Restroom sign for bathroom with toilet leaks

How to Test for Toilet Leaks

Few things are as annoying as toilet problems. Both clogged toilets and leaky toilets bring their share of headaches, but leaky toilets are particularly hard on your bank account as they increase your water bill. Additionally, toilet leaks cause health risks and can cause damage to your home. How can you test for toilet leaks, and how can you get rid of them?

Signs that Your Toilet Might be Leaking

Before you can test for toilet leaks, you have to suspect one. Fortunately, leaks rarely go undetected for long. If you notice any of the following signs occurring, you probably need to test your toilet.

  • Constant Sound of Running Water

The household trick of jiggling a noisy toilet’s handle works, but it is a temporary fix. If your unused toilet constantly makes noise, there is more than likely an issue with the tank’s flapper valve or chain. The flapper valve is responsible for separating the tank water from the bowl water, so if it doesn’t close correctly, then water from the tank continues running into the bowl. 

  • Yellow Stains Around Toilet Base

Stains around the base of the toilet indicate long-term water damage. Particularly if you are moving into a new home and notice these stains, it’s a good idea to request a plumber’s opinion.

  • Damp Bathroom Floor

If no one has used the shower recently and you notice water on the bathroom floor, it likely came from the toilet. It may or may not smell bad, which helps determine where the leak is coming from.

A rancid odor typically indicates that the toilet is leaking mid-flush, which means it’s wastewater leaking and not clean water. However, keep in mind that a sewage smell can also indicate a major clog. Flush with caution.

How to Test for A Toilet Leak

So, you might be suspicious, but how can you tell for sure that your toilet leaks? Fortunately, you can choose from several options.

  • Place dye in the tank.

One of the best ways to test for a leak from the tank to the bowl is to drop dye (or food coloring) into the upper tank. Wait a little while, and then check the bowl. If the bowl water is colored, that means the tank is leaking and should be inspected.

  • Shut off the water overnight.

Another way to check for a tank leak is to turn off the water for a few hours. If the tank water level shrinks, it emptied into the bowl. However, there was no water supply to replenish it, so it’s easier to tell.

  • Look for trickling water in an unflushed toilet.

Avoid using a toilet that you suspect has a leak. However, you should periodically check it to see if freshwater is running down the side of the bowl. If you haven’t recently flushed it, the bowl’s sides should be dry.

What if It’s Leaking At the Base?

If your toilet is leaking at the base, it can quickly cause water damage to your floor (or to the first-floor ceiling if the leaking toilet is located on the second floor). The first thing you should check is the wax seal underneath the toilet. This seal prevents the flushed water from emptying out on the floor on its way down the pipes. If you have recently replaced the seal, call a professional plumber sooner rather than later. Not only will the base leak cost you extra money on your water bill, but it will also smell bad and cause expensive moisture damage.

Call Norway Septic Today!

Norway Septic Inc. is a service-oriented company dedicated to providing excellent septic tank cleaning and septic tank pumping services to homeowners and business owners in the Michiana area. We take pride in doing the job that others leave behind. If you need a new effluent filter or if you would like to schedule a septic tank cleaning by one of our professionals, call us today.

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who should you call for septic issues?

Norway Septic Inc. is a service oriented company dedicated to providing excellent septic tank cleaning and septic tank pumping services to homeowners and business owners in the Michiana area.  We take pride in doing the job that others leave behind. ” Our motto stands, “they pump, we clean!”

Call us if you suspect that there are problems with your septic system or if you need septic replacement parts like septic filters. With over 40 years of experience, we know septic systems and can handle just about any septic emergency.

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