Do you know if you have a leaky toilet? Most of us notice if our toilet is leaking from the outside, but how about the inside. A leaking toilet can waste much as four to five gallons of water per minute and depending upon your water and sewer rates, this could cost you as much as $100 a month. I know I don’t like $100 a month going down the toilet.
It’s easy to check your toilets for leak. You simply need to go into your pantry and retrieve your food coloring. There is no need to spend any money on special tablets from a hardware store.
Place 2-3 drops of food coloring in the tank of your toilet and wait up to 30 minutes to check for leaks. If you do indeed have a leak it will show up sooner rather than later.
In the above right picture, you will notice that the blue is distributing through the tank. This should have been my first indication that there was water movement in the tank, but I didn’t notice this until after I had put coloring in the other tanks in our house. In the other tanks where there was no leak, the coloring stayed in the same general area of the tank.
In the left picture you can see the evidence in the bowl of a leaky toilet in my house. Further evidence was provided when I noticed the water stain going down the back of the bowl where the water comes in. Now, I just need to figure out what part(s) I need to replace to repair this leak.
The repairs to the equipment inside your tank can easily be done by a homeowner and will be much cheaper than the additional costs your are incurring on your water bill. The culprit will generally either be an issue with the float or the flapper.
First check to see if water is water is running in to the overflow tube. If this is the case, then the issue is probably a result of float that needs to be adjusted. If this is not the problem, then the problem could be with your flapper.
To evaluate your flapper, check to see if the chain is the appropriate length by pushing on the flushing lever. There should be some slack in the chain. If the chain is too tight it will pull up on the float and water will leave out. If your chain is at the appropriate length, then check the bottom of the flapper for mineral deposits. Mineral deposits on the bottom can break the seal the flapper has. One other thing that could be wrong is that the flapper is either warped or deteriorated, in which case the flapper will need to be replaced. The lowest priced flapper at Lowes.com is $2.78.
Fixing this problem that is wasting your money and wasting water could be free by just doing some adjusting or cleaning or only cost you a few dollars in a new part. I’d much rather spend a couple dollars and a little bit of time fixing this problem instead of wasting water and money.