Many modern toilets flush less than two gallons of water. Old toilets flush more than three times that amount. That's why a problem with an old commode can really hurt you financially.
Two weeks after a civic-minded plumber installed a toilet in a rent house for free, we decided to check and see if the new potty solved the problem.
Trey Goacher with Razorback Piping Systems took one look at this seven-and-a-half gallon dinosaur and immediately suspected that it was the cause of Jackie Syke's sky-high water bills.
"The best fix would probably be a new toilet because this one has got a crack in it right here and this flush valve is ancient and by the time you take the tank off you'll probably end up cracking it more and breaking it," explained Goacher back on April 2nd.
Goacher put in a new toilet that day and now, two weeks later, the water bill to the home has dropped from over 80 cubic feet a month to less than eight.
"I see it all the time," says Val Henry, a customer relations specialist with Central Arkansas Water. "And the first time I went out there I told her what was wrong. And she said...I don't know if it was that time or another time...but she said well the landlord is not going to do anything."
Henry says most high water bills are caused by toilets that are out of adjustment due to problems with the hardware inside the tank.
He says the problem gets trickier for renters like Jackie.
She didn't want to put a new toilet into a home she doesn't own, but if the landlord won't do it she gets stuck with an outrageous water bill.
"I don't know what can be done about it but I think somebody needs to step up to the plate and say the landlord is accountable because it is his property and his house," says Henry.
Now we contacted the landlord in this case and he has agreed to forgive six weeks worth of rent...about $700...to help Jackie pay her high water bills, which Central Arkansas Water did agree to lower.
If your toilet is making noise in between flushes, you too have a problem that could be costing you big bucks.
Air date: April 18th, 2013
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