How Much Is a Running Toilet Costing You?

Toilets are often the biggest culprit of high water usage. Sometimes they continue flowing water because the flapper sticks, the chain is caught on something inside the tank, or parts are worn out inside the tank. Since the water flows down the sewer, leaking toilets don’t necessarily leave any signs of a leak, until you get the bill. The average leaky toilet can waste about 200 gallons of water per day. That’s over 6,000 gallons a month for just one leaking toilet! What does all that cost? We’ve had customers estimate that they had additional water bills of $50-$200. For Delayne and I personally, we had a toilet in the basement of our first home that would stick when flushed. We had a $250 water bill one month because we went away for the weekend and it ran the whole time we were gone!  That’s a big ouch when you’re young and poor. And it also taught us to listen to our toilets a little more closely.

Some toilets may produce a running water sound that is easy to hear. Some leaks are visible as a small trickle running from the rim to the water in the bowl. Toilet leaks are often silent and can be intermittent, allowing loss of water to go undetected for long periods of time. To detect silent leaks, remove the lid from the toilet tank, remove any colored or bleaching cleaning agents. Flush to clear the water in the bowl. Then add dye tablets, leak detector fluid, a few drops of food coloring, or a colored instant drink mix to the toilet tank. If there is a leak in the toilet, the color will appear in the bowl within 60 minutes. Flush the remaining color from the tank as soon as the test is complete.

If you have a toilet that is causing problems, our plumbing experts are here to help. Call us at to schedule an appointment

Skip to content