Is My Toilet Leaking?

How To Diagnose a Leaking Toilet

There are some simple and effective ways to know if your toilet is working properly or if you need to perform some maintenance on your toilet to avoid leaks!

Video Transcript:
Hey guys, Austin Taylor here. Master plumber and owner of Dynamic Drains of Texas where the best customer is the educated one. Today, I wanted to talk about leaking toilets. A very common service call we get is for leaking toilets and causing high water bills so I wanted to be able to show with my toilet, which does happen to be leaking, how to test to determine whether or not your toilet is the cause of a high water bill and how to go about correcting it. So first what we want to do is make sure to wear some gloves because we’re working with toilets. Secondly, what we’ll need is food coloring. Food coloring is a great way to be able to test the water inside of the tank to see if it’s leaking into the bowl. A couple of components inside of the toilet: this is our fill valve which allows the water to enter back into the tank after you flush it. You have the tank lever, of course, which allows you to flush your toilet. It’s connected with a chain to the flapper. At the bottom the flapper sits on top of this assembly which is called a flush valve.

First what we want, before we start our test, is shut the water off. The valve that controls the water is down here, ours happens to be a multi turn valve. Just turn it till they get stiff, right about there. Don’t over tighten it, that’s the main thing and then we’re going to test to make sure the water is off. We’ll push down on the float right there. If you don’t hear the water coming in that means it shut off.

Second thing we’re gonna want to do is take our food coloring here, I’m going to apply quite a few drops and around this area right here. I like to really really inundate the water there with quite a bit of dye to really make sure that it’s it’s definitely a deep blue, in this case, so that we can see it at the bottom. We really want to do a good test of this and what we’re doing here is we’re discoloring the water so that if it is leaking through our flapper or flush valve, we’ll see it inside of the bowl. Because the water is clear, it’s hard to see, so once you discolor it’ll be easy to see. I happen to have a very slow leak, in my case, so it’s gonna take a little bit to see the blue to show up into the water. What I usually recommend to people is apply the dye, give it about ten minutes and come back and check and see if you have any kind of blue, or whatever color you’re using, discolored water inside of the bowl. So we’ll pause the video right here for a few minutes we’ll come back to check.

Alright guys, we’re back and we’re gonna go ahead and check and see if we have any blue showing up in our bowl. And we do so that’s telling me that I definitely do have a leak somewhere either on the flapper or the flush valve. I’m pretty sure in this case it’s gonna be the flapper. So I’ll flush this just get a lot of this out of there. Remember, I have the water off so it won’t continue to fill up. All I do now is disconnect the two tabs here off the two little ears that I call them or hooks, rather, off of the ears from the flush valve and you’ll take this, probably put it in the little plastic bag so you don’t get food coloring everywhere, take this to your local hardware store, match it up and get a replacement. And that should correct your issue if that’s where it’s coming from. If it happens to be the flush valve leaking, that’s a little bit more involved in dealing with that, but most the time, it’s going to be the flapper. So I’m gonna leave it out there for now until I can go get a bag and then, uh, but of course, make sure your water stays off. When you turn it back on you can, when you get the flapper put back in, of course, don’t forget to turn your water back on. Alright, I hope that helps. Like I said, the best customer is the educated one. Hope that helps and I hope you guys have a good rest of your day. Thanks for watching.

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