flushing a toilet

How Much Does It Cost To Flush A Toilet?

Many people care about saving as much money as possible, especially when things like paying bills. Most households will receive a water and electricity bill every month that they will have to pay, which changes according to how much water and electricity is used. One way that is said to save money is by flushing the toilet only when necessary, so how much does flushing a toilet cost?

The average modern toilet consumes around 1.3 gallons of water per flush. According to the Department of Energy’s calculations, it is roughly 1.3 cents per flush. However, water rates vary quite widely across the United States, so it will cost more in places like California.

Unless someone really does not care about the amount of money they spend, everyone wants to save as much money as possible where it is possible, because then we get to spend more money on luxury things. But does flushing the toilet less help save money? Stick around to find out how much it really costs to flush a toilet.

water in toilet bowl when flushing the toilet

How Much Money Does Flushing The Toilet Cost Yearly?

Firstly, we have to look at how much a toilet is flushed per month. Although you may not realize it, you likely flush the toilet more times per day than you think. A study in 2014 found that, on average, an individual person flushes the toilet around five times per day. This means that a household’s toilet can be flushed up to roughly 20 times a day for a family of four.

Therefore, if a person flushes the toilet five times a day, they will flush it 1825 times per year. This number increases drastically for a family of four to somewhere around 7300 flushes of the toilet per year.

If you share these amounts equally over 12 months, an individual will flush the toilet 152 times a month, and a family of four flushes 608 times a month. This means that over a year, according to the Department of Energy’s rates, an individual will spend roughly 25 dollars a year flushing their toilet and 95 dollars a year for a family of four.

Although this amount could seem like it is not a lot of money, especially for a family of four over an entire year, every dollar saved helps sometimes. But is it possible to save a significant portion of this money by flushing the toilet less, or will it make no difference at all?

Does Flushing The Toilet Less Really Save Money?

Obviously, many factors come into play when calculating how much money you spend on flushing the toilet. For example, some people may flush less or more than five times a day, and some states have different water-consumption rates than others.

a man holding a toilet flush handle
Image from Montclair Supply

It was said above that the average person flushes around five times a day. However, just because someone visits the bathroom five times a day does not mean they need to flush the toilet five times. As the famous saying goes: “If it is yellow, let it mellow; if it is brown, flush it down.” Some people may take a lesson from that, but others might be horrified at the thought of not flushing every time.

We can assume that not all five visits to the toilet per day are of matters regarding the “brown” mentioned above. Based on this assumption, and studies of the average human’s bowel movements, only two of the five visits are “brown” related.

Therefore, if an individual only flushes the toilet twice a day instead of five times, the number of flushes per year would be reduced from 1825 flushes to 730 flushes. At the average rate of 1.3 cents per flush, an individual would spend only 9.49 dollars instead of 25 dollars a year. That is almost three times less the cost than if you flushed five times a day.

Going by these calculations, a family of four would only flush the toilet 2920 times per year, meaning they would spend 37.96 dollars rather than 95 dollars. Therefore, we can conclude that flushing the toilet less does save you money in the long run. However, this depends on how much the water in your state costs and the nature of each of your visits to the toilet.

How Else Can You Reduce Your Toilet’s Water Consumption?

In 1994, a law was passed in the United States that said that all toilets produced from that day onwards were not allowed to consume more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush. This is due to older toilets using between 3.5 – 6 gallons of water per flush.

Therefore, one way to reduce your water bill is to buy a modern toilet if yours was produced before 1994. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has also conducted tests on many different toilets in production to see how much water each different line of toilets consumes. If a toilet has been given a “WaterSense” label, the toilet consumes even less than 1.6 gallons per flush.

Like many things, older toilets can deteriorate and start leaking. However, leaks are not always visible, meaning you might not be able to notice that your toilet is leaking. However, there is a way to test if your toilet is leaking, and that is to put any sort of mixture that changes the color of the water. If the water is not the same color after 15 minutes, you likely have a leak.

Conclusion

On average, the flushing of a toilet in a household takes up nearly 30% of the water bill. With the average number of flushes per individual in a day, and the rate of 1.3 cents per flush, an individual is likely to spend around 25 dollars per year on just flushing the toilet. This number increases for a family of four up to around 95 dollars.

However, this can be reduced. Not flushing the toilet every time you need to use it (only flushing when needed) can save nearly 15 dollars per individual in the house. It is also imperative to know how much water your toilet consumes and if you have any leaks in your toilet that could be pushing your water bill higher.

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