A toilet leaking can be more expensive than you might think. Even small leaks can lead to an enormous wastage of water, which can add up to a considerable amount on your monthly bill.
A worn flapper valve in a leaking toilet can allow a slow, but constant, flow of water from your household supply. This is the most common source of toilet leaks, and often there is no indication of a problem. According to the East Bay Municipal Utility District, you could stand to lose up to 7,000 gallons of water a month before the problem is even noticeable without inspection – they call this a “silent leak.”
Water rates are variable, but wherever you are, 7000 gallons a month doesn’t come cheap and is very wasteful.
A flapper valve is a device which controls the flow of water from your cistern when you flush your toilet. In the worst case, this can become stuck open causing water to constantly flowing out of your house. Like most things, flapper valves begin wearing out long before they break, and a worn valve will allow water to stealthily leak away without your notice.
By the time you might see, or hear, a problem, you have most likely already paid a lot of money that you didn’t need to. Fortunately, there is a simple way to check if your flapper valve is leaking, even if only slightly.
Is your Toilet Leaking from the Flapper Valve
Place food coloring in the cistern and wait for ten-to-fifteen minutes before checking the bowl. If water is leaking through, it will take the color with it, and you know you have a problem that needs fixing.
While the difficult-to-detect leaks we have discussed can be very costly. A major fault with a flapper valve – especially if it is broken can add up quickly. Signs you should replace your flapper valve immediately include observing a constant trickle of water into the toilet pan, or a delay in the cistern filling: it takes longer because water is leaving the tank. In the case of a broken valve, water drains as fast as it enters, rendering your toilet completely useless and constantly running.
Replacing a flapper valve is a relatively simple process, but if you are unsure, contact a plumber and have a professional stop your toilet leaking.
Water might not cost much per gallon, but it flows quickly. Make sure to check for leaks regularly, as everything wears out with time. If you find one, make fixing it a priority as you will be, quite literally, pouring money down the drain.