How to Tell If Your Toilet Is Leaking
We don’t mean when water is gushing out of the back of your toilet or overflowing from the rim. Hopefully, this type of leak is obvious. We want to help you find out when your toilet is leaking—even though it may not be obvious at all.
Most households have plumbing leaks that go undetected for quite some time. And the toilet is a common source of leakage. The average home wastes about 10,000 gallons of water every year, according to the U.S. EPA. This is a startling number, but something that is easy to get under control when you take small steps, like finding out if your toilet is leaking and fixing it.
The Dye Tab Test
Sometimes, a leaky toilet will run. This is a noise you might have gotten used to, but it’s not a good sign. If the toilet runs sporadically between flushes, there is a leak between the tank and the bowl. However, you may not hear anything at all. Toilets can leak in the same way with no indication by sound or visually. You may need to do a dye tab test to find out for sure.
Dye tablets may be available from a local hardware store or from your plumber. You simply drop a tablet or two into the tank (the top part of the toilet) and wait 20 minutes. If the dye has leaked over to the bowl by then, you have a leak.
Other Types of Leaks
Before we move on to methods of fixing a leak of this caliber, we should note that there are other leaks you should be aware of. If you notice pools of water at the base of your toilet with little explanation, this may be due to a leak in the wax seal that keeps the toilet securely in place. This wears down over time, and it is not too expensive to fix the seal.
A leaky tank or bowl, in which the material has cracked, means the end of your toilet. However, if you see a leak from the shut-off valve or the pipe leading into the toilet, a plumber should be able to replace the part for less.
Signs To Tell If Your Toilet Is Leaking Underneath
There are a couple of signs that you can look out for in order to determine whether your toilet is leaking underneath. Below we are going to list the main things to look out for that can help you know whether or not you have a leak underneath your toilet.
1. The Floor Around Your Toilet Is Damp
The floor around your toilet should never be damp. If you notice this, we highly suggest that you call a plumbing professional as soon as possible to get it inspected and repaired for you in order to prevent worse damage and costlier repairs. Dampness and stains on the floor around your toilet are typically indicators that your toilet is leaking underneath.
2. Your Toilet Is Making Strange Sounds
Your toilet should not be making strange sounds, other than the sound it makes when you flush it. If your toilet still makes sounds after you have already flushed it, it usually means that there is water still running. This could mean a few things. It is possible that there is a problem with your toilet's fill valve in the tank, or with the toilet flush itself. This could be the result of a leak and something that is best if inspected and taken care of as soon as possible.
3. You notice A Stain Around Your Toilet
The only way that the base around your toilet has a stain is if there has been a water leak. However, if there is a stain, it typically means that the toilet leak is not recent and that the water damage has been happening for some time. If you notice a stain around your toilet, we strongly recommend that you contact a professional plumber as soon as possible, especially since this is an indication that the toilet leak has been going on for some time.
When to Call in a Professional
The good news is that when dye leaks into the bowl of your toilet, it may not be a difficult fix. Often, you only need to replace the flapper valve, the rubber part in the tank, something you can find at the local hardware store. Of course, if this is too difficult, you should call in a local plumber for help.
Otherwise, you should always call a plumber when a leak is severe or when you need a new toilet. Look for a WaterSense label on your new toilet and save big! According to the EPA, you could save 13,000 gallons of water a year!
If your toilet is leaking, reach out to Michael’s Plumbing Service by calling (615) 645-2322 or contacting us online for leak repair in Nashville!