Watered Down Ed del Grande, Plumbing Pro, Is Flush with Products to Conserve Water, Including New Low-Flow Toilets

By Donovan, Deborah | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), April 29, 2007 | Go to article overview

Watered Down Ed del Grande, Plumbing Pro, Is Flush with Products to Conserve Water, Including New Low-Flow Toilets


Donovan, Deborah, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Deborah Donovan Daily Herald Homes Writer

If you hate your water-saving toilet, brace yourself.

Toilets - now limited by law to pumping only 1.6 gallons a flush, compared with 3 1/2 gallons in the old days - will soon get stingier.

California has seriously considered mandating 1.3-gallon toilets, said Ed Del Grande. And he expects lower-water toilets to be the law of the land sooner rather than later.

A licensed master plumber, Del Grande spends his time these days in public appearances and on television, especially the DIY network, instead of up to his elbows in clogged drains.

He also has a book coming out early next month, "Ed Del Grande's House Call: Foolproof Tricks of the Trade from a Master Contractor" (Penguin Group, $15.95). He promises the book delivers his knowledge of the subject with his entertaining style learned during years as a stand-up comedian.

Del Grande, a Kohler spokesman, said the company has several different flushing methods that make low-water toilets work.

These include using air pressure, adding electronics to aid the flush and a dual system that can adjust how much water is needed.

Toilets that use only 1.3 gallons per flush will be among the first plumbing products to wear the WaterSense label, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

And the toilets also have to function well, says the EPA.

WaterSense is a voluntary program to help consumers select water-saving products.

Labeled toilets and bathroom faucets will be available later this year. The agency is working on standards for other products like shower heads and drip-irrigation systems.

So what else is on the water-saving front?

Believe it or not, those fancy high-performance showers with multiple heads can actually save water, according to Del Grande.

First, each shower head is limited by law to pumping 2 1/2 gallons of water per minute, said Del Grande.

Second, with a custom shower you can be more selective in using different shower heads at different times, rather than turning them all on at once, he said.

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