Thursday, May 27, 2010

How To Check For Toilet Leaks

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Did you know that as much as 80,000 gallons of water can be wasted each year by an undetected toilet tank leak?

  • Most toilet flush tanks work in the same way. The tank contains two valves–a flush valve and a refill valve. One type of refill valve is commonly called a ballcock.
  • When the flush valve fails to seat properly, water is leaked from the tank into the bowl. The leaked tank water is replenished by the refill valve, causing a continuous flow of wasted water.
  • If the refill valve leaks, the tank overfills, and the excess water runs from the overflow pipe into the toilet bowl. A waterlogged float causes overflowing, even if the refill valve itself is functioning properly.
  • You can check for a leaky flush valve very simply. Shut off the water supply to the toilet. The shutoff valve is located beneath the tank on the left side as you face the toilet. Mark the water level, and then check it again in 20 minutes. If the water level has fallen below your mark, the flush valve is leaking. If not, the flush valve did not leak, and you know that any leaks are being caused by the refill valve.
  • To check both the flush valve and the refill valve for leaking, simply drop some food coloring or laundry bluing into the toilet tank to color the water. Do this when the tank is fully refilled after a flush. Don't flush the tank again until you have inspected the toilet bowl–a few minutes later–for signs of color. If the bowl water has a hue, there's a leak.
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