Does your water bill seem high for no apparent reason? You could have a “hidden” leak. March 15 – 21 is EPA Watersense Fix a Leak Week and toilet leaks are a great place to start.
If your toilet is leaking water right down the drain pipes, you won’t notice any wayward water or drips, but it could be costing you. Most leaky toilets waste approximately 22 gallons of water each day; however, a toilet can waste up to 200 gallons per day.
For reference, the American Water Works Association notes that the average daily water use for each person living in a single-family home in the U.S. is 69.3 gallons. This does not account for water use outside the home. The U.S. Geological Survey reports that each person in the U.S. uses a total average of 80 to 100 gallons of water per day.
According to the EPA’s WaterSense website, an estimated 20 percent of all toilets leak. If you’re concerned about your water bill or want to do your part to conserve water, you can test your toilet quite easily. They recommend putting a drop of food coloring in the tank of the toilet. You can also use powdered fruit drink mixes. After 15 minutes, check the bowl of the toilet to see if any of the colored water has migrated to the bowl without being flushed. If you see food coloring in the bowl, your toilet probably needs a new flapper. Note: Don’t leave the water too long as it may stain the tank.
• For information on the most common household leaks and fix-it-yourself instructions, visit the EPA WaterSense site.