Toilet Wars: Trump Asks EPA to Review the Flush

Mish

The maximum flush went from 3.5 gallons to 1.6 gallons and in California to 1.28 gallons. Trump is complaining.

WaterSense Regulation

"WaterSense" regulation required a 20% reduction in water use on tank-type toilets compared to standards adopted in 1992.

That's when the standard flush went from 3.5 gallons to 1.6 gallons. Smuggling toilets from Canada through Detroit soon began but eventually people were forced to accept the smaller flush.

In 2016, California set the maximum flush to 1.28 gallons. Activists want further reductions. Trump has had enough of it.

Please consider Trump Orders Toilet Rule Review, Saying People Flush 10 Times

The president on Friday said he ordered a federal review of water efficiency standards in bathroom fixtures and complained that “people are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times as opposed to once” in homes with low-flow appliances. He said other bathroom fixtures have slowed water to a trickle.

“You can’t wash your hands practically, there’s so little water comes out of the faucet, and the end result is you leave the faucet on and it takes you much longer to wash your hands, you end up using the same amount of water,” Trump said at an event with small-business owners at the White House.

The president said it was “common sense” to review standards he said resulted in showers with water “quietly dripping out” and toilets that “end up using more water” because of repeat flushing.

While the president said the Environmental Protection Agency was looking at the standards “at my suggestion,” a review of the WaterSense program was mandated under 2018 legislation passed by Congress that said the agency should look at any regulations adopted before 2012. That means the government is forced to revisit specifications for tank-type toilets, lavatory faucets and faucet accessories, showerheads, flushing urinals, and weather-based irrigation controllers.

Orange Lights Also Questioned

Trump also want a review of light bulb energy efficiency requirements imposed under President Barack Obama.

Trump complains the new regulations make him look orange.

I am not sure where he is coming from on this, because it is the standard warm-white incandescent bulb that has an orangish tint.

Alleged Water Savings

The EPA says an average family can save $380 in water costs per year and save more than 17 gallons per day by using appliances certified to WaterSense standards.

Thanks to activists, it's difficult get an appliance that does not meet WaterSense standards.

We have our own well and ample supply so we will not save a dime. Besides, it should be up to the individual to decide whether the savings is worth it or not, especially in places where there are no water issues.

Expect More Clogs

Amusingly, this issue came up Thursday evening in our household when a toilet clogged.

On Friday, when that article came out, we had a big "about time" laugh.

There is no way you can convince me that these damn 1.28 gallon tanks flush as well.

And now, you can find 1.1 and even 0.96 gallon per flush models which no doubt California will adopt.

More clogs coming up, especially in California.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (57)
No. 1-27
Greggg
Greggg

He's right... especially when it comes to replacing a 40+ year old toilet that was designed to flush into cast iron drains that pitch 1/4 inch per foot, with a 1.3 gallon flush that is designed for 1/8 inch per foot pitch PVC drain pipe. As far as California goes, they're the experts at flushing all kinds of things.

Runner Dan
Runner Dan

California toilets work fine if you run 40 miles per week and emphasize vegetables in the diet. Trust me!

Curious-Cat
Curious-Cat

President Trump is complaining. How unusual.

SMF
SMF

The low flush toilets are often so bad that now you have many with dual flush for either #1 or #2. But often they don't work well. The new lighting efficiency standards here just add quite a bit of cost.

This is how stupid it gets in California: the buildings are sealed so tight for efficiency that it is now mandated that you keep an exhaust fan on at all times to bring in fresh air.

Flanders
Flanders

Bureaucrats should not be regulating every single breath we take. They don't have the authority. The extremists have extended the governments assumed (but illegal) powers to the point of total absurdity.

Enough with political correctness and enough with the nanny state.

tz3
tz3

So that is why there is so much poop on the sidewalks on CA - the toilets don't flush and get clogged.

If they want, they can give an energy start rating to the current models, but these flush thrice toilets just don't work. Trump is pro-Choice!

In other news, portland will ban Urinals since they are men only, and in no little irony you can have flushless urinals (they have a blue mineral oil or such fluid that keeps floating above the trap level

Greggg
Greggg

Mish: you said you were moving to Utah? Funny story there and a great example how gubberment works (or doesn't). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2iOQnSt8dI

BigGroundhog
BigGroundhog

I hate to go against the flow here, since I too believe we should not have this regulation in place, but I have several 1.28 gpf toilets that work great. They flush much more vigorously than the old 3+ gpf toilets at my father's house. I think you just need to buy top quality toilets at any gpf.

Granted, I love vegetables and whole grains as much as I love meat, so YMMV.

abend237-04
abend237-04

I think the flush authorities may be onto something with this limited volume thingy. Here in California, we've bankrupted our largest utility by diverting a huge chunk of it's maintenance revenue stream to tree hugger projects for decades. The utility, in turn, has resorted to rolling blackouts in self defense against the circling army of ambulance chasers anytime there's a rumor of a possibility of a fire, understandably.

I drove up to LA this morning and was shocked to see how third-world the Gower St. exit on the Hollywood Freeway is today; Tijuana and Olangapo's main drags now appear prosperous by comparison.

I'm considering proposing to the tree hugger authorities that a rolling flush ban be adopted in areas afflicted with growing tent cities, with the water savings diverted into a fleet of tank trucks randomly roaming the streets and periodically flushing the whole mess to lower ground. You're welcome, Gavin; Don't mention it.

davebarnes
davebarnes

Mish,

You are looking at some personal anecdotes and trying to pretend that The Dumpster® was making a rational comment. He was not. He is not rational. Notice that he complained about the light bulbs before the toilets.

But, "light bulb energy efficiency requirements imposed under President Barack Obama" is false as the Shrub was President and not Obummer.

P.S. Buy Toto toilets and you will flush just fine.

Stuki
Stuki

"because it is the standard warm-white incandescent bulb that has an orangish tint."

Incandescent are continuous full spectrum emitters. Like black bodies. They are lower temperature than the sun, hence have their emissions skewed towards longer, redder, wavelengths. But they don't have spikes anywhere, the way fluorescents do, so there is nothing particularly orange about them.

The most common fluorescents, do have a huge spike in the low 600 nanometer range. Right in the orange band. That narrow orange band, is where almost all the "red-tone" emissions are concentrated. Just as there is another similar spike in the middle of green, and two lower separate ones covering blue. Together adding up to RGB, but with a very choppy spectrum, which will certainly overemphasize hues which happen to be particularly reflective of exactly the same wavelengths as the spikes. Like Trump's orange hair.

The Donald may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but he is a showman. And as such, almost certainly a very astute and self-critical observer of what makes numero uno look his best, and of what makes him look unusually silly.

Carl_R
Carl_R

Almost all LED bulbs are labeled "daylight" or "cool white" or "bright white", and typically are rated 4000-6000 Kelvin. I won't use those at home because blue light, whether from your fixtures, your phone, or your computer screen, interferes with sleep by making your body think it is sunlight. If you search enough, you can find orange tint, aka "warm white" or "antique" with a Kelvin rating from 2300-2800, but it will take some work.

Sechel
Sechel

LED bulbs work. They save money. Same thing with water conservation. Most states do not have a limitless supply of water and I doubt Congress will somehow fund new desalination plants and water pipes. Truth many acquirers and rivers are running out.

It's crazy that Trump is just coming up these ideas without any data to support. Yea i know his gut tells him its a good idea, but that gut only need a stronger flush because of his diet. Most of us flush daily and have no problem. Toilets didn't start clogging after we began conserving water. The whole thing is ludicrous. Trump's rant might be funny if it were a Jerry Seinfeld skit.

Sechel
Sechel

We looked at LED light bulbs for our building several years ago. The technology wasn't great for many applications. The light wasn't good. Two years ago we adopted it. The technology has greatly improved and it saves the building serious money. The ROI is hard to argue with. Unfortunately we need gov't to push this as many users are indifferent to the financial savings, like schools, public institutions , people on limited budgets where they mistakenly focus more on the cost of the bulb than the actual electric bill. Sure this is an education issue but its real

Mish
Mish

Editor

"Incandescent are continuous full spectrum emitters."

Definitely NOT

As a photographer I can tell you that is total nonsense.

I have GE full spectrum lights that are very accurate but I gave up on the things because they are damn expensive and last about 10% of the rated hours if that. Constantly burning out, sometimes after just a few weeks.

The point is moot because even if I wanted them, they are now banned.

Without a doubt, the standard "warm white" is orange-yellow, likely varying greatly by manufacturer.

Fluorescents are extremely green so LEDs are a vast improvement.

LEDs tend to be cool (blueish, not warm or orangeish). But again this varies by manufacturer.

We now have new approved LEDs.

BLUE BLUE BLUE - Not orange, regardless of manufacturer and I have pictures to prove it.

The damn things hum in the bathroom even though I paid extra for brands that supposedly won't.

Fortunately, it is only one set of bathroom lights that don't work. They only hum when dimmed even though I paid extra for dimmable. I have new dimmable stitches too. So I cannot figure out what is wrong.

Finally, the LEDs are way less blue than fluorescents are green, or warm whites are orange. The LED color is tolerable, similar in fact to "cool white". But the size and the way they stick out from fixtures not designed for them is downright ugly.

I trust what my eye sees and camera records, not what Trump says.

Mish

Herkie
Herkie

I had to laugh like a hyena today when I read this elsewhere, but I am still disturbed though by the image of the size of the dump he took that required 15 flushes of his toilet. I guess solid gold toilets just don't work as well.

But in fact there is a tiny bit of truth to his complaint, local sewage workers will attest to this, it takes a certain level of water flow to push solids down the pipes to the sewage treatment plants, too little water and the sewage does not get pushed, and those systems with a steeper grade to the pipes need less water, but cities that are basically at sea level or otherwise cannot have their treatment plants at a lower elevation than the customers using the system must have higher water usage to create that flow.

And because the far fringe left who think they are well informed and know everything ALWAYS take any problem and blow it up to epic proportions then spread panic about it and demand the most absurd solutions it is obvious to me that they might as well just skip right to the absurd solution here, no water using toilets at all, but a requirement that people install composting toilets. Yes, you may say EWWWwwww! now.

thimk
thimk

well all this reduction in water and electricity should be reflected in our utility bills, but is it ?

mkestrel
mkestrel

I think trump must have a dart board of topics of sacred cows that will annoy the California liberals. Triggering Gavin Newsome in 3..2..1

mannfm11
mannfm11

It depends on where you are and whether the government there has its head out of its ass. I would gladly pay a little more for water to get something I don't have to plunge every other time. Maybe a happy medium, 2.5 gallons. I heard him and an inadequate shower is also defeating the purpose. To be honest, Trump is battling a bunch of borderline communist Malthusians. When was development ever sustainable? Remember, we were supposed to have used the last drop of oil by now and everyone on earth was supposed to have starved by now. The left would have us in the stone age in 20 years.

Knight
Knight

When it comes to policies that make sense, California has always been full of s#%*. The unintended consequences of low-flow aren’t inconsequential.

Solution to the clogged toilets/septic systems and double/triple flush may now rest in policies that address fiber intake. Until that happens, I’m long on plungers and plumbers.

awc13
awc13

"The EPA says an average family can save $380 in water costs per year and save more than 17 gallons per day by using appliances certified to WaterSense standards."

hmmm. i have a brand new dishwasher. takes 4 hours to wash a load of dishes. i bet there is increased electrical usage to run 4 hours rather than the 90 minutes my 20 year old dishwasher took

davebarnes
davebarnes

"We have our own well and ample supply so we will not save a dime." And, you are only 13% of the population. Should we make toilets for the 13%? I think not.

RonJ
RonJ

"WaterSense Regulation"

During a previous drought, L.A. mayor Villaragosa got caught watering his lawn when he wasn't supposed to be.

What kind of toilets do the California political elites have in their homes?

Historically, L.A. only has gotten about 15 inches of rain per year on average. A lot of water usage is spent on watering lawns during the dry season. When it rains, the water flowing into the L.A. river goes right out to sea. None is used for human consumption. A local water resource wasted.

ksdude69
ksdude69

That's fine, i'll just go take a **** on the courthouse lawn.

Brother
Brother

Trump is right again. The 1.6 toilets work OK in most situations the 1.28 won't flush solid waste. Even with 1.6 you still need three flushes. All this "water saving" has the city running rooter trucks flushing the sewer lines in our city. The lack of water is clogging the pipes. I see the trucks daily.

Guinny_Ire
Guinny_Ire

All I know is that I replace light bulbs at a faster rate than I did with incandescents. The Halogens, the LEDs don't last. They overheat and burn out quicker. More crapola in the waste fill.

Rvrider
Rvrider

Buy a Toto — incredible! The Japanese obsession with poop disposal has produced amazing results! Better have long sweep PVC or ABS turns with proper venting though.


Global Economics

FEATURED
COMMUNITY