A leaky toilet can be tricky to flush out, but if you suspect there's an issue, it's imperative that you detect it early and take steps to get it fixed in order to make sure your monthly water bill doesn't keep running up. Read on to discover some tips on how to detect a leaky toilet, and contact the experts at WaterSmart to take care of all your plumbing needs.
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How to Detect A Leaky Toilet
Here is a very quick and easy method to detect a leaky toilet.
1. Remove the Tank Lid
A basic first step, but if you're unsure, the lid is located on top, as seen to the far right of the diagram below.
2. Flush Your Toilet
With the lid off, you need to push the lever down and wait for the tank to refill to the designated water line to fully complete the flush cycle.
A look inside your toilet tank is necessary to detect a leak.
3. Add Some Colour
Next, you need to drop about 4 or 5 drops of food colouring into the toilet tank. To avoid potential confusion, use a dark colour such as blue or red instead of yellow.
4. Check the Bowl
After waiting approximately 30 minutes, check the water in your toilet blow. If the water is clear, you're in the clear; if there are shades of the food colouring present, you've got a leak. It's good practice to do this experiment in all the toilets in your home to make it's an isolated leak.
5. Other Tests You Can Run
If the food colouring test doesn't work but you still think you may have a leaky toilet, there are a couple other things you can try via WikiHow:
- Examine the water level: Remove the toilet tank lid and take a look inside. If the water level is well above the overflow pipe, check the float. As a reminder, the float rises with the water and tells the inlet valve on the float when to shut off the water valve. If the water keeps flowing past the overflow tube, there is likely a leak.
- Check the inlet valve: Flush your toilet and lift the rod that holds the float as the water rises. If you hear the water stop, the problem is caused by the float, and it likely needs to be replaced. A new float and rod are very easy to replace and will only cost a few dollars at the hardware store.
- Test your flapper. If the water level of the tank is not surpassing the overflow tube, but you still hear or see excess water flowing into the bowl, it’s time to check the flapper. The flapper is the round rubber seal that sits at the bottom of the tank. Its purpose is to stop the water inside the tank from entering the toilet bowl. Turn off your water supply valve near the toilet, and check if the water level in the tank decreases. If there is a decrease after 15-20 minutes, the problem could be due to the flapper. There could either be a leak in the flapper or the chain may be too tight.
To guide you through these checks, here's a handy guide to the insides of your toilet tank.
2. Fill valve
3. Float arm
4. Tank fill tube
5. Bowl fill tube
6. Flush valve flapper
7. Overflow tube
8. Flush handle
10. Fill line
11. Float valve
12. Flush tube
By Klork (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Leaky Toilet? Trust WaterSmart!
If you do indeed diagnose a leaky toilet, you can try to fix it on your own, referring back to our series on "How To Replace A Toilet."
The best option, however, is to trust WaterSmart for any and all of your plumbing requirements. Our master plumbers have been servicing the Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, and surrounding areas over 20 years. We have the experience and know-how to quickly and efficiently address any your leaky toilet, or any other plumbing issue you may have.
Contact us today for your free estimate.