Money Down the Drain – The High Cost of Ignoring a Running Toilet

If you have a toilet in your home that frequently refills on its own, you may be tempted to ignore the issue. What’s the big deal about a little water, you may ask? Well, you’d be surprised at how much that running toilet can cost you.

What causes a running toilet

When you hear the toilet run for a few seconds, it is refilling the tank. So that means that some water is trickling from the tank into the bowl in between flushes. There are two common culprits in this situation.

  • The first is a worn-out flapper, which is the rubber part that seals the drain hole at the bottom of the toilet tank.
  • The second is a faulty float, which triggers the refill valve when the tank’s water level is below the fill line.

The good news is that both of these parts are inexpensive and easy to replace.

Why a running toilet can be expensive

Toilets use up more water than you may realize. According to the EPA’s WaterSense Program, toilets make up nearly 30% of the average home’s water usage – making it the top source of water use. In fact, a running toilet can waste around two gallons of water per minute. Multiply that over the days and weeks that, and you can see how the costs quickly add up.

Here are some more fun facts:

  • A running toilet can waste hundreds or even thousands of gallons of water per month, which can significantly increase your water bills
  • Leaking toilets can waste 4 times more than a leaky faucet and 25 times more than a leaky showerhead
  • If the problem is more severe than you suspect (such as a crack in the toilet or broken wax seal), a leak could damage the floor and lead to costly repairs

How to test a running toilet

There’s a simple way to test to see if water is leaking from the toilet tank into the bowl. Take some food coloring and put a few drops into the tank. Avoid flushing the toilet for about half an hour, then check the results. If there is colored water in the bowl, that proves that there is a small leak.

Professional toilet repair

If you’re having toilet issues, don’t let your money go down the drain. Get the problem fixed the correct way by calling Emergency Plumbing & Solar. We proudly serve Oahu and Maui, so schedule an appointment today at (808) 691-9309.


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