A running toilet may appear to be a minor issue at the start, however, take a look at the water bill when it arrives. If this untreated problem continues, it could be quite costly in the end.
Fortunately, there are a number of warning signs that indicate a leak in your toilet. In addition, there are tests you can perform on your own to confirm whether or not a leak is present.
Look & Listen
An unanticipated increase in your water bill is a telltale sign that you have a leaky toilet tank, but it is best to catch this issue before getting to that point. In order to do so, try looking and listening to your tank every so often, especially when you clean your bathroom.
You might be able to hear the water flow if your toilet is running. The sound could be very faint, particularly if you have a minor leak. Even the smallest of leaks could be completely undetectable to the ear, but severe enough to waste water.
Furthermore, you might be able to detect a leak by watching if minor water-rippling around the edge of the water in the bowl. This type of water movement is a good sign of a leak, no matter how small it may appear.
You can also test for a leak by adding a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank. Rather than flush the toilet, don’t use the toilet whatsoever for an hour or two.
Afterward, inspect the water in the bowl. If the food coloring has seeped into the bowl, a leak is evident.
The cause is often a minor issue, such as built-up sediment and rust or dirt on the flapper, which is the seal that covers the opening at the bottom of the tank. In order to clean the flapper, shut off the toilet’s water supply by closing the valve on the water line coming out from the wall.
Then lift the flapper manually and allow the water to drain from the tank. Clean the edges of the flapper thoroughly, then open and close it a few times to ensure smooth movement. Lastly, reopen the water line, refill the tank, and attempt the food coloring test once again.
If you still see color in the bowl after the second test, it is imperative to make a repair. Contact a licensed plumber immediately to fix the problem.