How to Check a Toilet for Leaks

How to Check a Toilet for Leaks

Your bathroom likely gets a lot of use. Unfortunately, this means your toilet will have problems at some point. The most common issue you’ll experience with a toilet is a leak. An untreated leak could be losing up to a 1000 gallons of water per day. This is wasteful and costly. If you’ve suddenly noticed a spike in your water bill or if your toilet doesn’t seem to be functioning normally, here’s how to check it for leaks.

Listen for Water Sounds

The first sign of a toilet leak is usually a ceaseless water sound. The nonstop noise will sound like running water, hissing or trickling. This signal should prompt further investigation, ideally by a licensed plumber. However, sometimes the leak is silent and you’ll have to look more closely for signs.

Check the Tank Water Level

Remove the cover from the water tank and take a peek inside. If the water level is above the overflow pipe, it’s too high. This could indicate an issue with the fill valve. It’s possible that the flapper around the valve has lost its seal. You can try to clean it or replace it. But it’s also possible that the entire valve is a dud and it could be time for a new valve or even a new toilet all together.

Check the Bowl for Running Water

Look inside the toilet bowl. If water is trickling down the sides long after you’ve flushed it, something is array. Try jiggling the flush handle to see if this makes it stop. If it does, you probably just need to make some adjustments to the chain that connects the fill valve to the flush handle. However, if the running persists, you’ll need to call in a licensed plumber to diagnose the problem.

Use the Water Dye Trick

There is an easy (and maybe even a little bit fun) technique for detecting a toilet leak. Place 20-25 drops of food coloring into the tank and wait about 20 minutes. Then check the toilet bowl. If the water is clear, that’s a good sign! But if the water is colored, that means there’s a leak. It’s probably a faulty flapper. Look to see if it just needs cleaning or if it’s damaged and requires a replacement.

Shut The Water Off

Before you go to sleep, shut the water off that goes to the toilet. You’ll likely see a nob next to the toilet and close to the floor. Turn it all the way until it turns off. When you wake up the next day, check the water level inside the tank. If there’s only about an inch of water, that means the water is leaking out somewhere. It’s likely that one or more parts have malfunctioned and need further investigation. 

Stephens Plumbing Will Check and Fix Your Toilet Leak

If fixing a leaky toilet is outside of your skillset, give Stephens Plumbing a call. Available 24/7, our licensed and well-trained plumbers can diagnose your leaky toilet issues and recommend a solution. We can fix or replace parts when necessary or remove and install a new toilet if the old one is beyond repair. You can trust Stephens Plumbing with your leaky toilet and all of your other bathroom plumbing needs.