You may be flushing your money down the toilet and not even know it.
Twenty percent of all toilets leak, which secretly raises homeowners’ water and wastewater bills. But other problems — like a toilet that won’t flush completely or runs continuously — aren’t secret at all.
Take a whirl at inspecting your toilet. It’s more convenient and less expensive to systematically check the plumbing yourself, before you have to call in the professionals to take care of a plumbing emergency.
First, check your toilet for silent leaks by putting several drops of dark food coloring into your toilet tank. If the dye appears in the bowl, you need to replace the valve seal ball or flapper at the bottom of the tank or adjust or replace the fill valve.
Next, replace flappers and fill valves every couple of years to prevent a running toilet. A new flapper will seal properly, and a new fill valve will prevent overfilling or filling too slowly.
Also, lift the tank lid to fix the problem if water continues to flow after flushing – don’t just jiggle the handle. Adjust the chain if the flush valve flapper is hung up and not sitting down properly. If that doesn’t work, adjust the float ball so it doesn’t go down as far.
Last, it is not advisable to use chlorine tablets or any other chemical cleaner in the toilet tank. Chemicals corrode the metals and destroy the rubber seals. They could also kill the active bacteria that keep the septic tank working properly.