This month, we’ve been talking a lot about the little changes Albertans can make to lower their utility bill and increase their energy efficiency. We’ve talked about hot water tank insulation, pipe insulation, furnace filters, and the Residential No-Charge Energy Saving Program. But one thing we haven’t talked about is toilets, and how yours might be costing you more than you know.
Is it Leaking?
When a toilet leaks, you don’t usually end up with water all over the floor — though that can happen too. Instead, the water is kept contained within the plumbing system, but the toilet is constantly running a little bit. Some toilets are really obvious, and you’ll hear them or see a constant movement in the bowl. Others are more subtle. An easy way to check is to just drip some food colouring into the top tank and leave the toilet alone for a couple hours. If the bowl is coloured when you come back, you have a leaky toilet.
Once you’ve determined that your toilet is in fact leaking, you’ll have to decide whether to have it replaced or just repaired. Here are a few things you may want to consider. First, is the porcelain in good shape? Cracks in the porcelain, even if they are very thin or small suggest your toilet is in danger of causing major problems at some point. While the crack may not look significant to you, it shows a weakness in the toilet. A little extra pressure in the wrong place may allow the porcelain to shatter causing a major issue. Second, you should look at how old your toilet is. Older toilets use a lot more water than the newer models. They need to because they aren’t designed as well, so they’ll get clogged with less water.
Replacing an older toilet isn’t a bad idea if it’s leaking, uses a lot of water with each flush, or has some cracks in the porcelain. We definitely recommend that you look into purchasing a high-efficiency toilet that uses a minimal amount of water with each flush. A good option can be a toilet with a two-tier flush. That gives you the option to use more water when you need it and less when you don’t.
When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to, and there’s nothing worse than a malfunctioning toilet when nature calls. While most of us in Calgary are fortunate enough to have another toilet in their home, it’s still frustrating to be down an option. We can help. Whether you’re looking at repairing your old toilet or just having it replaced, contact the experts at Plumbing Paramedics today!