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How to Spot a Running Toilet

Is your water bill higher than usual but you don’t know why? It could be your toilet running. Leaky toilets can be hard to detect and, over time, can become a drain on your monthly water bill. This video shows you how to perform a simple test to identify and repair a leaky toilet, keep your water bill under control, and know when it’s time to call the pros.

Mike Rowe: Hi, I’m Mike Rowe. And if you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty, you might enjoy these how-to videos put together by the plumbers at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing®. I found them inspirational.

Plumber: Hey, Mike, I’ve seen your work. You should should call us.

Mike Rowe: Plumbers are funny.

Title: How to Spot a Running Toilet

Shane Mathews: I’m Shane Mathews, and I’m a master plumber at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing. Is your toilet running? If yes, you need to go catch it.

A running toilet is no joke, because it can lead to a big problem. There’s a simple way to test if your toilet is running. First, remove the lid from the tank, then add a few drops of food coloring. Don’t use the toilet, but instead, wait an hour or two. If the color has reached the toilet bowl, then you have proof of a leak.

So you’ll need to turn off the water to the toilet by turning the valve. Reach in and lift the flapper. The water from the toilet will drain, giving you access to the tank floor and the underside of the tank. Using a good sponge, clean both surfaces. Even the smallest amount of sand, dust or rust can cause a leak. Then turn the water back on and do the color test again.

If the color still appears in the bowl, you need to shut the water off and call your local Benjamin Franklin plumber, and we can come out and assist you. Consumer parts can be purchased at any store, but I think it’s best to go with top-of-the-line parts. So it’s always a good idea to schedule a maintenance check -- a full inspection of your entire home water system.

I’m a toilet expert because I’ve been doing this for 12 or 13 years and I know my way around a toilet. [laughs]

Graphic: Need help putting a stop to running water in your house? Call the professionals at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing! 844-713-3222.

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