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How Much Does It Cost To Flush A Toilet? Plumber Explain

Did you know that the average person flushes their toilet about 5 times per day? Each time you are flushing your toilet, you are wasting a fresh water. But there are also additional costs besides the water you flush and therefore, the question arises how much does it actually cost to flush a toilet? I had this thought every time I flush my toilet. So, I decided to find out and ask a professional plumber how I can calculate it.

How Much Does It Cost To Flush A Toilet?

So How Much Does It Cost To Flush A Toilet? Based on the data from the Department of Energy, the standard household uses a 1.6 gallons (6 liters) toilet tank which costs 1.3 cents per flush. Most people flush their toilets on average 5 times per day, which gives us the annual cost of $24 per person to flush a toilet.

There are different types of toilets (older models vs. new models) that will affect your water consumption each time you flush them. Each tank is designed differently and can store a different amount of water, therefore water consumption will vary.

One of the ways how you can calculate how much does it cost to flush a toilet is to sum the water and sewer rates based on the data from the Department of Energy. Keep in mind that the data for water and sewer can vary widely, which can sometimes make it very hard to calculate and get a precise cost per flush.

According to research, we know that most people flush their toilets approximately five times a day. If we use that in our estimation we’ll get that per person it costs about $24 per year to flush a toilet or $96 for a family of four.

Toilet consumptionFlushes per dayCost per gallonToilet cost per year
1.6 gallons/flush51.3 cents$24
3 gallons/flush51.3 cents$46.75
5 gallons/flush51.3 cents$87.25
*Estimation is that the average household flushes the toilet between 5 to 6 times per day.

How To Calculate The Total Cost of Flushing The Toilet?

Now that we have passed some basic information, we are ready to do our own calculations. The data I will use here are based on prices in the United States. We’ll do two calculations. The first will be for the lower end, and the second will be for the higher end. So, let’s start.

This first calculation is for people who live in the areas where the water is cheaper.

($1/1,000 gal + $2/1,000 gal) x 1.6 gal/flush = $0.0048/flush

This second calculation is for those who live in the areas where the water is a little bit more expensive.

($5/1,000 gal + $6/1,000 gal) x 1.6 gal/flush = $0.0176/flush

Now that we finish the calculation we get that the average cost of flushing a toilet can vary between $0.0048 and $0.0176. Let’s assume that you are flushing your toilet 3 times per day, and the average price of water in your area is around $2 per 1,000 gallons. It will cost you a little bit less than $20 per year to flush your toilet 3 times per day.

So if you’re been wondering how much money you will save by not flushing your toilet every time you use it, now you know that it won’t be that much as you might think. Here are the prices for other countries:

Toilet consumptionCost per gallonToilet cost per year
United States (US)$0.013$20
United Kingdom (UK)$0.02$40
Canada (CA)$0.015$24
Russia (RU)$0.02$40
France (FR)$0.015$24

How Much Does It Cost Each Time You Flush The Toilet?

If we go back a little bit in history we can notice that in the United States, all toilets that are sold since 1994 were designed to use 1.6 gallons (6 liters) per flush. Prior to that, most toilets in that time consumed around 5 gallons (19 liters) per flush.

Today, more efficient toilets on the market are designed to use 1 gallon (3.7 liters) per flush. The parameters that we need to take into account to get the real cost for each time we flush the toilet are the following:

  1. Water cost per gallon
  2. Sewer cost per gallon
  3. Water usage per flush

First, we need to know is how much water costs. In each part of the world, we have the different price ranges, so in this example, we’ll use that the average price of water is $1.50 per 1,000 gallons (this is the price for the US). If we convert that, we’ll get that price per gallon of water costs less than one penny.

Finally, we must also include the sewer cost. You have to pay for the water in your toilet and also you have to pay for flushing it down the toilet. So, you are charged twice. First is when the water comes into your house, and second is when it leaves your house. Based on research that I did, in the US the average sewer rate is between $2 to $6 per 1,000 gallons.

Water Usage per FlushCost per Flush
8.00 Gallons / flush6.5 cents
5.00 Gallons / flush4.1 cents
3.50 Gallons / flush2.8 cents
1.60 Gallons / flush1.3 cents
1.28 Gallons / flush1.0 cents

How Much Flushing The Toilet Affects Your Water Bill?

Did you know that almost 30% of water in your home is used for the toilet? According to federal plumbing standards, we can see that new toilets that are now sold use 1.6 gallons (6 liters) per flush, while the older models from 1992 use 3.5 to 5 gallons (13 to 19 liters) per flush.

Former US President Donald Trump has also addressed the issue about unnecessary water consumption, where he mentioned that low-flow toilets need to be flushed several times per one use.

Toilets are usually reviewed for how they actually handle „light waste“ and „heavy waste“ of water. They are rated from „excellent“ to „fair“ by the testing that is done after one or two flushes. Although there are some models that require more than two flushes to fully clear them out.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in most homes, the toilets are the main source of water consumption where they occupy almost 30% of all home water use. When it comes to the price you pay to flush a toilet, it all depends on the type of toilet that you have, as well as the price of water and sewer costs that are in your city.

The benefit of these new toilet models is that they can save you annual water usage from 20% to 50%, which is almost 13,000 gallons of water per year. By this, you will save up to $110 a year according to the EPA.

Older toilet models that have low-flow flush can cost you more in the long run. But almost all new models today meet the testing requirements after you flush them once or twice. By the data that is based on the Department of Energy, it is calculated that 1.6-gallon toilets will cost you 1.3 cents per flush.

Toilet consumptionGallons per yearCost per gallonToilet cost per year
1.6 gallons/flush2920$0.01$29.20
3 gallons/flush5475$0.01$54.75
5 gallons/flush9125$0.01$91.25
*Estimation is that the average household flushes the toilet about 5 times per day.

Save Money By Testing Your Toilet

In some homes, around 22 gallons (83 liters) of water are lost each day (faucets, washing machines, toilets, etc.) due to leaking problems, where the vast majority of that is due to the toilet leaking. If we convert that 22 gallons (83 liters) into an annual amount, we’ll get that the leaking can cost you about $80 per year.

Therefore, it is not uncommon that most of the older toilet models are likely leaking water. The problem can be even serious if that leaking is silent and you can’t notice it, which can even cause consumption up to 10 gallons per day of lost water. This could greatly increase your water bill, therefore I recommend you to check your toilet.

Silent LeakPer MonthPer YearTotal Cost
10 Gallons/Day300 Gallons3,600 Gallons$7.2
Audible LeakPer MonthPer YearTotal Cost
50 Gallons/Day1,500 Gallons18,000 Gallons$36

The way you can test this is to put some kind of colored mixture into the toilet tank and after 10 or 15 minutes you go check to see if that color is inside your toilet. If not, you don’t have this problem.

Do You Have To Flush The Toilet Every Time You Pee?

It is recommended to flush your toilet every time you pee because of the unwanted smell of urine that can spread through the bathroom later. Therefore, flush the toilet every time you use it, and at least once a day. The stench that can spread is much more annoying than the 1 cent you can save by skipping flushing your toilet after use.

For those who want to learn more, read How Much Power (Watts) Does a Mouse Use?

Tips For Saving Toilet Flushing Costs

  • If several people live in one household, by using the toilet one after the other you could save by flushing the water once after two uses.
  • Get the newer toilet model. Older models can flush up to 3.9 gallons (15 liters) into the toilet. On average, one flush only uses 1.6 to 2 gallons (6 to 8 liters). Newer models even use 1 gallon per flush.
  • The use or retrofitting of a water stop function can also be worthwhile. In many cases, not all of the water is needed.

Final Thoughts

As we could see in this article, the amount of water that is flushed down the toilet on a daily basis can be very simply calculated. You just need to take into account how many times a day each of the household members flushes the water in the toilet, and what is the cost of the water per gallon to know how much you will pay per flush. We also mentioned that each person flushes their toilet about 5 times per day. I hope this article helped you and give you useful information.

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