Flushing Out the Facts on Toilet Leaks

Did you know…? A leaking toilet is the most common type of leak found inside the home and can waste 200 gallons of water per day. That’s enough to wash seven loads of laundry every day for a month!

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It’s more likely that you will hear a leaking toilet before you see it. While water seeping out from the bottom of a toilet is one type of leak, a more common leak is a “running toilet” —one that constantly runs even when it’s not being used.

Chances are if you can hear your toilet running you have an issue. Confirming a leak is simple: Just add a little food coloring or a dye tab to the tank and wait about 15 minutes. If there is colored water in the bowl, you have a leak.

The good news is, it’s often quick, easy and inexpensive to fix toilet leaks. The cause is often a worn out toilet flapper. Flappers are rubber valves that hold and release water from the tank. Over time, mineral buildup and decay can allow water to leak past the flapper. Turn off the water to your toilet and replace your old flapper with the same or a universal model, typically found at a home improvement or hardware store. When in doubt, contact a professional plumber for help.

And, if you decide that a new commode is the better option, be sure to visit our rebates page. Many local water providers offer rebates to replace older toilets with a shiny new efficient model.

Looking for more information? Check out these videos on finding and fixing toilet leaks:*

Detecting and fixing a leaky toilet (Regional Water Providers Consortium)

Replace your leaky toilet flapper (WaterSense)

How to fix most running toilets (Dad, how do I?)

* The instructional videos listed provide general guidelines. RWA or its members will not be responsible for any damage to your home, landscape or appliances from following the procedures in these videos.