leaky toilet

You know how a toilet should work. You flush, the tank empties. It refills with clean water and stops running. What happens when the toilet water keeps running or runs intermittently? You might have a leaky toilet and it’s likely that you’re using more water than you’d expect.

Did you know that as much as 200 gallons of water per day can literally be going down the drain when you have a leaky toilet? Call Scottsdale Plumbing and get the toilet fixed before you get an unexpected high water bill!

Signs of a Leaky Toilet

You may have a leaky toilet if you wake from a sound sleep to hear toilet water running. Your first thought is that the dog finally learned to use the indoor plumbing, but then you notice him snoring at the foot of your bed. Your second thought is that your toilet is broken, so you jiggle the handle as most people do. The toilet stops and you go back to dreamland making a mental note to call a plumber in the morning.

Okay, you might not have that exact scenario, but you get the idea. You might have a leaky toilet if:

  • Toilet water keeps running
  • Toilet runs intermittently
  • Toilet runs for a longer than usual amount of time
  • You hear noises from the toilet when it’s not in use
  • Your water bill is higher than normal

Generally, your toilet should only make noise when it’s in use after you’ve turned the handle to flush it. If you hear a noise at other times, it’s likely that a part needs replacement. The leaky toilet could be caused by one of the following:

  • Flapper or ball could be worn out
  • Seat under the flapper could be damaged
  • Damaged gasket under the flush valve
  • Crack in the overflow tube
  • Refill valve needs a new seat or washer


The Leaky Toilet Test

Some people think a leaky toilet is only when water is outside the toilet, but you can have a leak inside as well. To administer the leaky toilet test:

  1. Get something that will color the water like food coloring, coffee, or powdered drink mix.
  2. Add enough to the toilet tank to give the water a deep color.
  3. Don’t use the toilet for at least 30 minutes.


If you see dyed water in the toilet bowl, the toilet is leaking, and a part likely needs to be replaced. If your toilet is older, consider replacing it with a more efficient toilet that uses less water and won’t wake you up in the middle of the night. It will save you money over time.


If you suspect you have a leaky toilet, call the professionals at Scottsdale Plumbing at 480-945-9583.

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