How to Detect the Signs of a Toilet Leak
Tracking down a hard-to-find leaking toilet in your home can seem like a nightmare at times, as you try to figure out exactly where the leak is coming from and whether it’s the cause of your high water bills and endlessly running toilet. You may be wondering how to know if the toilet in your home is leaking. Keep reading to learn more about the process of spotting the common indicators of a leaking toilet.
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Signs of a Leaking Toilet
A leaking toilet may or may not have any obvious signs. A high water bill may be all you notice! Here are some symptoms to look for to confirm if there is an issue with your toilet.
Toilet is Leaking From the Bottom
Is there water on the floor, either in the bathroom or underneath in the basement or crawl space? If the wax ring has failed, it will allow dirty water to leak from the bottom of the toilet instead of passing down the pipe in the ground.
If you notice moisture on the exterior of the toilet, this is not always an indicator of a leaking toilet tank. This may condensation that is formed from the humid air in your home.
It’s Hard to Flush the Toilet
Do you have to work the flushing lever so that the toilet stops running? Luckily, this is not a sign of a leaking toilet issue. This is often an indicator of a poorly fitted flush valve that is not seating correctly when it comes into its resting position.
Toilet is Producing Noises
If the toilet in your home has not been used for 5 – 10 minutes and continues to produce drainage sounds, this is a clear indicator of a leaking toilet since the tank does not take long to fill. To ensure you’re not wasting water, we recommend calling an emergency plumber at Fenwick Home Services by phone at 904-217-5694 or scheduling an appointment online. We offer toilet repair, maintenance, and installation services to homes in Jacksonville and other areas of Florida.
Unable to Release the Flushing Lever
Do you have to hold the flushing lever down to flush the toilet? This particular symptom may be caused by a chain or strap that is too long. If the chain is too long, this may cause floating issues with the flapper or ball.
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Water is Able to Rise Above the Overflow Line
If water is able to rise above the top of the overflow pipe, this is a common sign of a leaking toilet. The Overflow line is the upright pipe in the toilet that excess water drains out from. A leaking refill valve may be the culprit of the ineffective overflow pipe in your toilet.
Non-Stop Water Flow in Toilet Bowl
Another indicator of a leaking toilet is a continuous flow of water in the toilet bowl. While it may be normal for water to flow inside the bowl, this process only lasts a couple of minutes. If you notice water trickling down the toilet bowl 10 or 15 minutes after you flush, immediately call a local plumber on our team by phone at 904-217-5694 to receive assistance with a toilet repair.
Toilet is Continuously Activating & Deactivating Without Being Used
Is the toilet turning itself on and off without being touched? This is known in some places as a phantom flush. This is an indicator of a leaking toilet tank. If the water in the tank is continuously being drained, the toilet will begin its normal flushing procedure.
If your not experiencing these common leaking toilet symptoms, your system could still be leaking just at a slower rate that is not as easily detectable. Call a professional plumber at Bill Fenwick plumbing by phone at 904-217-5694 or fill out our Contact Form to receive assistance with a toilet repair, replacement, or installation project.
Performing a Test to Confirm a Toilet Leak
If you have noticed any of the signs above for a leaking toilet, there are various tests that can be performed to help pinpoint and confirm a moderate to sever leak. You’ll want a little time for the toilet to sit while you are performing the tests, anywhere from ten minutes to an hour. As you prepare to test your toilet for a leak, here’s what you’ll need to gather:
Items You’ll Need to Perform a Test
Testing dye capsules, food dye, instant coffee or powdered drink mix in a dark color such as grape or cherry Kool-Aid
Gloves for handling any solid cleaning product in your tank that can affect the dye (such as blue sanitizing products or bleaching tablets)
If you’re trying to determine whether the toilet is leaking from the bottom, you’ll also need to dry off the floor using towels or a mop, allowing you to determine exactly where the water is coming from.
1.) Remove the Toilet Tank Cover & Turn Off the Water
Start by carefully removing the top from the toilet tank and setting it aside somewhere where it won’t be broken. Next, shut off the water supply to the toilet and flush it. Wearing your latex or nitrile gloves, remove any products in the tank that affect the color of the water, specifically bleach or dye tablets. Restore the water supply to the tank, then flush it to remove the last traces of dye or bleach from the tank and bowl.
2.) Pour Dye Capsules Into the Tank
For the next part, take dye capsules, food dye, instant coffee or Kool-Aid and add enough of the product to the tank to get a dark color to the water. Allow the toilet to sit undisturbed for 30 minutes. If any dye appears in the bowl, you’ve got a leaking toilet.
3.) Use Pencil to Mark the Water in the Tank
If you do have a leak, it’s time to track down where it’s coming from. Take a pencil and draw a line to mark where the top of the water is in your toilet tank. Then shut off the water supply for 20-30 minutes. If the water has dropped below the line, the flush valve at the bottom center of the tank is the culprit of the leaking toilet. If it has remained the same, the refill valve attached to the water supply is to blame.
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What to do With Your Results
Now that you’ve had the opportunity to perform various tests to pinpoint the causes of your leaking toilet, you’ll need to either adjust or replace parts. If the chain or strap leading to the flush lever is not the right length or the refill valve sits too high, adjust them. If the flush valve, refill valve or wax ring are faulty, it’s time to replace them.
Reliable Toilet Repair & Installation Services Near You
We all have specialties that require different knowledge, and if you aren’t comfortable undertaking a toilet repair project in your home, that’s okay! Our highly trained professional plumbers at Fenwick Home Services are happy to help fix your leaking toilet. We also offer plumbing services such as backflow inspections, water line repair, drain cleaning, garbage disposal repair, and sewer line installation in Jacksonville, Florida. We’re proud to be an Angie’s List contractor providing 24 hour emergency service to the Jacksonville area since 1969. Give us a call by phone at 904-217-5694 or schedule an appointment online to receive help with a toilet issue.