Left unaddressed, a running toilet epitomizes the metaphor “flushing money down the drain”. The amount of money wasted may surprise you, which is why it’s important to understand the reason(s) why your toilet is running, and act quickly.
Reasons Why Your Toilet is Running
Before we get into the dollars and cents involved with a running toilet, let’s discuss why a toilet runs. When you get down to it, there are four components that could be responsible: the flush valve, the fill valve, the toilet flapper, or the lever flush assembly. The best way to determine which one is the source of the problem is to remove the toilet lid and look inside the tank while you flush the toilet.
Once you’ve flushed the toilet, let the tank refill. If the flapper, which is the plastic piece that controls the entry/exit of water into the tank, lets the water return to the toilet bowl, then the problem is either with the flapper, the tank ball, or the flush lever assembly. However, if the flapper is doing its job but water is still going back into the toilet bowl, then the problem is a flawed fill valve that must be readjusted.
There’s a chance that you’ll flush the toilet and the water flow will appear to be fine – yet the toilet still runs. If this is the case, Day & Nite Plumbing & Heating recommends turning off the water (you can do this by using the toilet’s water shutoff valve). With the water off, see if the flush valve is corroded or chipped. Then check the toilet chain and make sure it’s not too tight or too loose. Move on to the flush lever assembly and confirm that it’s firmly in place on the tank’s wall, and check that no dirt/grime is impeding the fill valve.
If the source still proves elusive, it’s time to call our plumbing professionals serving Bothell.
How much does a running toilet cost?
Assuming that a standard toilet flush uses 1.5 gallons of water (which equals a flow capacity of around three gallons per minute), then 1,440 minutes (# of minutes in a day) x 3 = 4,320 gallons of water wasted per day. To find out how much water a running toilet wastes per month, just multiply 4,320 x 52 (weeks in a year) / 12 (months in a year) = 18,720 gallons wasted per month.
Let’s say the average cost of a gallon of water is around 0.11 cents. 0.11 x 18,720 = $2,059. That’s right: a running toilet costs around $2,059 per month.
Of course the total is only this high if the toilet is continually running 24/7. But this does illustrate the importance of the cost involved when it comes to wasting water.
How much does a leaky faucet cost?
Leaky faucets can lead to large amounts of water waste – not as much as a running toilet, but still exorbitant. A slow drip wastes 7 - 10 gallons of water/day, which equates to 3,600 gallons of water per year. And though the cost of a leaky faucet is modest compared to a running toilet (around $20/year, or as much as $200/year for a fast-dripping faucet), the environmental/humanitarian cost is much worse. Here’s a striking stat: only 1 percent of the Earth’s water is usable for human consumption. It seems absurd, but it’s true. Which means your leaky faucet or running toilet has a negative impact not just on your wallet, but globally.
Of course, our goal is for the problem to never reach this point. Contact us today and have a licensed plumber serving Redmond and the Seattle metro area evaluate and fix your running toilet or leaky faucet.