Water Conservation in the Bathroom

Water Conservation Tips for the Bathroom

  • Many toilets have slow, silent leaks. As the tank’s water level drops, the toilet will briefly run to replace lost water. This may be very quick, quiet, or even silent... You might observe occasional subtle water movement in bowl without flushing. You can check for silent toilet leaks with a simple "dye-test." 
    • How to do a dye-test: First, add several drops of food coloring, or a dye tablet, to the tank. If the toilet flapper is leaking, color will appear in the toilet bowl within 30 minutes. (Flush as soon as the test is complete, since food coloring may stain the tank.)
      • Looking for more guidance? The website www.ToiletFlapper.org contains a brief video tutorial showing how to do a dye-test.
    • Did you know? A poorly sealing flapper can waste as much as 200 gallons of water per day and may cost hundreds of dollars per year! Fortunately, most replacement parts for toilets are inexpensive, readily available, and easily installed. There's no reason to wait - fix it today!

Toilet - dye test
  • The Toilet Flapper website is a good source of information about replacing a leaky flapper. The site contains a brief instructional video, as well as a list of suggested replacement parts for various makes and models of toilets. Note: Not every replacement flapper is designed to maintain the high efficiency flush of the original stock parts, therefore choosing the correct flapper is the best way to maintain the savings of high-efficiency fixtures. Not all “universal fit” replacement flappers are created equal! A poor-fitting replacement can actually make a minor problem worse… Be sure to double-check that the new flapper provides a good seal by repeating the dye-test after installation. 
  • Check that the water level in the toilet tank is at or below the fill line marked on the overflow tube. Any water that is spilling over the top of the overflow tube is silently flowing directly down the drain. Adjust the fill level of the tank. ConserveH2O.org provides an informative video describing how to check and repair this issue.
  • If the toilet handle frequently sticks in the flush position, requiring you to "jiggle the handle," the flapper is remaining wide-open. Sometimes, this is the result of a poor seal. Other times, the chain may be kinking or something is interfering with the flapper's closing. Check that the chain is set to the correct length and assure smooth operation. This type of running toilet issue can waste over 200 gallons per hour. That can quickly add up to a BIG water bill.
  • Consider replacement of older fixtures with new high-efficiency units, which use less than half the water of older models. Look for the EPA WaterSense label. (Note: Some Pasco County Utilities customers are eligible for rebates when replacing old high-use toilets. Visit our rebate program page for more information on our rebate program criteria.)
  • If replacing a toilet, visit the Maximum Performance website for helpful tips, and to check the "MaP score". (MaP stands for Maximum Performance.) The MaP score tells how well a toilet performed in independent flush testing, and will show which fixtures actually exceeded the EPA WaterSense program's efficiency and performance criteria.
  • Don't use the toilet as a trashcan! Dispose of tissues, insects and other similar waste in the trash rather than the toilet.
  • Don't let water run while shaving, washing your face or brushing your teeth.
  • Install a displacement device such as a bag or bottle inside the toilet tank to cut down on the amount of water needed for each flush. Be sure installation does not interfere with the operating parts.
  • Replace your shower head with a high-efficiency version. Look for the EPA WaterSense label for efficiency and performance. Some units are available that allow you to cut off the flow without adjusting the water temperature knobs.
  • Take short showers. Or, for even more savings, briefly turn the water on to get wet; turn it off to lather up; then turn it back on to rinse off. Repeat this procedure when washing your hair.
  • Place a bucket in the shower to catch excess water and use this to water plants. The same technique can be used when washing dishes or vegetables in the sink.

For More Information

Return to the main Water Conservation page for additional tips to save water in and around the house. For more information or to ask questions, email the Utilities Department or call at (727) 847-8131.