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • July 18, 2012 - 11:49 am

    Jessica - Personally I’ve made it a habit to turn things off. Just brushing (my) teeth, for example, uses about 2 gallons of water! Yikes! Ever since I learned that, which has been about 2 or 3 years, I make it a habit to turn off the water when I’m brushing. The same with shaving in the shower ;)

    Also, just turning the air temp up on the ac when I leave, as well as turning off lights as I go from room to room has helped my electricity bill drop tons! It’s funny how simple it is, but we never do it.

    Anyway thanks for sharing, I’ve had my eye on one of these for quite some time, so fingers crossed!ReplyCancel

    • July 18, 2012 - 12:12 pm

      Carrie - Great thoughts…I had no idea of those stats (2 gallons?? woa…) – I am definitely going to start following your lead. Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • July 18, 2012 - 11:53 am

    Jessica - I am now following you on Twitter and Pinterest!
    (I can’t believe I didn’t know you had an account on those–duh.)
    Also, just as a bonus ;) you should know that I have your posts emailed to me, so it’s the first thing I check in the mornings. They’re always so great, I’ve been inspired by you a lot. So yay! :) Keep it up girl.ReplyCancel

    • July 18, 2012 - 12:10 pm

      Carrie - Awesome!!! Thanks and SO excited to have you as a follower of more platforms =)ReplyCancel

  • July 18, 2012 - 12:04 pm

    erin - i like to use re-usable snack bags with my kids. :)ReplyCancel

  • July 18, 2012 - 12:05 pm

    erin - i am following on twitter. :)ReplyCancel

  • July 18, 2012 - 12:15 pm

    womaninthemid - I bought a reusable cup and stopped using bottled water. IT is better anyway because I can fill it will ice and have nice cold water with me!ReplyCancel

  • July 18, 2012 - 12:37 pm

    Jessalyn - woo! we have a rain barrel to conserve water and we compost to recycle food scraps into valuable fertilizer for our gardens (which then grow us more food). i would also posit that some elements of DIY, including much of what you write about here, are a form of conserving in the way that, to the extent possible, we try to re-purpose and breathe new life into old things, rather than paying for new materials (and often the packaging they are contained in and the cost of shipping), or even the labor to have someone else do it, thereby conserving moolah.
    how now, are there any toilets for which this fluidmaster system is not recommended?ReplyCancel

    • July 18, 2012 - 12:54 pm

      Carrie - Awesome!! I can’t wait to have a garden…Although, when I do, I’ll probably need your help to make things actually grow! I totally agree with your sentiment that DIY is a form of conservation – I’m glad you mentioned that. According to Fluidmaster, it “fits more toilets than any other dual flush conversion valve.” With the adapter piece I talked about in this post, I think you can retrofit any flushing toilet to work.ReplyCancel

  • July 18, 2012 - 2:51 pm

    sarah - I set an alert on my phone to beep every 5 minutes before I hop in the shower to keep me privy to the time I’ve spent in there. Works like a charm!ReplyCancel

    • July 18, 2012 - 2:57 pm

      Carrie - That’s a fabulous idea!! Might have to try that one myself…ReplyCancel

  • July 18, 2012 - 5:15 pm

    Katie - Yay, I love these dual flush things! We tried adding a different brand to one of our toilets months ago but it wasn’t compatible…hopefully this one would work!
    I am borderline anal when it comes to using electricity. We have timers on many of our lights, keep our thermostat at 68/78 in winter/summer, and insist on unplugging everything when it’s not being used.ReplyCancel

    • July 18, 2012 - 6:08 pm

      Carrie - I think the Fluidmaster would work…It’s got that adapter piece that seems to retrofit any brand of toilet. And good for you on the electricity front!!ReplyCancel

  • July 18, 2012 - 7:27 pm

    Angie - I go with simple things like recycling. I was also considering purchasing one of these – I’ve got a few iffy toilets in the house.ReplyCancel

    • July 18, 2012 - 8:29 pm

      Carrie - Recycling is great! We need to start doing that regularly…ReplyCancel

  • July 18, 2012 - 10:44 pm

    megaubrey01 - I conserve water all day long…by working at a water utility. Even though we make money selling water (so you would think the more the better, right?) there can be water shortages and customers need to conserve at times. So I do a lot of PR things to do with water conservation.

    That being said, I am such a tree hugger and am so glad you tried this! I have been eying this product for a while! Glad it was easy to install cause that scared me away. So I hope I win since I am a local and you can just come over and help me install it. Kidding!

    PS – I already follow you on FB but I did just start following you on Twitter!ReplyCancel

    • July 19, 2012 - 7:08 am

      Carrie - I think that totally counts =) And, if you win, I will definitely come help you install!ReplyCancel

  • July 18, 2012 - 11:19 pm

    Janice - we conserve and reuse water. i.e. after washing fruits or vegetables, we use that water to water our plants outsideReplyCancel

  • July 19, 2012 - 12:18 am

    Chris - Trying to get the family looking for ways to use less. With 5 in our family (one who is OCD and flushes BEFORE going “just in case”), this would be a blessing!!!ReplyCancel

    • July 19, 2012 - 7:09 am

      Carrie - Haha, oh no! Well best of luck to you – Little changes go a long way!ReplyCancel

  • July 19, 2012 - 12:23 am

    Chris - Following you on Facebook, too!ReplyCancel

  • July 19, 2012 - 3:36 am

    Hannah - Ahh! I’ve always wanted one of these. Imagine the amount of money that can be saved in water bills! I stay “green” by recycling and reusing (thrift store junkie here)..

    I always wonder, when you have people over to visit… Should you tell them how to flush with this dual-flush?! I would feel super awkward explaining it to them, hahaha.ReplyCancel

    • July 19, 2012 - 7:11 am

      Carrie - Oh, cool! And good for you =) That’s my kind of “green” too.

      Ya know, I’m not sure…I thought about that myself before installing the system – Which is why we installed it in our master bathroom where guests rarely go. I think it’s perfectly acceptable to explain to guests though!ReplyCancel

  • July 19, 2012 - 3:39 am

    Hannah - I’m following you on facebook now (I’m suprised I wasn’t before! Only Pinterest for whatever reason.)

    Thanks for the giveaway :)ReplyCancel

  • July 19, 2012 - 10:31 am

    Karen M - Interesting post. You might be interested to know that in Australia all our toilets are dual flush by law. I’ve never actually seen a single flush system before!
    Aussies are experts at water conservation as we often have water restrictions over Summer. We wash our cars only using a bucket (no hoses allowed), plant gardens that don’t require watering, put buckets in the shower (to catch unused water to use in the garden) and water lawns with grey water.ReplyCancel

    • July 19, 2012 - 10:42 am

      Carrie - Wow…I had no idea! That is really interesting and I’m glad you let me know!! I would love to see Americans start using those same techniques…ReplyCancel

  • July 19, 2012 - 10:54 am

    jhoanna - We follow the “if it’s yellow, let it mellow” phrase.ReplyCancel

  • July 19, 2012 - 11:49 am

    Kathryn J. - I’ve always been a re-usable water bottle type of gal and am a stickler for recycling, but a few weeks ago I switched to the “Bobble” water bottle. I’m still able to save plastic along the way (and my own money – yay!), but my water is now filtered and tasting wonderful as a bonus!! The filters last for two months before you have to replace them and the bottle is a perfect size, I definitely recommend them… or any re-usable bottle for that matter :)ReplyCancel

    • July 19, 2012 - 11:53 am

      Carrie - Oooooo, thanks for the tip! Checking out Bobble right now…ReplyCancel

  • July 19, 2012 - 11:50 am

    Kathryn J. - I’m a loyal follower on pinterest but just liked you on facebook as well – love seeing your page and name grow, keep all of the awesome posts coming!ReplyCancel

    • July 19, 2012 - 11:52 am

      Carrie - Thank you thank you!!! That means a lot =)ReplyCancel

  • July 19, 2012 - 12:51 pm

    katherine - Trying REALLY hard not to use paper towels, but it’s a hard habit to break. Trying though!ReplyCancel

  • July 19, 2012 - 9:34 pm

    Christina - I am big on turning lights off all the time (much to the dismay of my husband, at times). And, free recycling pick up in our county has made me a pretty hard core recycler!ReplyCancel

  • July 20, 2012 - 11:49 pm

    jessica w - we reuse water bottles rather than buying bottled waterReplyCancel

  • July 20, 2012 - 11:50 pm

    jessica w - I like them on facebook and twitterReplyCancel

  • July 23, 2012 - 9:42 am

    jhoanna - I Like you on FB!ReplyCancel

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