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Did you know…toilets are the cause of one of the most common leaks in the home, with around 1 in ten homes and businesses having a leaky loo. According to stats quoted by the pros at Watersafe.org.uk, toilet leaking clean water from the cistern to the pan can waste up to 400 litres of water a day (that’s five full bath tubs) and add around £300 a year to your water bill if left unfixed.

Nobody wants to waste money on a leaky loo, right? But what happens if you don’t know that water is trickling out? The sound of a constant drip at the back of the toilet pan is an obvious sign that something’s not right but some leaks are silent and easy to miss. If you’re suspicious, there are things you can do to figure it out:

Firstly, your local water supplier will be able to provide you with leak detection strips at no cost.

Alternatively:

  • Half an hour after a flush, wipe the back of the pan dry with toilet tissue.
  • Place a new, dry sheet of toilet tissue across the back of the pan.
  • Leave it in place for up to three hours without using the toilet, or overnight.
  • If the paper is wet or torn in the morning – you have a leaky loo.

The next step is to turn off all water at the stop tap (sometimes called stop cocks or stop valves), which controls the water entering your home and is often sited under the kitchen sink but it depends on where the service point enters the property. Sometimes you will have an additional stop valve in your loft or airing cupboard. (A top tip by Watersafe is to find these stop valves and label them before any plumbing emergencies occur.) The next step is to call your local plumber to fix the leak!

Check out “Leaks” at Watersafe.org.uk for more information and for all your plumbing needs, contact the team at AACooper on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk.

This year, Watersafe, the register for approved plumbing businesses, has teamed up with the government and the Met Office for the Get Ready for Winter campaign, which aims to let homeowners know what they can do to make sure their plumbing can weather the icy temperatures forecast this winter season.

Julie Spinks, Director of WaterSafe said: “We are delighted to be co-ordinating the water sector’s efforts around the Get Ready for Winter campaign.

“One key area of preparation homes and businesses can take is to make sure their property is wrapped up – cold temperatures can cause water inside pipes to freeze leading to bursts, floods and the misery of being without water for drinking, cooking and washing.”

There are lots of simple steps households can take to prepare for a cold winter and now is a great time to get ahead and make sure homes are snug:

  • Wrap up pipes and water tanks with lagging – DIY stores have everything you need
  • Fix dripping taps – even a small trickle can result in a frozen pipe
  • Find your home’s stop tap and make sure you can turn it off – most are under the kitchen sink
  • Leave the heating on low if you go away
  • Check that your central heating boiler has been serviced
  • Keep the name of a plumber handy.

The worst that can happen is a burst pipe; if this does happen, Spinks suggests turning off the water at the stop tap and allowing the thawed water to escape through your tap as normal. Then call a plumber!

For more information on all your plumbing needs, contact the AACooper on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk