If you are seeking troubleshooting tips for how to test if the toilet is leaking, it’s important to get your information from a professional source. While there are many website articles and blogs that share this information, you can’t always be sure it isn’t going to hurt the situation more than it will help.
Plumbing experts know there are a few things homeowners and business owners can do quickly to determine if they have a leaky toilet on their hands. Keep in mind if you are suspicious your toilet is leaking, it’s important to handle the issue right away; neglecting it or putting it off until later can lead to major water loss…and it can cost a fortune.
Leaky Toilet: Troubleshooting Tips
Let’s take a closer look at these professional troubleshooting steps for identifying a leaky toilet:
- To assess your toilet, open the tank in the back, and place a tablet of dye or a few drops of food coloring into the tank.
- Let the dye or food coloring sit undisturbed for 15-20 minutes; set a timer if you think you will forget!
- After the time has passed, check out the toilet bowl. Do you see colored water? When the answer is yes, then you have just revealed a toilet leak.
- If you don’t find dye tablets or food coloring available, you can still look for a leak by checking out the tank’s water level. When the water is above the tank’s overflow pipe, the issue may be with the fill valve of the toilet.
- If you notice water trickling or dripping down the toilet bowl’s inside surface although it hasn’t been flushed recently, it’s safe to say you have a leaky toilet.
- If you notice your toilet is running or making a lot of noise when not in use, this is another red flag for a leak; however, if you can slightly jostle the handle and the toilet stops running, you may need to make an adjustment to the chain connected to the flapper valve or the flapper valve itself.
Leaky Toilet Next Step After Troubleshooting
If these steps above do not reveal a leak, but you are still convinced you have a leaky toilet on your hands, there’s one more test to try:
- Before bedtime one night, shut off the water connected to the toilet.
- The next morning, assess the tank’s water level; if you find an inch of water or less remaining in the tank, this means one of the tank parts is allowing a leak.
Post-Test Thoughts: Should You Repair or Replace Your Toilet?
Once you’ve had time to conduct the toilet tests, you will know whether or not you have a truly leaky toilet. From there, you will have to determine what your next steps will be. You have two primary choices:
- Repair the toilet
- Replace the toilet
While the toilet bowl itself may last 50 years or more, the tank, seal and other parts of the fixture will require replacement much sooner. A repair will often seem more affordable in the moment, but if you are continually paying for the same repairs over and over, it may make more sense to go with a replacement. This is especially true if your toilet parts are 15 years or older.
When a Replacement May Be Better Than a Repair
- The toilet clogs on a regular basis. If you have to plunge all of the time, and you know it’s not a sewer line issue, a replacement may be the best plan.
- You notice a crack in the porcelain. Even a hairline crack can turn into a deluge of water onto your bathroom floor. Spotting a crack in your toilet means you need to take action and replace it as soon as possible. Neglecting the issue can lead to the huge expense of having to replace not only your toilet but also the water-damaged floor.
- Your water bill is so high it’s bringing you down. You will be amazed by how much money you can save by going from an older model toilet to a new low-flush toilet. Some of the older models use 3 gallons and even 5 gallons of water to flush. The low-flush toilets use a mere 2 gallons per flush. The more people you have in your home flushing; the more money you will save.
While a replacement may seem like a significant expense, the money you will save using less water and not having to hire out as many repairs will add up quickly.
Do you have a local plumber you can trust with your toilet repairs or to help you through the new toilet installation process? It’s time to get in touch with our friendly team of licensed experts at Armor Plumbing. Connect with us or call (678) 454-2080 to schedule an appointment to learn more about how to test if my toilet is leaking.