Toilet and other water leaks-
Toilets that have leaks can account for, on average, 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year in a home. That’s enough water to fill most backyard swimming pools. Detecting leaks is easy. You can do so using 3 different methods:
*Examine your winter water usage. A family of 4 typically has a serious leak problem if winter water usage exceeds 12,000 gallons per month. This does not necessarily mean that the toilet is the source, but it’s still a good indicator that the toilet, or other plumbing aspects may require attention.
*Check your water meter before and after a period of 2 hours that no water is used. If the meter reads different, you may have a leak.
*For toilets, add a couple drops of food coloring to the reservoir tank, if in 15 minutes the coloring shows up in the tank or anywhere else on the exterior of the toilet without flushing, you have a leak. Be sure to flush right after the experiment, or wash off any coloring to avoid staining.
Often, fixing a leak will simply require changing the flapper at the bottom of the tank. Do not fear, these parts are cheap and easy to replace. This is no daunting task.
The WaterSense Program, run through the Environmental Protection Agency, partners with household plumbing manufacturers to develop specifications for appliances with high water use efficiency.
WaterSense toilets can save up to 11 gallons per day. Over the course of a year, this saves a family about $90 dollars, and around $2,000 over the lifetime of the toilet.
After comparing the lowest retail prices of toilets that meet standard EPA requirements with WaterSense toilets, the WaterSense toilets cost about $60 dollars extra. The webpage used to compare prices can be found here.
Essentially, the retail price increase can be recovered in less than a year through savings on your water bill.