With the season of holiday celebrations and family gatherings rapidly approaching, October is an excellent time of year to focus on one of the most often used and disregarded fixtures in the home…the toilet!
“There are very few things that can ruin a festivity faster than a flooded bathroom or clogged toilet,” says Jason Palmer, Master Plumber and President of Palmer’s Plumbing. “In addition to minimizing plumbing emergencies, regular toilet maintenance can help conserve water and significantly reduce your water bill for those with a public water supply.”
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, toilets are by far the main source of water use in the home, accounting for nearly 30% of residential indoor water consumption. Toilets also happen to be a major source of wasted water due to leaks and/or inefficiency. By upgrading a toilet that was installed between 1980 and 1994 with a new Water Sense labeled toilet a family of four could save 16,000 gallons of water annually (the equivalent of 400 loads of laundry) and approximately $140 annually on their utility bill.
If you’re not ready to make the upgrade, you can help keep your toilet in good working condition by doing the following:
• Avoid drop-in-the-bowl cleaning tablets. They can clog the jets, corrode the metals and wear out the rubber gaskets more quickly.
• Avoid using too many over-the-counter liquid drain clearing products. Most of the time these products don’t work and can even cause more trouble in the long run.
• Check your toilet for silent leaks by placing a few drops of dark food coloring in the toilet tank and wait 15 minutes. If the dye appears in the bowl, you may need to replace the flapper at the bottom of the tank. Be sure to wash away any food coloring immediately afterwards. You can often prevent leaks by replacing the flapper and fill valves every few years.
For more information or a free in home job assessment, call Palmer’s Plumbing at 410-827-4546 or visit www.palmersplumbing.com