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Home Inspector with Florida Healthy Home Inspections

I found this article on the Real Estate Journal and thought it was some great information... 

Check the Bathroom to Avoid
Flushing Your Money Away...

Want a quick way to lower your utility bills? Check for water leaks, starting with the toilet.

"Most toilet leaks are silent; you can't see or hear them," says Helga Kessler, public service manager with the St. Paul, Minn., water utility.

A leaky toilet is the most common reason for a spike in home water bills. The city of Portland, Ore., estimates a silent leak can waste as much as 300 gallons of water a day without anyone noticing.

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The cost of that leak will vary depending on where you live. In Albuquerque, for example, a 300-gallon-a-day leak costs $204 over the course of a year. That cost jumps to $256 per year if you live in St. Paul, Minn. And those figures don't include fees for sewage services.

By comparison, a faucet that leaks two drops of water every second costs about $10 a year in Albuquerque and $12 in St. Paul.

Checking for toilet leaks is relatively simple. Add dye to the water tank -- 10 drops of food coloring are enough -- and wait about 30 minutes. If the water in the toilet bowl has even a hint of color when you return, you have a leak.

Most leaks are caused by a bad "flapper," the circular object that covers the hole in the bottom of the tank. Flappers are fairly easy to replace, and you can buy one for less than $5 at a hardware store.

You can also check with your local water utility if you suspect you have a water leak in your toilet or elsewhere. Some utilities offer free audits to detect leaks. Others offer free pamphlets that teach you how to find and fix leaks on your own.

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Jerry Andrews

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