We’re experiencing an extreme drought and need to conserve as much water as possible. Have you checked your toilet for leaks lately?
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, one in every five household toilets leaks – and a leaking toilet can waste more than 100 gallons of water every day!
Since the leaks are usually silent, here’s a simple way to know if your toilet is leaking: put a few drops of food coloring or dye in the toilet tank. If the dye shows up in the unflushed toilet bowl after 15 minutes, the toilet is leaking.
Leaking is usually caused by a worn-out or poorly fitting flapper valve in the tank. (This problem might occur more often if you’re using in-tank cleaners that release bleach into the tank water; excessive chlorine can damage flapper valves over time.) A replacement flapper valve (available at any hardware store) is inexpensive and easy to install.
If replacing the flapper valve doesn’t do the trick and you need to replace the entire toilet, look for a model with “WaterSense” on the label. According to the EPA, replacing an older, inefficient toilet with a new WaterSense model could save up to 13,000 gallons of water per year!
For more information on how to detect and repair common household water leaks, please visit the EPA’s website.