Have you swiped properly?

New poll reveals what lockdown Brits really do in the loo.

From internet dating to dodging home-schooling, locked-in Brits are flocking to their last remaining safe haven – the loo.

A poll by water firm United Utilities shows the younger you are, the less likely it is that you’re just in there doing your business.

A third of under 55s say they escape to the littlest room to get away from family or housemates. More than a fifth of parents admit to using the loo to escape home-schooling. And nearly one in five 25 to 34-year-olds say they’re in there for more than five hours every day.

Some of them are swiping rather than wiping. Six per cent of under 34s say they use dating apps in the loo.

The survey of 1,000 people in the North West of England was carried out to uncover the problem of leaky loos, which cost the UK a staggering 397 million litres of lost water every day – enough to supply an extra 2.8 million people*.

If you’re on a meter, a single leaky loo could cost up to an extra £400 a year on your water bill – money that is literally going down the drain.

The problem is that with modern toilets it’s not very obvious your loo’s leaking until you get your bill.

That’s bad news for the environment and household budgets.

TV psychologist and two times UK Dating Expert of the Year, Jo Hemmings said: “These findings from United Utilities show how much Brits value their loo – and how versatile the room can be. From meditating to escapism or looking for love, the loo represents a unique form of privacy so it’s no surprise it’s the ultimate spot to find a bit of peace from family and housemates”

Emma McCabe, Water Efficiency Manager at United Utilities, said: “With people being at home more often, now is a great opportunity for people in the North West to check their loos for any signs of a leak.”

Former UK Plumber of the Year Drew Styles, from Wigan, is also helping get the message out that fixing leaks loos is good for your pocket and the planet.

As United Utilities’ leaky loo ambassador, Drew will be featuring in series of videos to help explain to people in the North West what leaky loo signs to look out for and why we should be getting our loos fixed. 

Said Drew: “Leaking loos are a really common problem, but they are usually pretty easy to fix for a trained professional. Most of the time I can even get them fixed on my first visit and help stop my customers from losing water straightaway.”

Here are Drew’s top signs to look out for to check if you’ve got a leaky loo:

1) Listen out for a constant trickling noise from your loo 

2) Look to see if you can spot water rippling on the surface

3) Check your water bills – leaky loos lose between 215 and 400 litres a day, which is equal to having five or more extra people in your house. If you’re on a water meter and you have a leaky loo you might find you have an unusually high water bill 

An easy way to test your loo for leaks are Leaky Loo Strips, which many water companies, like United Utilities, give away for free. Check at https://www.savewatersavemoney.co.uk/

Survey Methodology

● This study was commissioned by United Utilities conducted by OnePoll.

● 1,000 people were surveyed online across the North West of the England covering Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, and Merseyside.