Why aren’t dual flush valves the default choice in public bathrooms?

Tom Vanderbilt sends along this photo from a Stanford restroom. It’s a simple idea that seems like it should be everywhere.

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11 Responses to “Why aren’t dual flush valves the default choice in public bathrooms?”

  1. Jason Says:

    Not just public bathrooms, but all bathrooms. Any bathroom installed in the 15 – 20 years in Australia has had a dual flush toilet. Having lived in the US the past six years, I know it’s not the case here…

  2. Mike Says:

    A good idea gone wrong, I do hope they go extinct soon. They have the same at Harvard and it’s not uncommon to find floating bits of detritus from absent minded professors who pull the handle the wrong way.

    It also too often requires a second flush, either because you didn’t pay enough attention the first time, or because it’s not at all obvious that you push DOWN for liquid waste if you used TP.

    TMI? Apologies. But please lets make this horrible device go away.

  3. ScottF Says:

    I’ve seen many toilets in Europe that have two buttons, presumably with the same intent.

  4. Bert Meert Says:

    In Europe there are indeed two distinct buttons with the exact same intent. There is a visual choice to be made which makes it self-explanatory and therefore more intuitive than this push/pull design.

  5. Kare Anderson Says:

    They are in much of Europe.

  6. matthew Says:

    In a related story, I rented a house in Germany with the water meter inside the primary shower. Now there’s a nudge to keep your water and heat usage down.

    [The meter recorded quite small units, so it spun with some rapidity... doubtlessly adding to the impact.]

  7. joel Says:

    Mike said “… lets make this horrible device go away …” and I guess, Jason, that’s why they haven’t caught on in the US!

  8. Biks Says:

    If a device is used the wrong way it means first of all that the device has a badly designed user interface. It needs more time to learn using the device than an average user is willing to spend.

    As mentioned by Beert Meert the ones I know too have a big button for big business and a small button for small business. That way people not caring for the details normally push the big button which is a safe default from a hygienic point of view.

  9. Tyler Says:

    Related – At my university, we used non-flush urinals. At first, it seems like a wonderful idea, particularly as we were going through one of the worst droughts of the century at the time. Then, it was revealed that while these urinals used no water, they required plastic filters that needed regular replacement. Permanent filters were barred by state law.

    Thus, the university decreed them removed and replaced with low-water urinals.

    I wonder how many years THESE will have to be used before before they’re replaced.

  10. Yokota Fritz Says:

    Japan has used similar flushers for at least a couple of decades – big button and little button.

  11. kerry central heating Says:

    This device sounds awful,a good way to safe water with every flush is to put a brick in the cistern.Simple and very cost effective.

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