We’ve just had the wettest winter in years, but most experts agree that the longer trend is for water shortages to become more of a problem in the future.
New homes are by law required to have a water meter, and thinking about how we use water in the home is becoming more important.
Here in the UK we use 2 billion litres of water every day just by flushing the toilet, accounting for almost a third of all water use.
So are there ways of cutting this usage and reducing bills and do low flush toilets make a difference to your water bill?
Dual Flush Toilets
Most modern toilets are “dual flush”, giving you a choice of a short flush using only four litres of water or a longer flush using six litres.
Given that an old-fashioned toilet with a pull flush or handle rather than a button uses about thirteen litres per flush, it’s obvious to see that these modern flushing mechanisms could save you money without you noticing any difference at all in the way your toilet flushes.
A basic dual flush toilet costs as little as £50, and this sort of flush system is something to look out for when you are buying a new bathroom suite.
The average household flushes the toilet 5000 times every year, costing 2p each time.
Replacing a toilet with a low flush model which halves the cost per flush to 1p, could save £50 a year easily, meaning your new dual-flush loo pays for itself in just 12 months.
Converting Existing Toilets to Low-Flush
If you are saving up to replace a bathroom suite, or are in a rented property where you are not allowed to make changes, then there are more low-tech methods of reducing the amount of water you use every time you flush.
In the past, people used to put a brick in the cistern to stop it filling up as much, but things have moved on a bit since then and there are now more efficient cistern replacement devices on the market.
Many water companies supply these free of charge, and they will save you about a litre of water every time you flush the toilet.
Cost for Fitting a New Water Saving Toilet
The simplest and cheapest way of installing a new water saving toilet is by simply replacing an old toilet with a new one in the same location in the bathroom as this involves a minimum of plumbing and will only take an hour or so to do.
Expect to pay a local plumber about £100 to £150 to take the old toilet out, dispose of it, and fit your new toilet for you.
If you have the knowledge and tools to remove the old loo yourself, the bill will be lower.
Always shop around for the best price and service by getting at least three quotes in writing from local plumbers found through Top Tradespeople or by asking friends for recommendations, and remember the golden rule of never paying the full price for any job up front.