Are you flushing $580 down the toilet?

A leaky faucet or toilet is literally money going down the drain. Instead, spend a weekend (or a few hundred dollars for a plumber) and you’ll save a chunk of change each year.

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by Romana King
August 19th, 2011

Online only.

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A tap that leaks only one drop of water per second adds up to 10,000 litres of water lost over the course of a year — that’s the equivalent of 70 baths! True: the cost isn’t going to break the bank — about $30 per year — but the impact on pipes and sink fixtures can be corrosive, not to mention it’s a terrible waste of a valuable resource.

To fix a leaky faucet try your hand at changing the fixture’s washer (for a good how-to go to the HowStuffWorks website) or call a plumber.

But not all leaks are easily noticeable. For instance, a toilet that continues to run after flushing wastes up to 200,000 litres per year — the equivalent of 1,400 baths. That’s like flushing $580 down your toilet each year!

To determine if you have a leaky toilet place a few drops of food colouring (or a dye test tablet, but food colouring works just fine) into your toilet tank. The tank is the back section of your toilet, that has a lid you lift off. Now don’t flush. After 10 to 15 minutes check your toilet bowl. If the colour of the water in the bowl has changed, your toilet has a leak and should be repaired. You can attempt this task yourself (here’s a handy how-to guide) or you spend a few hundred dollars on a plumber.

Make these small changes and you could save more than $600 on your water bill each year.

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