The average person spends about three years of their life using a toilet. This makes it one of the most important and useful appliances in a home. Prolong its life with these useful tips.

• The toilet uses the most water out of any household appliance. Toilet leaks only add to the water consumption and, thus, should be checked for consistently. Note they are not always noticeable. To see if there is an internal leak, put food coloring in the tank and check the toilet bowl later. If the bowl water is colored, there is a leak from the tank. This may mean you need to replace the tank ball or flapper. This test should be performed at least once a year.

• A slow flushing toilet should never be ignored because it can cause overflows and backups. The usual causes are partial clogs, sediment buildup, or malfunctions with equipment in the tank. Conduct periodic checks on your toilet to diagnose the problem.

• Household cleaners are oftentimes detrimental to the proper functioning of a toilet. This is especially true for drop-in cleaner tabs. When they are almost dissolved, the tank flushes the debris into the toilet bowl and it often gets stuck in the port holes, which are vital to the flushing mechanism. This debris is very hard to clean and you can be left waiting months for it to completely dissolve without the help of a professional.

• Never flush sanitary items down the toilet. An eco-friendly alternative to flushing these clog-causing products is to dispose of them in bio-degradable bags, such as the ones produced by Golden Group International.

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