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Toilet Cistern Tips

12 August 2010

Out of all the items in your house, your toilet cistern is the one which uses the most water (unless you keep the taps running constantly). With a few maintenance tips, you can prevent the wastage of excess water, saving yourself money as you do so.

Leaking Cisterns

A leaking cistern can lead to the wastage of up to twelve litres of water an hour. So if you have a suspiciously high water bill, and you cannot figure out where all this water is that you are paying for, your cistern may very well be leaking. Below are some tips on how to check if your cistern is leaking:

•    Listen for a low humming noise. This is the result of the cistern having to constantly take in more water as water escapes it via the leak. However, a silent cistern can also be a leaky one, and you should try some other methods even if you cannot hear a hum.

•    A very effective way of checking if your cistern is leaking is to put some food colouring into your cistern. Now watch the pan for a few minutes. If there is any sign of food colouring in the pan without you having flushed, it is because your cistern is leaking.

•    Another version of the above point. If you do not have any food colouring, you can put a piece of toilet paper at the back of your pan. If it gets noticeably wetter without you flushing, it might be due to a leak in your cistern.

How Much Water Do I Use Per Flush?

You can check this by following a few easy steps:

•    First, switch off your cistern’s water supply using the tap found beneath or behind the bowl.

•    Now remove the top of your cistern and mark the water level. You can use many different things to do this, but a waterproof marker or piece of tape works well.

•    Now flush the toilet. Since you have switched off the toilet’s water supply, it will not refill.

•    Take a measuring jug filled with water and fill the cistern back to its original level which you marked earlier, noting how much water you are using. The amount of water you use to refill your cistern to its original level is the amount used every time you flush your toilet.

Dual Flushing Cisterns

Another great way to save money is to install a dual flushing cistern if you do not already have one. Most modern toilets come already equipped with dual flushing systems. These kinds of toilet have two buttons on the top of the cistern, one for a full flush and one for a half flush. Where older toilets will use about ten litres of water per flush, the full flush on a dual flush cistern will only use about six, and a half flush will use as little as three.

If you are in the process of replacing your bathroom or toilet, then take the opportunity to buy a modern cistern that is both attractive and efficient.

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