The older your toilet is, the more likely it'll waste water. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), current federal regulations permit toilet models that use 1.6 gallons of water when flushing. Though this is the national standard, new toilets can use as little as 1.28 gallons per flush (20% less than current regulations) which can result in 20-60% water savings annually.
However, beyond the fact that old toilets waste more water per flush, they are also more likely to leak due to worn-out parts and weaker flushing capacity. So, how much water does a slow-leaking toilet use, and how much money can a leak waste?
Today, Phoenix's trusted toilet repair specialists present the following guide on signs that your toilet has a leak, common causes, and how much water a leaky toilet can waste.
3 Causes of Leaky Toilets
Here are the top three causes of leaking toilets.
1. Malfunctioning Flapper Valve
The flapper valve is essential for a toilet to work. This valve is the component that allows water to flow from the tank to the bowl by raising and lowering when you flush. This part is a piece of rubber that seals a hole at the bottom of the toilet to prevent excess water from rushing into the bowl.
Old flapper valves wear out, meaning that the rubber may harden, lose its seal, crack, or break. When this happens, water will leak continuously from the tank to the bowl.
2. Overflow Tube Keeps Emptying Water
The overflow tube, as the name implies, keeps the toilet tank from overflowing. Every toilet has a fill line where the water should stop when the tank is full. Overflow tubes are approximately 1/2 inch above this line, allowing overflowing water to empty into the toilet bowl so that the tank does not overflow.
As a malfunctioning toilet continuously fills the tank, the overflow tube (located on the exterior backside of the toilet) will keep emptying the newly-replaced water.
3. Worn-Out Flush Handle
A worn-out flush handle may cause the chain, flush-level bar, or flapper valve to malfunction. These malfunctioning parts, in turn, will cause the toilet to leak excess water. You may have to call professional plumbers to replace the handle.
Signs That Your Toilet Has a Leak
Here are some common signs that indicate a leak:
- Toilet tablet method: An easy way to check for a leak is to place a toilet tablet in the tank after it has finished filling. If you see color in the water after waiting for 10-30 minutes, there is a leak.
- Overflow tube: If water still flows in the overflow tube after the toilet tank is full, there is a leak.
- High water bills: Some leaks are not obvious. So, a sure way to determine that you have a leak is to check your water bills. If you notice that they have slowly increased or are overly expensive, a leaky toilet could be the culprit.
- Pooling or dripping water: The most obvious sign of a leak is water on the floor. If you notice water pooling or dripping onto the floor, call a repairman.
How Much Water Does a Slow-Leaking Toilet Use?
A slow-leaking toilet can easily waste 300 gallons of water per month. That puts excess water consumption at 10 gallons per day. Fast leaks can waste up to 60,000 gallons a month, which is 83.3 gallons per hour (for example, constantly-running toilets produce these leaks).
If a family of four that uses 3,000 gallons of water per month pays around $73 monthly for water bills, each gallon costs $.02. So, 300 gallons wasted a month equals $6 extra on every water bill. That's $72 extra dollars per year.
Alternatively, a severe leak of 60,000 gallons equals $1,200 extra wasted on water bills per month.
How to Fix a Toilet Leak in Phoenix, AZ - Rainforest Plumbing & Air
So, after searching "how much water does a slow-leaking toilet use" and discovering the answer, the best way to diagnose the severity of a leak is to call a professional ASAP. Rainforest Plumbing & Air has over 20 years of experience in diagnosing toilet problems, solving leaks, fixing plumbing, and much more. Our expert team of 43 technicians has extensive training in plumbing repair and can solve your problem 24/7, 365 days a year.
He founded the company and soon found himself answering phones and dispatching team members around the clock! Rainforest Plumbing & Air has come a long way since they started in 1999 as a two-truck operation.