Are you flushing money down the drain due to a leaky toilet?

publication date: Mar 19, 2018
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

Look before you leak...

© Ossi Lehtonen | Dreamstime Stock Photos
As the nation recovers from freezing temperatures wreaking havoc on our plumbing systems, attention is now turning to our toilets – which WaterSafe warns could be flushing money down the drain.

To mark Water Saving Week – which runs from 19th to 23rd March – WaterSafe, the UK body for approved plumbers, is warning people to “look before you leak”.

The organisation is partnering with Waterwise, the UK leading authority on water efficiency, to encourage people to save water. As toilets are one of the most common leaks – affecting around 1 in 10 homes and businesses – this will be the focus of Saving Water in your Home day, which forms part of Water Saving Week.

Why we work with WaterSafe

A toilet leaking clean water from the cistern to the pan can waste up to five full bath tubs (400 litres) of water a day – if you’re on a meter, that could add around £300 a year to your bill.

Your local water supplier may be able to provide free toilet leak detection strips, or you could follow WaterSafe’s advice:

  • 30 minutes after a flush, wipe the back of the pan dry with toilet paper.

  • Place a new, dry sheet of toilet paper across the back of the pan.

  • Without using the toilet, leave it in place for up to three hours, or overnight.

  • If the paper is wet or torn in the morning – you have a leaky loo.

Waterwise’s managing director, Nicci Russell, added: “In recent months there's been a need to use water wisely in the UK as a result of both dry weather and freezing weather. We need to make the water we do have go further every day, and these simple tips to find and fix leaky loos help us all to ensure there's enough water to go round, for people, the economy and the environment.”

WaterSafe is also urging people to look out for dripping taps, showers, radiators and pipework. Tell-tale signs are loss of pressure, rust, water stains on walls, floors or carpets, or mould on ceilings and walls. Not all leaks are easy to spot. Signs that you may have a hidden leak in the home include a higher than normal water bill if you’re on a meter.

Plumbing checks to make on your next home - Watersafe

Julie Spinks, director of WaterSafe said: “We’re urging everyone to check their home for leaks, and particularly their loo, and get them fixed as soon as possible. If you need help, always use a WaterSafe approved plumber – you’ll be safe in the knowledge they are trained to work safely with your drinking water, and can also help homes become more water-efficient.”

You can find out more about Water Safe Week at, where you can download challenges, tips and resources for each day of the week in themes such as the garden, schools, workplaces, communities and, of course, the home.

For more on how to check for a leak at your property and to find an approved plumber visit You can also find information on Twitter @WatersafeUK #LeakyLoos and #WaterSavingWeek.

All our information is brought to you by Kate Faulkner, author of Which? Property books and one of the UK's top property experts.
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