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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/its-more-than-a-simple-toilet-leak-youre-30302468.aspx

Subject:  Re: Water! Date:  10/5/2012  1:18 PM
Author:  Goofyhoofy Number:  122424 of 128444

It's more than a simple toilet leak. You're seriously overestimating the amount of water that a toilet can move without you noticing.

We have four toilets in our house. Since I don't typically keep red food dye in stock, when I notice a leak in one of the toilets, I test all of them. It's not unusual for two or more to show some leakage.

Anyway, I thought the number sounded high, but I can find cites for it around:

1 Home leaking toilet can leak 25,000 gallons per month or more
http://www.abtwater.com/MeterCalc.html

A leaking toilet could waste as much as 200 litres of water per day.
http://www.eea.europa.eu/green-tips/a-leaking-toilet-could-w...
(That's less, I know. It's still a big number. Type "leaking toilet wasted water" into Google and get a variety of answers.)

A problem that I have had is that one of the bathrooms is in the basement and not frequently visited. More than once I've found the flapper get hung up and not close, and the water just runs continuously until the next time somebody ventures in there. Yikes!

But a leaky toilet is only a partial flush, if anything, and it would need to be happening almost continuously, which the homeowner would notice.

Well, I was working under the sink in the main bathroom a few days ago when I noticed that the toilet suddenly decided to "fill." So I kept working, and about 10 minutes later it filled again. So the "I'm just sitting here doing nothing time" was about 10 minutes, and the "I'm filling time" was about 1 minute. Easy for someone to miss, especially if they're not attuned to it - and if they think they've shut everything off and the meter doesn't run for a couple minutes.

this one I fixed just by swiping a finger around the flapper and around the porcelain where it meets. There was a piece of grit which stopped the flapper from making a good seal. Happens fairly often, actually. (>1/year)

That would be easily detectable by the homeowner.

I suspect most homeowners wouldn't even notice, unless they pay attention to such things, which most don't until they get a water bill for $1400. That's why plumbers get so many calls that could be more easily remedied by homeowners themselves, if they only knew a little something about plumbing.
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