Piggyback Flush to Save Water

Flushing Money Down the Drain?

Do you "double dip" on your at-home toilet flushes to save on water bills? At our house we call this the Piggyback Flush. The Piggyback Flush is when you wait until you use the bathroom multiple times until flushing. Or you wait until multiple family members have gone to the bathroom, and you don't flush until the end. It's also called "saving the flush." Of course, this water-saving strategy only applies to number 1 and not number 2, which at our house is often a toilet-clogging, multiple flushing event.

Piggyback Flush Etiquette

Of course, there are a few rules to follow when piggyback flushing. As stated above, only for number 1 (peeing). In fact, we usually only do it when two people use the bathroom one right after the other. There's just something disturbing about letting it sit there for prolonged periods of time.The other time it seems okay is in the middle of the night, when the sound of a flushing toilet would wake up light sleepers with bedrooms near the bathroom.

It should go without saying that Number 2's need to be flushed immediately! Sometimes I even encourage the kids to do an interim "courtesy flush" even when they're not finished with their business. This is because our toilet is so wimpy that it clogs frequently. Then I have to do least five to six flushes to clear it out, which totally defeats the purpose of trying to save water! Lastly, piggyback flushing is only for when it's just us at home, not when guests are present.

Saving on Water

Most experts recommend getting a low flow, high efficiency toilet to conserve water. I haven't found much expert discussion about the Piggyback Flush method. I read one letter online about a cash strapped husband bemoaning the fact that his pregnant wife was flushing water dollars down the drain eight to nine times nightly. However, his wife did not take too kindly to his suggestion of saving the flush. She may have even started flushing more just to get back at him. Tip: wait until your wife is not uncomfortably pregnant and having to get up 8-9 times a night to make this type of suggestion!

Save water, pee in the shower!

Saving on Water, Extreme

Another observation I came across was that people in Brazil were being encouraged to save flush water by peeing in the shower! This appears to be an animated public service announcement (but it may have been a joke). According to a Fox News program, the Portuguese at the end says something about saving the Atlantic Rainforest. The video can be seen on YouTube. Imagine your local water utility sending out public service announcements to recommend this!

When our dog does her business outside we just pick it up in a baggie, tie it up, and toss in the garbage bin. No flush. Hmmm. I wonder how bad our drought restrictions, rising water prices and the economy would have to get before we resort to this!!

Doggies don't have to flush!

TOTO CST743S#01 Drake Round Bowl and Tank, Cotton White
TOTO CST743S#01 Drake Round Bowl and Tank, Cotton White

According to our plumber, TOTO is the toilet that plumbers buy.


In the meantime, we're going to continue using the Piggyback Flush at our house. I'm also going to start saving up for one of those new, ultra flush high efficiency toilets. Did you know they make toilets with a dual-flush mechanism? They have a low water flush for liquid waste, and a turbo flush for solid waste. They're a bit expensive - the one I have my eye on is around $400. But if I could save on water and never have to unclog another bowl, it would be well worth it.

Piggyback Flush Poll

Would you piggyback flush to save on water?

  • Yes, already doing it
  • I would consider it
  • No, that's kind of disgusting
See results without voting

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