Did you know?
Leaking Toilets Cause More Water Waste Than Any Other Fixture in the Home!
You know the sound. The one that sounds like your toilet is constantly running.... running your water bill way up that is! Did you know that your toilet could be leaking even when it’s not running? A silent toilet leak will waste from 30 to 500 gallons of water per day! Worse than this, the leak that you can hear will waste much more.
Such wastage can normally be attributed to an incorrect water level adjustment or to a leaky flapper. What is a flapper? A flapper is a rubber mechanism in your toilet tank that is the moving part of the flush valve. It seals water into the tank and allows the water to exit the tank when you flush.
Try the “dye test” to see if you have a leaky flapper
You probably don’t think that your toilet leaks. But, there is one sure way to find out. Put some food dye (any color) in the tank part of the toilet and leave for 15 minutes. When you return, look into the toilet bowl to see if there is color in the water. If you see the color in the bowl, it is time for a new flapper. Besides the color, if you can hear or see the water running, it’s time for a new flapper.
How the flapper works:
The flapper valve is the mechanism inside your toilet tank that controls the flush. When you push on the handle, the lever lifts a chain that then lifts the flapper valve. The valve covers an opening in the bottom of the tank that allows the water to flow down into the bowl and creates the flushing action.
In order to change the valve, you need to do a few things.
1. Empty the tank of water so that you can work.
2. Find the shut off valve that is located on the water line that supplies your toilet. Turn it off, and then flush the toilet one time. The tank should empty as normal with the flush, but will not refill.
3. Get a pair of cheap latex gloves and a small container for the old flapper, to make the process easier.
4. After you remove the device, your best bet it to remove the old flapper valve and take it with you to the hardware store. Try to select a new flapper that matches your old one as close as possible. If your flapper is one of the hard-to-find ones, you may need to contact the manufacturer of your toilet for a recommendation. If you only have one toilet, it’s a good idea to keep the old flapper handy until you’ve found a suitable replacement.
What to do next:
5. While the flapper is out, take your finger and move it over the seating surface of the flush valve. If the surface is rough, get some 400 grit wet or dry sandpaper and lightly go over the entire surface. Repeat the process until the surface is smooth. For toilets with a flat seal type of flapper, simply slip it off the piston or other holding device and replace it with a new one.
6. After installing the new flapper, run the “dye test” again to assure you have no leak. If the leak persists, you are probably going to have to replace the entire flush valve.
(Flickr Photo By homespot hq)