Are your toilets running? Now that is a question that just cries out for a punch line. When this becomes pertinent to your home or place of business it’s no laughing matter. Leaking toilets can cause high water bills and even physical property damage. Should this occur, it will be tears of sadness and not laughter from a joke that you’d be experiencing.
High Water Bill?
Believe it or not, running toilets can double a water bill. I’m not even talking full blown constant flushing. That would be an obvious waste, no pun intended. Even a small constant running of water that can barely be heard and hardly even seen. This leak would be an invisible leak where the water just constantly goes down the drain.
If you listen carefully to the toilet tank, then you will more than likely hear a slight hissing sound. This indicates the fill valve is slowly allowing water to pass through it. The water in the tank would then “overflow” into the top of the flush valve. That is the piece in the center of the toilets tank. Water would go directly into the bowl and then into the house drain.
A visible sign of this would be looking into the toilet bowl to see if any water waves are present. These waves could be extremely small and hard to locate. If present, would show a definite leak from the toilets tank to the bowl. Other possible reasons would be a bad flapper or a bad flush valve gasket. That seals the flush valve to the inside of the tank. If this were happening, then the noticeable issue would be hearing the toilet occasionally refilling itself when not in use.
DIY Testing for Toilets
A good DIY test for homeowners is adding food coloring to the toilets tank. If the color shows up in the bowl without flushing, then there is a leak present. First thing we would recommend is replacing the flapper. As a matter of practice, we would recommend replacing the flapper, fill valve and supply line. This helps to prevent possible leaks from the working on older toilet parts. If the flush valve gasket is the issue, then a complete tank rebuild would be the suggested remedy. This requires removing the tank from the bowl and replacing all the parts inside the tank.
A toilet that has water constantly running through it can also cause wear and tear on the wax ring. This seals the toilet to the drain connection on the floor. A leak here could show up as a ceiling leak on the level below. Pulling and resetting the toilet with a new wax ring then becomes another added cost.
It is important, that when even working on a toilet, you have a licensed and insured professional plumber out. If the worst were to happen, you wouldn’t want to be up a creek without a paddle. Our experienced plumbers can quickly diagnose your problems to help prevent wasting money. We keep you from unneeded repairs while efficiently solving the issue. Contact us today for your free estimate!