Is my toilet leaking without me knowing?

Toilets are notorious for leaking. However, a leaking toilet often goes unnoticed until a water bill shows up that is higher than usual. The first thing that many people do when they have a higher water bill is think about using the dishwasher and clothes washer less to save money on the water bill.

Most people don't realize it, but a leaking toilet is the most common cause for a water bill that gets out of control. There are a number of signs that a toilet needs some repairs, but many toilets still leak without any obvious signs of trouble. This is what makes a leaking toilet problematic for homeowners.

Most homeowners will notice if there is water around the base of the toilet, but here are some signs to look for if you have a larger than normal water bill because you suspect that you may have a leaking toilet:

  1. If you have to jiggle the handle to make a toilet stop running. 
  2. If you have any sounds coming from a toilet that is not being used. 
  3. If you have to hold down the handle to allow the tank to empty.
  4. If you can see water trickling down the sides of the toilet bowl long after it has been flushed.
  5. If a toilet turns the water on for 15 seconds or so without you touching the handle, you may have what is known as a phantom flusher.

The problem with leaking toilets is they can eventually result in outrageous water bills. This is especially true if you aren't home a lot or aren't paying attention to your plumbing. In effect, some of these kinds of water bills can run up to 300% higher than your average monthly bill. Leaking toilets are easy to fix, and the cost for a plumber to assess the situation and repair it is usually much cheaper than letting the problem go on and then pay for an-out-of-control water bill.

Toilet Frequently Asked Questions