Category Archives: Step by Step

How to Install a Dual Flush Kit

Dual-Flush-Toilet-Kit

Okay ladies…put your hair in a pony tail, throw on your comfy fat pants (i.e. sweatpants), and unhook your bra (we all know that is the best part of every day!)…because today’s post is far from glamorous.

We are heading into the bathroom…

Bathroom-After1…for a DIY that isn’t very pretty. I figured we’ve had a lot of glamorous posts lately (like yesterday’s patio reveal…and Bridget’s gorgeous office last week!) so today let’s dish on something a little less beautiful.

Okay, I’m not exactly talking up this DIY project. I swear that it is actually pretty awesome, super easy, and it’s a project that I recommend each and every one of you tackle as soon as possible! Today, I’m going to show you how to install a dual flush kit.

Dual-Flush-Toilet-Kit

So now many of you may be scratching your heads thinking…what is a dual flush kit? Well, it’s a small device that can be installed into most existing toilets to reduce the amount of water it uses each time you flush. To cut to the chase…you hit one button to flush “liquid” waste, and another button to flush ummmm….”#2″. See I told you this isn’t the prettiest project we’ve ever tackled.

I’m guessing you’re starting to see dual flush toilets in many public restrooms, because these bad boys can save money and water. So you’re essentially saving some green, while making your home a little greener. #winwin

Eliminate Common Toilet ProblemsBut, I’m not gonna lie. That’s not the #1 reason why we installed a dual flush in our master bathroom. Sure, I believe in becoming more energy-efficient. And who doesn’t want to save money on their water bill? But the real reason we installed this little guy? Our toilet was driving me bonkers!

The handle and flapper were so old that it was constantly breaking. Often times I would come into the bathroom to find that the toilet has been running all day long. I’d open the back of the tank, push the flapper down, and hope that it would cooperate. Finn and I kept saying we should call the landlord to come fix it, but it just never happened. Sometimes when you’re a renter you hate bugging your landlord every time something small breaks, especially when you know it would just be a heck of a lot faster to fix it yourself. So on a random weekday night, I finally decided to end my hateful relationship with our toilet once and for all.

Save-WaterI found this dual flush kit for $20 at Home Depot. It looked fairly simple to install, and my confidence grew when I saw the words “Install in 10 minutes without tools.” No tools? Yes please!

Dual-Flush-Contraption-ToiletHere is the contraption. It may look complicated and scary…but it really isn’t. The blue part regulates how much water is let out when you flush. You can easily adjust the level right on there.

Dual-Flush-ButtonHere is the new handle. You’ll see the top button is for #1, and bottom button is for #2. It’s actually looks pretty sleek and futuristic-looking if you ask me.

Inside-toilet-tankOkay, so let’s get going on this 10 minute installation. I first opened up the back of my tank and took a looksie around. Not exactly the most gorgeous picture we’ve ever shown on DIY Playbook. But hey, it’s a toilet tank.

The first step is optional…and that is to turn off your water supply and drain the back tank. I decided to forego this optional step. Consider me a lazy do-it-yourselfer. Then it was time to remove all of the old stuff in the tank….the flapper and the handle.

Old-Toilet-FlapperThis required no tools for me. It was just a matter of unhooking a few parts.

Old-Toilet-HandleThe yucky handle and flapper were removed in 2 minutes flat.

Empty-Toilet-BowlNow I had an empty toilet that was ready for new parts.

Installing-Dual-Flush-itTo install, I first slid the bottom part of the kit onto the area where the old flapper was located. The kit even came with a zip tie to hold this piece into place, so I tightened it up nicely. Then I attached the top part of the dual-flush with a simple drop and twist motion.

DSC_0066Next up, installing the new handle. Again, no tools required for this step. You simply push in the blue button and the handle pops off. Then just fish it through the hole in the side of the toilet and tighten by hand.

Toilet-Tank-OpenedThat’s it! Seriously…how easy was that? Before putting the lid back on the tank I tried the buttons a couple of times. Thankfully it was a success.

dual-toilet-flusherHere’s the button from the outside of the tank. When you push button #1, only 3/4’s of a gallon of water is used to flush the bowl. When you push button #2, 1.5 gallons of water are used to clear the toilet bowl. Just call me earth-friendly Casey from here on out. (fun fact: I’m actually born on Earth Day, so perhaps I should try to get that nickname to catch on!)

Now it’s your turn. Go and buy this $20 kit and install it on your home’s toilet. I promise you’ll notice a different in your next water bill.

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5 thoughts on “How to Install a Dual Flush Kit

  1. DIY Playbook

    I am so sorry to hear that you guys had trouble! I hate recommending something and then it doesn’t work! Hmmm…not sure why it wouldn’t give a nice snug fit on the hole. But plumber’s tape was a great idea. I hope it works and stays for you guys!

    Reply
  2. KimiWho.com

    Oh I love this! I wonder how much water (and how much water bill) you’ve saved by using these. I have 3 toilets… so that’s about $60 worth of bathroom hardware. Maybe I will start with installing it just downstairs in the new house where people are more likely to just pee. 😀

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5 thoughts on “How to Install a Dual Flush Kit

  1. DIY Playbook

    I am so sorry to hear that you guys had trouble! I hate recommending something and then it doesn’t work! Hmmm…not sure why it wouldn’t give a nice snug fit on the hole. But plumber’s tape was a great idea. I hope it works and stays for you guys!

    Reply
  2. KimiWho.com

    Oh I love this! I wonder how much water (and how much water bill) you’ve saved by using these. I have 3 toilets… so that’s about $60 worth of bathroom hardware. Maybe I will start with installing it just downstairs in the new house where people are more likely to just pee. 😀

    Reply

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How to Re-Screen a Sliding Door

New-Screen-Door
It was a long winter here in Chicago, and we’re all very happy to no longer hear 2 scary words (“polar vortex”). The moment it became even somewhat warm outside, Finn & I opened the windows, pushed open the patio door, and breathed in the fresh spring air! We have a great little balcony area that we really enjoy, and it’s great to open up the sliding door and let lots of sunshine and air inside our condo.
On one particularly nice spring night, we grilled dinner and enjoyed a couple drinks outside, leaving our sliding door wide open. When we came back indoors, we looked on the ceiling and I screamed. There were bugs and flies all over the place. Holy hell, you should have seen me. Poor Finn had to spend all night trying to get all of the flies back outside, while I huddled in the corner with a blanket over my head until he gave the all clear.
After that incident…it was clear that we needed to add a screen door to our balcony. No more bug city in our place. (side note: remember the candy Bug City? I looooved those!)
how to re-screen a sliding door
open balcony door
We lucked out and actually found the sliding screen door (that was supposed to be on our door) tucked behind our washing machine in our unit. So we had the first step down, but we still need to “screen” the screen door. I’m not gonna lie, I was a bit intimidated…I’ve never done this before! But after reading about it online, I headed to Ace Hardware and came home with all of the supplies to tackle this DIY project.
spline

The first thing you will need is called spline. Spline is a flexible strip that you insert into the grooves of the door to hold the screen in place. It comes in multiple sizes, so I made sure to check out my screen door before heading to the store.

mesh screen

Then you’ll obviously need some screen.

spline roller
Also, be sure to grab a spline roller. It’s a little pizza cutter looking thing that you’ll use to push the spline into the grooves of the screen door.
utility knife
A utility knife will come in handy to cut any excess screen, so be sure to keep that nearby.
Okay, so that’s seriously all you need for this project. The screen door, screen, spline, spline roller, and a utility knife. Boom, done.
lay mesh screen on door
To begin, I laid out the screen door flat on the ground. Then I laid the screen over it, making sure it stayed straight across.
using spline
Next, I grabbed the spline and used the spline roller to insert it into the groove of the side.
using a spline roller
The spline roller is a must for this step. It gets the spline in there nice and snug, and really helps to keep the screen secure. Be sure to pull the screen tightly across, and re-adjust as you go around the perimeter of the screen door. You don’t want the screen to be lopsided, and you also don’t want it to be too loose on the door. Go slow, take your time, and get the screen on there nicely.
cutting mesh with utility knife
Once you’ve got the spline wrapped around all 4 sides of the screen door, grab that utility knife and cut off the end of the spline. Then carefully cut the excess screen from each side. I say carefully, because you definitely don’t want to accidentally cut the screen. That would ruin all of your hard work. That would be no bueno.
Once you’re all done with that, use the spline roller once more to give the entire perimeter a good once over. You just want to make sure the spline is in there to stay, because that’s the only thing holding the actual screen in place.
spraying slide-all
Finally, the door was re-screened and up on the tracks. But, it was a bit difficult to open and close so I grabbed some spray lubricant to get the tracks nice and greased up.
slide-all
A few sprays of this stuff, and we were good to go!
screen door
So there you go…that’s how you re-screen a sliding door. Not that difficult right? For some reason this project totally intimidated me, but luckily my worries were unfounded. Not the most glamorous DIY project, but definitely a necessary one!
screen door on balcony
We can now enjoy the nice Chicago breeze…minus the bugs. Bring on those warm summer nights!
Casey DIY Playbook
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3 thoughts on “How to Re-Screen a Sliding Door

  1. Marguerite Shipley

    OK, back up. What about the door handle? Does that come off before you do this, and back on afterwards. I have one that’s torn around there. I didn’t think it came off easily. I will re-check when I get home. Maybe you could describe the different types of screen. You would want a sturdy one for a door.

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    1. DIY Playbook

      You’ll take the door handle off on the side where you’re inserting the new screen. You’ll just need a screwdriver and can simply unscrew some small screws on there. As for the screen, it depends on where your door is and the use it gets. They have more durable ones specific for pets, but the thicker you go…the harder it is to re-screen. Good luck!

    2. Marguerite Shipley

      Thanks. And in that case, I may just remove that door thingee, and patch that section with a screen patch. It’s a door that’s not used much.

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3 thoughts on “How to Re-Screen a Sliding Door

  1. Marguerite Shipley

    OK, back up. What about the door handle? Does that come off before you do this, and back on afterwards. I have one that’s torn around there. I didn’t think it came off easily. I will re-check when I get home. Maybe you could describe the different types of screen. You would want a sturdy one for a door.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      You’ll take the door handle off on the side where you’re inserting the new screen. You’ll just need a screwdriver and can simply unscrew some small screws on there. As for the screen, it depends on where your door is and the use it gets. They have more durable ones specific for pets, but the thicker you go…the harder it is to re-screen. Good luck!

    2. Marguerite Shipley

      Thanks. And in that case, I may just remove that door thingee, and patch that section with a screen patch. It’s a door that’s not used much.

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