This week is Fix-A-Leak Week in North America, and the emphasis is on spreading education and awareness about the two major culprits of water wastage in the home: leaky faucets and leaky toilets. According to the City of Calgary, one in four toilets is silently leaking, and simply detecting that leak and fixing it can save water but also save money.
Testing your toilet for leaks:
- Put several drops of food colouring into your toilet tank, and wait 20 minutes.
- If the water changes colour inside your toilet bowl, you have a leak.
- If you have a leak, you can repair it yourself with this helpful guide from the City of Calgary, or hire a professional plumber.
- Just repairing one toilet leak can save you up to $100 a year!
Detecting other water leaks:
- Turn off all taps and water appliances in your home.
- Watch the triangle dial on your water meter, if it keeps turning you have a leak in your home.
- Check your taps and water appliances for leaks if your meter detects a leak.
- You can also turn off all fixtures and record the reading on your water meter and then leave your home for a few hours and check it when you return. If the number changes, you have a leak.
The City of Calgary recommends that you check your home for leaks at least twice a year, spring and fall are great times to do that. It’s important to remember that even brand new toilets and appliances can leak, and many toilet leaks are silent so you won’t detect them without testing.
Be aware that time-released toilet bowl cleaners that sit in your tank (rather than flush-released ones) can speed up the deterioration of parts in your toilet and cause leaks. If you use these products, you should check your toilet for leaks more frequently. In the spring, don’t forget to check your outside taps for leaks too. [City of Calgary]