Leaking toilets result in six billion gallons of water loss every day according to Richard Quintana, founder of AquaOne Technologies. That astonishing figure is a real problem with financial and physical effects. Here’s how the water gets washed away. Quintana says there are more than one billion toilets in the U.S. and, according to the American Water Works Association, one out of five leaks. The toilets can lose anywhere from 30 to 500 gallons of water daily just from a small silent leak that is the size of a staple.
According to a report from the Associated Press, handyman jobs are increasing for practical repairs like leaking toilets. These days, in a tough economy, homeowners are trying to preserve their homes and to conserve wherever they can. But, Quintana says it’s not just water loss which translates to financial loss that can hurt homeowners. Leaky toilets lead to black mold and even injuries.
“A senior who had a problem with his toilet getting plugged walked into the bathroom and didn’t notice the water on the floor and had a slip and fall injury,” says Quintana. Due to his age and the injury, the fall landed him in a nursing facility.
That’s why Quintana promotes the use of a small product that’s the size of a goose egg. The product, H2Orb, is a water management system that has a sophisticated microprocessor in it to help with toilet overflows and water loss by detecting, identifying, and resolving toilet malfunctions. The product was initially designed for use in senior housing and assisted living facilities but today it’s being used by homeowners to ward off toilet troubles.
Quintana says the product not only stops overflow but it also tells you where a leak exists. “It can tell you if you have a silent leak. A silent leak is often from a flapper that’s closed but it’s [slightly] warped,” says Quintana. The flapper is the part of the rubber mechanism on the flush valve that seals water into and out of the tank when the toilet is flushed. A silent leak can cause significant water loss.
“The H2Orb can tell you exactly what needs to be taken care of in your toilet. It will show you an icon on the device screen telling you to change a particular part,” says Quintana. The device actually sounds an alarm and stops the water flow. For more information visit “A toilet overflow creates a tremendous amount of property damage and one leaky toilet alone can cause that in your home,” says Quintana.
Here are a few tips to help prevent water loss and leaks.
1. Check toilet for cracks. Even a tiny crack in a toilet can cause significant water damage that may not be visible unless inspected thoroughly.
2. Make sure the base of the toilet is sealed using special waterproof caulking.
3. Replace flappers every two to three years or as needed.
4. Install appropriate device to detect leaks and manage possible toilet overflows.
5. Check for toilet sweat. Not a pleasant concept, it can cause water damage. In regions where the water coming into the toilet is colder than the humidity in the room, the toilet can produce condensation and leave a puddle of water behind the toilet.
Toilet insulation kits are available. They provide rigid pieces of foam that fit inside the tank and prevent the cold water from touching the tank walls. Or you can buy a new toilet with an insulated tank.