They say “Time is money.” But in your home, so is water. If you have a standard toilet, every time you flush that’s up to seven gallons of water going down the drain. One way you can cut down on your water bill is to install a new low-flow toilet, but that could cost you over $100 up front.
A cheaper option is to modify your existing toilet so it uses less water – while still getting the job done. The following tips are easy DIY projects. And you can try one or all of them to see how they impact your water bill.
Tip 1: Check for leaks
The first place to start to save water is making sure you’re not wasting any due to leaks. If your toilet is constantly running or refilling, it might be a sign that some internal parts are worn out and need to be replaced.
To check for leaks, you can pour some food coloring or drop a Detect-A-Leak tablet into the tank. Wait about 15 minutes, and if there’s coloring now in your bowl, then you have a small leak. Once you fix it, you will instantly be saving water.
Tips 2: Use a tank bag
You may have heard of people placing bricks in their toilet tanks to displace water. This is a bad idea because the brick can break down and dissolve in your toilet (not a good thing). Instead, buy a toilet bag for a few dollars, which is designed for the same purpose but is safer and more durable.
Fill the bag with water, then place at the bottom of your tank. Check to make sure your toilet still has enough power for a successful flush – if not, take some water out of the tank bag and try again.
Tip 3: Switch to an adjustable flapper
Inside the toilet tank, the flapper is a rubber part that plugs the drain hole. It lifts up when you flush, allowing water to flow into the bowl, and then closes again when the tank refills. Some flappers have adjustable settings that make it easy to regulate how fast or slow it closes when the tank is filling. Switching out the flapper is easy, and installing an adjustable model can save you a few gallons of water every day.
Tip 4: Install a fill cycle diverter
After you flush the toilet, the bowl ends up filling faster than the tank. But the incoming water won’t cut off until the tank reaches the fill level, so that means extra (wasted) water is ending up in the bowl. That’s where a fill cycle diverter comes into play. This inexpensive plastic device is installed inside the tank and reroutes water so the toilet fills more efficiently.
Turning your standard toilet into a low-flow, water-saving toilet isn’t hard, but it does take some experimentation to get things just right. If you follow these tips and your toilet isn’t flushing properly, you might have to make some adjustments to get everything working properly. Don’t get discouraged with a little trial and error. We also recommend that you do any plumbing work when you’ll have plenty of time to be home and keep an eye on things afterward, just to make sure there isn’t a problem.
If at any point you encounter issues with your toilet, don’t hesitate to call Pratt Plumbing at (806) 373-7866. Our licensed plumbers will make sure your toilet is running effectively and efficiently.