Re: Flushing. Good idea or waste of water?
Posted by Sylvan on March 27, 2004 at 23:07:12:
In response to Re: Flushing. Good idea or waste of water?
: My new home is 10yrs. old and I have always had a habit of flushing the toilets when I enter any one of the 3 bathrooms that we have. I flush them regardless if I use them or not. Sometimes I will flush all three of them in sequence a couple of times.

: My theory is that I am flushing my DWV system to keep everything moving along just fine. I justify my actions by thinking it's better to spend a few dollars on the water rather than an expensive drain cleaning.

: This peculiar habit is a result of formerly living in a 70yr. old home where I spent many hours and many feet of electric eel cleaning the sewage pipe out.

: I have also even gone as far as to run the washing machine through a cycle (without clothes) just to get a great volume of water down the sewage pipe.

: Am I wasting water or actually doing something good for the pipes?

Wow GREAT Question and no simple answer.

I guess the 1st question that should be asked is IF the fixtures (toilets) are the new 1.6 GPF rather then the older 3.5 GPF

If your home was built using the code that states a fixture unit is based on 7.48 GPM and the drain lines sized accordingly and THEN the new low flush units are installed YES you may have a problem.

The problem being your not getting the proper scouring action on lines with bare minimum pitch.

Too much pitch (horizontally) solids can be left behind as not enough liquid is available per flush to guarantee solids can be carried down stream.

To just go around flushing fixtures is a total waste of water and should not be performed.

Try to just use the fixtures normally unless you start smelling sewer gases or seeing little fleas then you need to really flush the system out (using a water Jetter comes to mind)

Many country bumpkin codes like SBCCI have no clue to "suds pressure zones" and this condition can cause all kinds of bacteria to grow inside the waste and soil systems.

AAV is another type of pay off where the almighty dollar comes before health or common sense same as Billy Butt Crack plumbers who install wet venting another joke handymen use when they have no clue to plumbing and look to get in get out of a job.

Suds build up can also decrease the internal piping diameter like grease deposits.

The 3.5 GPF scoured the internal walls BUT as this is no longer the case stoppages are be coming a common place problem.

Depending on the length of the run / pitch / diameter / materials how chronic this condition can become.

The use of chemicals is a total waste of money.

If your in an area where storm and sanitary lines are combined your already getting some scouring action.

Try to refrain from wasting water for a while and see if any stoppages or smells occur.

You can always go back to a monthly flushing if need be.

Remember Many of these poor plumbing codes (SPC, SBCCI) are looking to save builders money not to give the safest possible plumbing systems available.

If your home is still using older waster wasting fixtures then your flushing the toilets is unnecessary.

Good luck

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