A Flushing Development
There is an old saying that is as accurate today as it was the day I was born. I’m sure you’re familiar. It goes like this – Toilets never change. That is so profound. The author really had deep thoughts.
How true. Toilets have always clogged, they still leak in weird places and the flapper will eventually get stuck in the up position. No one knows why. Why has the toilet not evolved along the way of many household appliances?
Stove tops and ovens have changed a bunch. They’ve got ‘em with flat-surfaced non-burner tops. You can get a microwave oven that cooks stuff by, uh, microwave. We’ve had our borrowed microwave for a dozen years. The thing has a crack in the back, but hasn’t fried the wall or counter top.
Recently, Kay and I bought an induction single burner cooker. It’s a flat, black piece of something that cooks by magnetism. You can stick your hand on that thing when it’s set on high and you will not feel a thing. But you put a non-aluminum pan on it and it will boil water before you can locate the lid to the pot.
I could mention pens and computers and phones and TVs, but you get the point. Just in case you forgot the point, go back to the part where I mentioned how toilets never change… appreciably. Oh, you can get ‘em taller now. They call ‘em “comfort height” toilets. Up until last week, all our toilets were “uncomfortable height.” We recently had a new toilet installed and I went ahead and paid a few bucks extra for the taller version. My feet no longer go sleep when I nod off.
Other than height, you have a choice of elongated or round seats. We’re a round seated family. I don’t know why. Kay was going to explain it to me, but I had to stop her. Some things you just need to accept.
You can get a toilet seat that will occasionally slam down and wake everyone in a two mile radius; or you can get the one that eases down. You’ve got to pay a little more for an “ease-down” but it’s worth it.
You can get a toilet that flushes when you wave at it; when you touch the top of it; or when you simply walk away. Any walk-away-flusher I ever used had a mind of its own. Those buddies flush when they feel like it.
But, these toilet-related changes have nothing to do with the workings of the toilet. The concept we use today is one discovered during the early Bronze Age. That being – Water seeks its lowest level. -- So, when the toilet handle is pushed down, the flap is pulled up by a chain, releasing water in the tank that is at a higher level than that in the bowl. This forces the water in the bowl to exit due to air pressure from the new water rushing in, and due to gravity. (See Figure A) There’s usually a Figure A.
I think that’s how a toilet works. It uses a lot of water, thus quadrupling the amount of contaminant. Very inefficient. It is my intention to get scientists and entrepreneurs off their posteriors so they’ll come up with a better waste disposal concept. We’ve already got the technology.
During cremation, your 100 to 250 pound body is turned into a pile of ashes that can fit in a coffee can. If, instead of cremation, funeral homes disposed of your body using the toilet concept, it would take about 2100 gallons of water to flush you. That sounds like a lot, but we flush our body weight every six weeks. I don’t know if that’s true, but it sure helps my argument.
We’ve got lasers that will melt a hole through a four foot wide block of stone. Do you think anyone could think of another way to use that much destructive force? How many holes do we need in rocks?
What about a microwave toilet? As soon as you stand up, lower the lid and set the microwave flusher to medium for 25 seconds. (Caution: make sure you get up first.) The microwave will either cause the stuff to evaporate, or will shrink it down to pellet size. Pneumatic tubes like the banks have will then carry the pellets to factories which will turn ‘em into shoe soles, tires and lawn chairs. And, maybe Legos.
I realize none of this is going to happen. Truth be told, most of us don’t even care. Most of us never even think about toilets until we need one. Need one bad. As long as a toilet flushes, we’re happy. But they’re not going to keep flushing. No, they’re going to give out just like your toothbrush after a good sink cleaning. Then where are you? You’re in a bind, both literally and metaphorically.
The only choice you have is between elongated and round. Between torture height and comfort height. Handle flush vs touch flush vs hand-wave flush vs walk-away flush. Still, you’re using two to three gallons for a simple wee.
Come on America! Let’s get off our buns and demand a more efficient HWDP. (Human Waste Disposing Process) Let’s make this a cause. Beat the Chinese to it. At least beat the French. I don’t even want to talk about what those people do to their toilets. It makes the round vs oblong toilet seat conversation suitable dinner discussion.