“We have detected a high reading on your water meter. This higher than normal consumption indicates that you may have an internal leak, possibly a toilet leak.”

This is the sort of letter than no homeowner ever wants to receive in the mail. Unfortunately, last week we received one. I was aware that one of the toilets upstairs had been running a lot and had been telling M that we needed to fix it, but it took him a while to get around to it. Now, we have a serviceman from the municipal authority at our door telling us that this delay in fixing the leak had caused our water usage to quadruple.

Apparently, a leaking toilet can waste approximately 200 gallons of water, PER DAY! Some signs of a leaking toilet include:

  • Jiggling the handle to make a toilet stop running.
  • Any sounds coming from a toilet that is not being used are sure signs of leaks.
  • If you have to hold the handle down to allow the tank to empty. This can also mean the chain or strap is too long and doesn’t lift the flapper or ball high enough to float on its own.
  • If you can see water trickling down the sides of the toilet bowl long after it’s been flushed.
  • If a toilet turns the water on for 15 secords or so without you touching the handle.

Even if your toilet isn’t doing any of these things, it still could be leaking. The serviceman that came to our house told us an easy way to check to see if there is a toilet leak. What you need to do is get a little bit of food coloring, or even a couple scoops of Kool Aid mix, and put it in the tank of the toilet. This will color the water.


Wait 30 minutes and make sure that the toilet isn’t used during that time. If after that amount of time you find that there is any colored water in the bowl then your toilet has a leak.


Here is a funny story and a cause for high water bills. The homeowners kept getting really high water bills, but they knew that they didn’t actually use that much water. No matter how they tried to conserve the bills stayed high. Then one day when the husband was home from work sick he found this…

For us, the leaking toilet was the culprit and not one of our cats, but the video is still funny to watch!

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  1. The same thing just happened to us. We got a ridiculously high water bill and I marched over to the water company thinking they made a mistake but sadly it was due to a toilet leak. I’m still fuming at how HIGH the bill was and to think it was something as minor as a water leak, is unfathomable.

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