Leaking Toilets 101
One of the most frustrating things that any homeowner can deal with is a leaking toilet. A Leaking Toilet method water everywhere and a much larger water bill. This is because a toilet leak can waste anywhere from 50 to 100 gallons of water each day. The truth is that in many situations a leaking toilet can be a do-it-yourself project that will not only keep you from paying any unnecessary plumbing bills, but assist you in saving you money on your water bill in addition.
There are two main causes for a leaking toilet. The first cause can include water spilling into the overflow tube. The best way to determine if this is by removing the lid of the toilet tank and checking the water level in relation to the overflow tube, located in the center of the tank. If the water is less than a 1/2 inch from the top of the tube, then it is likely that this is the problem. The second reason for a Leaking Toilet is a worn flapper. The flapper, or flush valve, can use after a few years, making it difficult for the water to shut off. A great trick to determine this is to drop about 7 drops of food coloring into the toilet tank (not bowl), waiting for the color to fully disperse. If after 20-30 minutes the coloring is in the bowl, you flapper is leaking.
If the problem is the overflow tube there are few possible solutions. This includes tightening the center valve screw, carefully bending the float ball arm downward, or pinching and sliding the silver clip down the fill valve rod. If the water level is that same after all of these a few flushes, the fill valve may need replacing. For the flapper, first wipe any build up from under the flapper and flapper seat, allowing it to fully close. If that doesn’t work, turn off the water with the shut valve, flush the toilet to drain it, and replace the flapper. Flappers are very affordable and can be purchased at any local hardware store.
If none of these solutions work, then you should call in a specialized plumber. Do-it-yourself techniques can only take you so far before you risk making the problem worse. There’s no shame in calling on the aid of a specialized, especially since you can say that you tried.