Typically, toilets begin leaking when the toilet flapper or valve seal becomes old or worn out. A good way to check is to put some food coloring in the toilet tank and wait 15 minutes to see whether color shows up in the toilet bowl. If it does, you’ll need to fix the flapper or valve seal. You can probably find the replacement part at your hardware store, but to be sure, take the old part with you for comparison.

If the leaky toilet is old, consider replacing the whole fixture. You can get a new water-efficient one for as little as $100. “Older toilets can use four times more water per flush,” says John Banta, who oversees Consumer Reports’ toilet tests. “New toilets use as little as 1.28 gallons per flush, so replacing an older toilet can dramatically reduce your water bill.”

Find water-saving toilets in Consumer Reports’ toilet ratings; visit the URL below for a selection of top-rated toilets.


By Mary H.J. Farrell