Water Conservation Tips - Toilet Lid Sink FAQ

Washing your hands with toilet water? You must be kidding! This is often the response we hear when people ask about water conservation with the Toilet Lid Sink. It is usually followed by a long list of very good questions, like: Is it clean? Is it drinkable? Does the water come directly from the pipe or from the holding tank? If you have some of the same questions, this FAQ is for you.

Is the water clean?
Yes, the water comes directly form the water supply line (not the tank or bowl). It is no different than the water from your faucet.

 

Where does the water drain?

Properly installed, the water drains to the toilet bowl, not into the tank.

 

Does the sink “recycle” water?

Yes and no. The water running in the sink is clean tap water. The device simply provides access to clean water which is normally used to refill the toilet bowl, When used as a finger rinse, the water that drains from the sink is considered “grey water”, or used water. In this way, the bowl is refilled with grey water instead of clean water, which is considered recycling.

How does the sink save water?

Access to the clean water that would otherwise go unnoticed into the drain system (toilet bowl) can be considered a conservation of water. When used as a finger rinse, an additional use of tap water is eliminated (this can add up to gallons of water per day). Even when not used as a finger rinse, the pleasurable and soothing presence of a fountain is an added benefit, gained from otherwise wasted water. Most importantly, the sink provides a visual indication of a sometimes “stealth”-like leak within the toilet’s plumbing system. Undetected toilet leaks have been calculated to account for an amazing 5% of our nation’s water supply.

How does the sink affect the toilet?

The toilet lid sink has no effect on the toilet’s function. Since the device is connected to the toilet’s refill cycle, there is no impact on the toilet’s flush. It may be that the toilet’s water pressure must be adjusted, which only affects the time it takes the toilet to refill.

Why does the water run so long?

The water runs for as long as it takes to fill the tank, as it always has. The sink only makes you aware of the amount of water that is needed to refill the bowl. The toilet requires no more or less water than it ever has.

Can the tank lid sink replace my bathroom sink?

The tank lid sink is not intended to replace the bathroom sink. Most sinks are carefully designed to perform their many functions, and do so quite well. Though technically capable of erforming many similar functions, the tank lid sink is ergonomically designed to accommodate only a finger/hand rinse and is physically designed to accommodate even the arrowest toilet tank.

Is the sink “code compliant”?

In the “lid replacement” format, the device is not code compliant (IAPMO Standards) and is considered a “user installed after market accessory”. However, codes may vary by municipality opening the possibility of the product to be accepted by local governing officials. A patented wall-mount version of the sink is currently being developed to meet national plumbing codes as well as the ADA’s assistive device requirements.
 

Won't the soap eventualy clog up the tank? Do I need to clean the tank because of this?

Short anser: No. Long Answer: The soapy water does not go into the tank. It goes directly into the bowl. As a toilet refills after a flush, a ballcock valve directs fresh water in two directions, into the tank and into the bowl, and runs until the float raises and closes the valve.

According to code, the tank must hold and maintain fresh “potable” water. The bowl is connected to the sewer system and its water is classified as “waste” water (the bowl holds water for the primary purpose of forming an air seal between your home and the sewer system). Even so, it receives potable water too.

So… the ballcock valve sends water to both bowl and tank until the float in the tank raises to turn it off. A problem with this arrangement is that the bowl fills before the tank fills, but continues to receive refill water for the duration of the tank refill. This excess refill water simply and quietly drains down the back of the bowl into the sewer system (not just waste water, but wasted water!). Thus the dirty/soapy water that hits the bowl first is likely to be replaced by the excess water.

 
Below are two pictures to illustrate how the system works:

 

Toliet Lid Sink Installation
First, remove lid and bowl refill tube from ballcock valve and overflow pipe.

Toliet Lid Sink Installation
Then install Tank Lid Sink as shown, supply tube to ballcock valve and drain tube into overflow pipe.

 

 

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