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Lifting the lid on leaky loos

Our recent Water Makes It Possible campaign gave us the opportunity to appreciate just how amazing water is, and sadly how much we can all be guilty of taking it for granted. Despite water being a vital resource, we probably don’t give it too much thought – how does it get to my tap? Will there always be enough to go round? However, with growing populations and the impact of climate change putting continued pressure on this precious supply, it has never been so important for us all to do our bit to use water more mindfully.

Man checking toilet

The good news is, if we collectively make small changes to our daily habits, it really can make a big difference. At home, we can make many simple changes which don’t require too much effort. The bad news? – there’s potentially one big water waster in your home and you may not even know it – a leaky loo!

Toilet trouble

Currently there are an estimated 3.6 million leaky toilets in the UK – no, we’re not pulling your chain. Eye watering stuff indeed, especially as each toilet has the potential to waste 400 litres of water every day, that’s a staggering 146,000 litres a year! Despite this, the signs aren’t always obvious. Don’t let leaky loos keep you up all night, check out top tips to sort out troublesome toilets.

Spotting the signs of a leaky loo

EARS – can you hear a constant trickle at the back of the toilet bowl, this could be the first indication you have a problem.

EYES – sometimes leaks can be easy to spot if you know where to look. Can you see rippling or stains around the base of the toilet, accompanied by dampness? It’s a tell-tale sign that you have a leak.

NOSE – does it all smell a bit whiffy? If you can smell sewage, get the problem looked at immediately – not only could it indicate that your toilet is leaking but also a sign there’s a problem with the pipework too.

If you do suspect a leak but still aren’t sure, put some drops of food colouring into the cistern and leave it for a while. If the colour appears in the toilet bowl, you have a leak. Alternatively, wipe the back of the bowl dry and place a dry sheet of toilet paper across the back of it. Leave it for a few hours and if the paper is wet when you come back to it, there’s a leak.

For extra help, you could also contact your water company as many provide ‘leaky loo strips’, which can be placed at the back of the toilet bowl and change colour if a leak is detected.

For advice about leaks anywhere in the home, you can find a list of trusted tradespeople in your area via the WaterSafe UK website.

Whether you’re at home, in the garden or at work, we have lots of great advice to help you use water wisely.


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