The following is a post by Guest Blogger, Cliff D'Angelo, Sustainability and LEED Specialist. It appeared in The Wholesaler, September 2013.
Every once in a while a product comes along that both solves a nagging problem and makes so much good sense that you say to yourself, "Why didn't I think of that?" The Aqua Mizer Adjustable Flush system is one of those products. As Sustainability Professionals, it is foremost on our minds that the best way to decrease the amount of potable water we use is to first fix the leaks that seem to be ever present in our plumbing systems. But we can't fix a toilet leak if we don't know the toilet is leaking!
The Aqua Mizer flush valve system speaks our language. This truly innovative product alerts when a leak has occurred in the toilet tank and will stop the fill valve from continuously trying to refill the tank. How does the Aqua Mizer accomplish the solving of the leaking problem? It does so by utilizing an evolutionary fill valve design that doesn't use a float to start or stop the flow of water into the tank. Instead, the Aqua Mizer fill valve uses a flush cap that's only activated by the depression of the toilet handle. Therefore, if your toilet is leaking through the flapper, cracked tank or tank-to-bowl connection, the tank will only leak out the water content of the tank and not continue to leak again unless you depress the toilet flush handle.
The following two accounts will help illustrate the power of the Aqua Mizer flush valve system. The first instance involves a hotel that suspected a number of its guest room toilets had flapper leaks. The maintenance personnel changed the existing fill valves in six toilets to the new Aqua Mizer fill valves, keeping the old existing flappers intact. They then inspected the toilets the following morning and found three units where the water in the tank had leaked to the level of the flapper. They immediately knew those toilets were leaking at the old flapper and were able to replace the old flappers with a new Aqua Mizer adjustable flappers. The Aqua Mizer fill valve will alert you to when your toilet has a leak in the tank and will not flush again until you fill the tank by depressing the toilet flush handle. The EPA estimates that at least 20% of all existing toilet installations may be leaking, squandering billions of gallons of water a year. This is an incredible waste of water, energy and money!
The second story is about a toilet in a well-used second bathroom in my own home. I suspected that the toilet had a flapper leak, but was unable to hear the fill valve refilling the tank. Potable water is fairly expensive in my town and I was frustrated by the increase in our monthly water bill. Subsequently, I removed the old fill valve and replaced it with the new Aqua Mizer.
After only a couple of hours I checked the level of the water in the tank and sure enough, the water had leaked out of the tank to the level of the old flapper. The Aqua Mizer fill valve had not allowed the tank to refill, illustrating to me that the flapper needed to be replaced! I immediately replaced the flapper and NO MORE LEAKING TOILET!
There are numerous additional benefits of the Aqua Mizer flush valve system as well. I noticed that the toilet seemed to be flushing with greater velocity. It's my belief that the flat design of the Aqua Mizer flapper allows water through the flush valve with greater velocity, affording the toilet more power with less water. Secondly, the toilet tank was refilling much faster with the new fill valve and that meant that waiting for the refill was reduced from minutes to seconds. In fact, a 17-location restaurant chain recently changed out their brand new toilet components for the Aqua Mizer system primarily for this reason.
The Aqua Mizer Flush System was easy to install, although a commitment to sell the system through the wholesale plumbing channel does allow it to be installed by professional contractors. This presents another great opportunity for our industry to introduce a water-saving green technology to our customers.
The Aqua Mizer Fill Valve is an extraordinarily well-made unit with no internal metal parts to corrode or clog, and has an easily reachable filter that prevents sediment from infiltrating the tank's components. The fill valve has a 10-year warranty, and the flapper is warranted for five years. The components are IAMPO certified through various testing that includes soaking in a chlorine bath for 30 days, followed by 250,000 flushes without failure. Each fill valve is water tested at 125 psi before leaving the factory, an ISO9000 rated facility. Currently, there are 5 million of these fill valves in use throughout the world, performing optimally amongst some of the worst possible water conditions imaginable.
The Aqua Mizer product line is available through wholesale distribution only, a strong appeal for plumbing contractors. This distribution method was, in fact, a key component in the BuyMax Alliance, inviting Aqua Mizer to become a preferred vendor in their plumbing contractor network.
When Aqua Mizer was first introduced to the industry, plumbers greeted the system with skepticism. They were wary of a new, untested product, and were concerned about installing a product with such longevity. But, savvy, proactive contractors recognized an opportunity to take advantage of the green movement to both up-sell this system to their customer base, and market it to their prospects. Once they tested the product in their own homes, they quickly became advocates and began installing them. Even more successful were those contractors who serve multi-family housing and condo facilities. One such plumbing contractor, so impressed after testing a unit, proposed the Aqua Mizer to one of his condo facility customers and immediately got a commitment from its property management director to upgrade and retrofit 700 toilets with the Aqua Mizer system.
Property managers have quickly realized that their ROI could pay for the system within one year. An apartment building owner in upstate New York installed 36 Aqua Mizer systems and recovered his investment in less than six months. A resort hotel in Venice, Florida has had similar remarkable results.
Aqua Mizer has recently published a white paper on water reduction results in various size toilets, and their water-saving calculator helps to easily justify sales to large property managers. Aqua Mizer products are available through most of the national distribution chains, plus a growing number of regional and local supply houses.
This small, entrepreneurial company, based in Sarasota, Florida is on the cusp of becoming an important player in innovative plumbing products. With the early success of the Aqua Mizer flush system, it plans to introduce a new product later this year that claims it will be yet another game changer within the plumbing industry. But it's likely that you won't have to wait long for this game changer because they already have a home run with the Aqua Mizer Adjustable Flush System.
Cliff D'Angelo is a LEED AP and 20-year veteran of the plumb products manufacturing and wholesale industries in sales and sales management, with both Kohler Companies and Ferguson Enterprises. He is currently principal owner of GREENCLIFF, LLC, providing both LEED and sales consulting services. Additionally, he is on the forefront of introducing an innovative solar thermal dehumidification technology to the market. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org