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A toilet in the middle of being flushed.

How Much Water Does a Running Toilet Use?

You can experience various plumbing problems while living in your home — but none are as sneaky as a running toilet. This seemingly innocuous issue can rack up your water usage and deliver a powerful blow to your wallet. What may seem like a minor inconvenience could be costing you hundreds of dollars in wasted water every year!

In this blog, we’ll discuss how much water a running toilet can use, what factors affect this usage, and how you can address the problem to save water and money.

The Silent Culprit: Running Toilets

Running toilets are one of the most common plumbing issues that homeowners face. They often go unnoticed because the problem is not as apparent as a leaky faucet or a burst pipe. However, the impact on your water bill can be significant.

How Much Water Does a Running Toilet Use?

The amount of water a running toilet uses can vary based on several factors, such as the type of toilet and the severity of the leak. On average, a running toilet can waste anywhere from 200 to 6,000 gallons of water per month. This can lead to a significant increase in your water bills if not addressed promptly.

Factors That Can Affect How Much Water a Running Toilet Will Use

Several factors can influence how much water a running toilet will use:

  • Type of Toilet: Older toilets tend to use more water than newer, water-efficient models.
  • Leak Severity: A small, slow leak will waste less water than a fast, constant flow.
  • Flapper Valve Condition: A worn or damaged flapper valve can cause continuous water flow from the tank to the bowl.
  • Fill Valve Issues: If the fill valve is not working as it should, this can cause the toilet to constantly refill, leading to continuous water waste.

Running Toilet Water Consumption

Running toilet water consumption is a major contributor to water waste in many households. So, how much water does a running toilet use? According to the EPA estimates, a single running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water per day. This not only impacts your water bill but also places a strain on local water resources.

Common Causes of Running Toilets

Understanding the common causes of running toilets can help you identify and fix the problem more effectively. Here are some of the most frequent culprits:

Leaky Flapper Valve

The flapper valve is a rubber seal located at the bottom of the toilet’s tank that controls the flow of water into the bowl. Over time, this valve can become worn or damaged, causing water to leak continuously from the tank into the bowl. This is one of the main reasons for increased running toilet water consumption.

Fill Valve Issues

The fill valve controls the water level in the toilet tank. If it’s not working correctly, it can cause the toilet to refill constantly, leading to excessive water usage. Replacing a faulty fill valve can significantly reduce how much water a running toilet uses.

Float Arm Problems

The float arm controls the water level in the toilet tank. If it’s set too high or is malfunctioning, it can cause the tank to overfill and trigger continuous water flow. Adjusting or replacing the float arm can help mitigate this issue.

Worn Out Gaskets

Gaskets are seals between different parts of the toilet that can wear out over time. If they are not sealing properly, they can cause leaks and running water. Inspecting and replacing worn gaskets can prevent water waste.

How to Detect and Resolve a Running Toilet

Detecting and fixing a running toilet can save you a significant amount of water and money. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Listen for Sounds: A running toilet often makes a hissing or gurgling sound. If you hear these noises, it’s a sign that water is leaking.
  • Check the Water Level: Remove the lid from the toilet tank and inspect the water level. If it’s above the overflow tube, your toilet is likely running.
  • Use Food Coloring: Add a few drops of food coloring to the toilet tank. Wait 15 to 20 minutes without flushing. If the colored water appears in the toilet bowl, you have a leak.

Since your toilet can face various problems that cause it to run continuously, different solutions may be required depending on the specific issue. Let’s go over some potential fixes you might need to implement:

  • Replace the Flapper Valve: If the flapper valve is worn or damaged, replace it with a brand-new one. This is a simple and inexpensive fix that can significantly reduce running toilet water consumption.
  • Adjust or Replace the Fill Valve: Make sure the fill valve is working correctly, and adjust the water level if necessary. If it’s damaged, replace it with a new one.
  • Inspect and Replace Gaskets: Check the gaskets for wear and tear and replace them if needed.
  • Adjust the Float Arm: Make sure the float arm is set to the correct level to prevent overfilling.

Schedule Service With Priority Plumbing

If you’re dealing with a running toilet and want professional help, consider scheduling service with Priority Plumbing. Our experienced plumbers can diagnose and fix the problem quickly and efficiently, saving you time, money, and water.

Don’t let a running toilet drain your wallet and waste precious water. Contact Priority Plumbing today for reliable toilet repair in Toronto, ON, or one of the surrounding areas! Whether you need a quick fix or a complete replacement, our team is here to help.
If you’re experiencing an emergency that demands immediate attention, don’t forget we’re a 7 day a week – emergency plumber in Toronto. Our team is standing by to assist with all your plumbing needs.