A leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons of water per day—that’s 73,000 gallons a year. While some leaks are audible with a toilet that is often “running,” some are less likely to be detected. Here is one way to detect a leaky toilet:
- Remove the toilet tank lid.
- Place a drop of food coloring in your toilet’s tank.
- Replace the lid—do not flush—and wait 10 to 15 minutes.
- If the dye appears in the toilet bowl, you have a leak that can probably be fixed by replacing a worn toilet flapper—the rubber stopper at the bottom of the tank also known as a valve seal. These rubber parts can build up materials or decay over time, and are inexpensive to replace.
- Be sure to flush immediately after the experiment to avoid staining the tank.
Tip: Bring the old flapper to the hardware store for comparison, or check the owner's manual or the manufacturer's website for the flapper part number. For more information about fixing leaks, visit the EPA’s WaterSense website or their Fix a Leak Week page.