Those Infuriating Self-flushing Public Toilets

August 11, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Posted in Practical tips | 1 Comment
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You have probably have encountered one of those public toilets that – for better sanitation – flushes itself when a person stands up after having used the toilet.

In principle, this is a good thing.

But the toilet uses an overly simple criterion to decide when to flush.  It flushes when anything moves.

That can lead to scenarios like this:

– You want to place paper around the toilet seat before you sit on it.

– In doing so, you trigger a flush.

– The flush splatters water on the paper you have just placed on
the seat, and probably elsewhere on the seat.  Now you are back
to square one (no pun intended).

– Repeat, with ever mounting frustration.

After several such encounters, I found the solution:

– Find the Evil Eye, the optical sensor that tells the mechanism
that something has moved.  It is usually covered by dark red
glass, and is mounted on the wall or pipe behind the toilet.

– Tear off a single square of toilet paper, and tear from it
a piece that is just slightly larger than the Evil Eye.

– Moisten it with spit.

– Place it over the Evil Eye.  Surface tension will hold it in
place.  The Evil Eye is temporarily blind.

– Happily, gloatingly, do what you intended to do.

– After you stand up, remove the moist piece of paper.
The toilet will now flush.

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  1. […] placing your hands near the sensor of an automatic faucet, or getting up from a self-flushing toilet, or approaching at night a building whose front light is turned on and off by a motion […]


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