Is Your Toilet Running Up The Water Bill?

image of a running toilet and money depicting water waste

You work hard for your money. Don’t flush it down the toilet by paying excessive water bills. If your water meter shows a sudden spike in consumption, then you are probably dealing with a leak or a running toilet. Check your toilet first. It is the leading source of wasted water in homes across the country. You can stop this right away with the help of a plumber. In this article, we discuss how to determine that you have a toilet leak in your home.

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How To Determine Whether Your Toilet Is Running Constantly

Test your theory before taking any action. Perform any of the following examinations to determine whether your toilet is indeed running constantly.

1. The Toilet Dye Test

Regular water is clear so it blends with the background. The toilet might be leaking in front of you but you might not notice the flow. Make it obvious by changing the water’s color using a dye, food coloring, or any other soluble coloring solution. Put a few drops into the tank and wait for a few minutes (20 or so). If there is a leak, then you will see streaks of color on the toilet bowl. These might leave stains if left to dry so be sure to flush immediately.

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2. The Toilet Sound Check

If you don’t have any dye at home, then you can simply do a sound check for confirmation. Just go near the toilet and try to listen for water movement. Close the door, shut off the faucets, and eliminate other possible noise sources. It should be completely quiet in the room. If you can hear water flowing from the tank, then you are probably dealing with a toilet leak.


Understanding How The Modern Toilet Works

The toilet as we know it today is a modern invention. Different elements emerged slowly over the centuries including the S-trap that blocks foul odor and water closets that allow users to flush down waste. When a person presses the button, a chain goes up to pull a flapper with it. This opens a hole at the bottom and allows water to drop into the bowl. Afterward, the flapper goes back down to seal the hole and water fills up the tank until it reaches the desired level. The cycle continues for the next user.

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Common Reasons For Running Toilets

It is a simple yet clever design that has largely remained unchanged since its introduction. This works well most of the time but it can run into trouble every now and then. Water might run continuously because of problematic components. Below are the common reasons for running toilets:

1. Faulty Toilet Flapper

image of a toilet tank

You can lift the cover of your toilet’s water tank to see the components. The flapper plugs the hole at the bottom of the tank. It is usually made of rubber molded into a half-dome. Ideally, this should completely seal the hole so that water will not pass through. Even a slight gap will allow the liquid to ooze out. This might happen if dirt builds up around the rim or an object gets in the way. The flapper hinge could also get broken from wear and tear. There might be cracks or gaps along the perimeter. Sometimes a bit of cleaning or adjustment will solve the problem. At other times, the replacement of parts will be necessary.

2. Incorrect Toilet Chain Length

As previously mentioned, the flapper and the flush button is connected by a chain. Activate the flush to pull the chain up and you’ll see the water quickly coming down. The flapper will not function correctly if the chain is not properly set up. For example, the length of the chain might be shorter than it should be. This would keep the flapper up such that the hole is open all the time. Water will escape to the toilet bowl through the gap. Even a partial lift can result in significant leakage.

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3. Excessive Toilet Water

Leaks can also occur if the tank gets overfilled with water. The liquid’s level must stay about an inch below the top of the flush tube at the maximum. This is important if you want to be on the safe side. If overfilling happens regularly, then the problem must be corrected through float adjustment. Don’t worry if you do not know how to perform this. You can always ask for the assistance of a plumber.

4. Broken Toilet Fill Valve

If the flapper, chain, and water level seem fine, then the problem is likely a broken fill valve. This situation calls for a quick repair. Your best bet is to replace the valve as soon as possible so that the household can return to normal. The components are easy to find but not everyone will be comfortable doing the job themselves. Some might try with unsatisfactory results. If you want to make sure that things are done the right way, then seek out an expert.



Soaring water bills are almost always due to leaks. Your toilet might be contributing to your newest financial headache. Stop wasting water by fixing the problem as soon as possible. Figure out the root cause using the information above. Make simple adjustments to see if the leak ceases. If not, then call a trusted local plumber.

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Contact Robinson Plumbing, one of the most trusted plumbing companies in the Lehigh Valley, for reliable plumbing services. We offer various plumbing services ranging from toilet repairs and replacements, water pressure repairs, water heater replacements, water leak repairs, and more. We always give a wide range of solutions when possible for any plumbing repairs. This allows you to choose the best options for your budget and home.

Find yourself dealing with an unexpected plumbing problem in the middle of the night? No worries! You can count on the expert plumbers at Robinson Plumbing to take care of you. We offer reliable 24-hour emergency plumbing services. You can count on us to get the job done quickly and correctly and, best of all, in an affordable manner.

We proudly offer the most affordable and best plumbing services in the Lehigh Valley area. Our plumbers all have the proper licenses and expertise to ensure your satisfaction. All of our work comes with a guarantee. Contact Robinson Plumbing today and schedule your free estimate.

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