Detecting Toilet Leaks

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Does Your Toilet Have a Leak?

toilet-handleHere are some simple steps to find out:

  • If you use an automatic bowl-cleaning device, remove it. When all coloring is gone, you're ready for the next step.
  • At least 5 minutes after the last flush cycle, carefully remove the toilet tank cover.
  • Gently add 4 to 5 drops of blue, green, or red food coloring into the tank (not the bowl). DO NOT FLUSH.
  • Wait 10 to 15 minutes. If you find color in the bowl, there's a leak.

Watch LVMWD's Checking for Leaks on YouTube.

Common causes of toilet leaks include:

  • The flapper valve or valve seat has deteriorated.

  • The flushing arm or lift chain is not working properly.

  • The tank water level is too high and spills into the overflow.

  • The float rod, ballcock or float ball may be corroded.

Leaks in toilets always get larger and more costly over time. The sooner repairs are made, the more quickly you can start saving water and money. Once repairs are completed, take a few minutes to re-test and make sure there are no more leaks.

More water savings:

Toilets are one of the largest consumers of household water. Old, high-volume toilets use as much as 6 gallons per flush, compared to new Ultra-Low Flush (ULF) toilets which use only 1.6 gallons per flush or High Efficiency toilets (HET) which use 1.28 gallons per flush. You could save as much as 10,000 gallons of water per year by replacing your high volume toilets with ULF  or HET models.   

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