Are you flushing money down your toilet?
If you have an old high-volume toilet that uses 3.5 - 7.0 gallons per flush (gpf) you could be unknowingly wasting water. You can save water and money by replacing any high flow toilets with ULF toilets or HETs. Tampa Bay Water estimates that single-family households replacing high-volume toilets may save up to 32 gallons of water daily.
Choose a new toilet carefully. Not all toilets perform alike. Consider factors such as style, performance, fit and color of your toilet. To keep your toilet working at peak efficiency, check periodically for leaks and replace worn internal parts.
Most toilets have a rubber valve called a flapper that holds the water in the tank until it is flushed. Over time, usually about a year, the flappers may begin to warp and allow water to leak into the bowl. A leaking flapper can waste hundreds of gallons of water per day, and you may not be able to hear the leak.
Flappers should be tested periodically by placing dye tablets in the tank to see if the color appears in the bowl without flushing. If it does, the flapper should be replaced.
The second important item to know is that when you replace the flapper it must be designed specifically for your brand and model of toilet. If it does not match, your toilet may use two to three times more water than it was designed touse. Check with plumbing stores or home improvement centers that sell your brand of toilet to purchase the correct flapper. A "generic" flapper may notwork correctly in your toilet.
(page last reviewed: 11/22/13)