A Cheap, Easy Way to Check Your Toilet For Leaks

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Did you know that a leaking toilet can waste up to 200 gallons a day?

That’s an expensive problem! Fortunately, diagnosing and fixing it yourself is simple — and can often cost less than $15 (of course, you should call a plumber if you’re not comfortable attempting it yourself).

Just a few drops of food coloring are needed to test a toilet for leaks.

First, to find out if a toilet is flushing your money down the drain, remove the tank lid and add a few drops of food coloring — dark colors work best — to the tank.

Then wait about a half-hour (don’t flush!), and check the bowl. If there’s food coloring in the bowl, there’s a leak  — meaning the tank flap isn’t sealing properly.

In most cases, an easy-to-install toilet repair kit (available at hardware stores and many retailers that carry home improvement items) will fix the problem. Write down the make of your toilet (American Standard, Kohler, etc.) and — to make things easier at the hardware store — use your cell phone camera to take a picture of the flap assembly. Then follow the instructions on the replacement kit. You can even find videos on YouTube that show you how to perform the fix, step by step.

If your toilet is older, consider replacing it with a WaterSense model. According to the EPA, the switch could save a family of four more than 16,000 gallons per year.

Check out more water-saving tips right here.