The Most Common Source of Household Leaks

Toilets are the most common source of household leaks.

In many cases, a toilet leak is silent, making it difficult to spot. These leaks can range in size from less than a gallon per hour to multiple gallons per hour.

Leaky toilets are one of the most costly and frustrating household wastes of water. Toilet leaks can range  from small to large, from being heard or silent or constant to random. They all cause water waste and can raise your bill.  Fortunately, most toilet leaks are relatively easy to fix. If a toilet is functioning properly, the only time that water
should move from the tank to the bowl is when the toilet is being flushed. A leaking toilet loses water from the tank to the bowl without being flushed, which is typically due to an improperly adjusted or broken fill valve causing water to enter the tank and flow into the overflow tube.

  • Most toilet leaks are caused by a faulty valve (also known as “flush valve ball” or “tank stopper”). A flapper valve should be replaced every three to five years. Most hardware, plumbing and home improvement stores supply flappers. How to check for a leaky toilet flush valve (flapper):
  • Carefully remove and set aside the tank lid.
  • Add some food coloring or a dye tablet to turn the water a different color and put the tank lid back on.
  • Wait 20-30 minutes. Do not flush during this time!
  • Go back and check the toilet bowl. If dye appears in the toilet bowl, your toilet is leaking and needs to be fixed.