A leaking toilet can use 90,000 gallons of water in 30 days,
Flushing away approximately $650
- Wiggling the handle to make the toilet stop running
- Sounds from the toilet when not in use
- Holding the handle down for long periods when you flush
- Visible signs of leakage
- Use food coloring in top of tank to catch a leaky toilet
Most leaks are easy to detect and repair. For sinks, check faucets and pipes for dripping water.
Replace washers and repair or replace fixtures, if needed.
Dripping faucets can waste up to 2,000 gallons of water each year in the average home.
Leaky toilets can waste as much as 200 gallons per day.
Toilet leaks can waste hundreds of gallons and often times are silent. Even a small leak can add up to a lot of wasted water and money over time. Fortunately, most toilet leaks are easy and inexpensive to repair.
To help determine if you have a leaking toilet, simply remove the tank lid and place a few drops of food coloring in back of the toilet tank. (If you don't have food coloring, you can purchase dye tabs from any hardware or home center). Wait about 30 minutes, without flushing, and then look in the toilet bowl to see of any color has come through. If the water is clear, water is not leaking. If you see food coloring in the bowl you have a leak.
In most cases, you will simply just need to replace the toilet flapper and/or filling mechanism.
Flapper Valve Leaks
The most common reason for a leaking toilet is one that has an improperly working or sealing flapper. The flapper is the rubber valve in the bottom of the tank that lifts up when the toilet is flushed. If the flapper is worn or cracked, it allows water to continuously flow from the tank into the toilet bowl without flushing.
Flush Handle Problems
If the handle needs to be jiggled to keep the toilet from running, the flush level bar and chain (or the handle itself) may be sticking. Adjust the nut that secures it in the toilet tank. If that does not work, the handle may have to be replaced.
Overflow Tube Leaks
Ideally the water level should be set so that is about even with the fill line on the back of the toilet tank (approximately ½" below the overflow tube). If the water is too high in the toilet tank and is spilling into the overflow tube, the water level can be adjusted by turning the adjustment screw or by very gently bending the float arm down so that the water shuts off at a level below the overflow tube.
Note: If none of these steps solve the problem, you may need to contact a plumber to repair or replace the toilet.