The Handyguys Podcast - Working Together on that Honey Do List Home Energy Savings Tool tests

How To Cut Metal, CFL Safety And Water Saving Flush Valves

by The Handyguys

in Audio Podcasts, Radio


The Handygys discuss three topics on this audio podcast – what tools are used to cut metal, are CFLs safe in kids rooms and are water saving flush valves a good investment.

Cutting metal

From time to time homeowners need to cut metal. What do you use to cut metal? Paul grills Brian on what tools he would use.

Metal CuttingIt will depend on several factors such as:

  • What the metal is
  • Quality of the cut
  • How quickly you need to cut
  • How easily you need the cut

Some possible tools are:

CFLs in a kids room

CFL BulbsCFLs in a kids room? What is the issue? Handyguy Paul has several young kids and is concerned that if a lamp gets knoced over he will have to deal with mercury contained inside a typical CFL bulb is the bulb breaks. Is this a valid concern? What are people doing? Is LED a viable option? Are there mercury free CFL bulbs? Rugged CFL bulbs?

Is there such thing as a safer (not easy to break, no mercury) high-efficiency light bulb that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Water Saving flush valves

Handyguy Brian came across a discussion regarding “water saving fill valves” for your toilet. The principle is they do a half flush (.8 gallons of water) when you do not have solids and a normal 1.6 gallon flush when you need it. In areas where water is scarce this is important, if you have a well that runs dry its extremely important to conserve every drop. The question is – Do these devices make sense for people who are in areas of the country where there are not water restrictions, there are not scarcity issues, and water is plentiful? If you are on your own well then no. How about those that pay for “city water”?

Doing the math
out house

A toilet like this one doesn't use ANY water!

If you pay for water and, like we said, you are in an area where water isn’t scarce, these devices do not make sense. Here is why:

These fill valves cost about $25

The average cost of city water in the US is $1.50 per 1000 gallons or $0.0015 per gallon

That equates to an average cost per flush in the US of $0.0024

If you round the numbers that is about four flushes for one penny or $0.0096

If half the flushes required a full flush and half could use a half flush and the toilet is used 10 times per day you would save half a penny a day!

The savings would be about $2.19 per year. You would need to use the product for 11 years before you can see a return on investment (ROI).

Okay – we rounded the numbers and made some assumptions but the point is the same. If you don’t live in an area where you don’t have water restrictions or shortages you do not need a product like this.

Make sure you listen to the podcast for all the riveting discussion!

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