How To Stop a Running Toilet
Stop a Toilet from Wasting Water
Even if you don't hear any water running, your toilet may be wasting water, hundreds or even thousands of gallons a year. There are a couple ways your toilet may be wasting water without your knowledge. We'll show you a quick and easy way to check the toilets in your home and we'll show what to do if you discover a problem.
The toilet tank stores water which is released into the bowl to flush out the bowl. Water can leak from the tank into the bowl. The extra water in the bowl just goes down the drain. This can happen silently, or you might detect the sound of a trickle. What you might notice, when this happens, is the toilet starts refilling at random times. This is the fill valve topping off the tank after enough water has leaked out.
An easy way to confirm this leak is to pour a few drops of food coloring into the tank. The more you use, the more obvious any leak will be. As the water leaks from the tank into the bowl, you will see the color in the water in the bowl. This is confirmation of a leak.
If you confirm a leak, there are couple possible sources. The flapper may not be settling tightly into the valve seat. The valve seat may be cracked or the gasket between the tank and the valve seat may have failed. In either case the leak may be small or it may be quite obvious, but tremendous amounts of water may be wasted over time.
Another way for the colored water in the tank to get to the bowl is through the overflow tube. In the tank there is a large, open tube, standing above the water level of the tank. In normal circumstances, the water level should be well below the opening, at least one half inch. If the water level is set too high or the fill valve is malfunctioning, water is being wasted as it flows through the overflow, into the bowl and down the drain.
All of these problems are easy to fix. Acme How To has articles on each of the parts, to assist you in making repairs. Take a look at our article index to find help with your repair.