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September 2010
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CityLink Seattle

Leaks Equal Lost Dollars

Finding and fixing leaks is an easy way to save money on utility bills. Leaky toilets, faucets, and outdoor watering systems can add up to hundreds of dollars and waste thousands of gallons of water each year.

Of all the leaks in the home, toilet leaks are the most frequent, and often the costliest. Unlike faucet leaks, toilet leaks can go undetected since they can be silent. Fortunately most toilet leaks are relatively easy to fix.

Here’s how to check and fix a leaky toilet:

Remove the toilet tank lid.

Put several drops of food coloring in the tank. Replace the lid but don’t flush the toilet. After 10 minutes, look in the bowl. If you see color in the bowl, you have a leak, probably from a worn flapper.

Remove the flapper.

To remove the flapper disconnect the chain from the flush arm, unclip the flapper from the overfill valve. Purchasing the wrong flapper might compromise your toilet’s flushing performance. There are many different flappers on the market, so make sure you bring your old flapper with you to the store.

Consider an upgrade.

If your toilet was made before 1994, consider replacing it with a high-efficiency WaterSense-labeled toilet. Upgrading to a WaterSense-labeled toilet not only makes good economic sense, you can also be assured of superior performance.

For a limited time, Seattle Public Utilities customers who replace their old toilets with new WaterSense-labeled models are eligible for a $30 rebate. To learn more about the $30 rebate or how to find leaks, visit www.savingwater.org or call 206-684-SAVE (7283).