Survey Question #8: Does Your Toilet Constantly Run?

If you answered YES, you are likely experiencing “phantom flush.” The “phantom flush” is a common toilet problem, but it can waste up to 200 gallons of water each day. This phrase describes a condition wherein a toilet tank is leaking. It occurs when water leaks out of the tank or your toilet (the back part), causing it to automatically refill with water. This creates the familiar “flushing” noise.

To determine if your toilet is suffering from “phantom flush,” you can conduct a simple test. Place a few drops of food coloring in the tank of your toilet and let it sit for fifteen minutes. After this time, check the toilet bowl; if there is food coloring in the bowl itself, you have a leak.

The leak itself is likely caused by an old, worn toilet flapper. This is a piece of rubber toward the top of the toilet tank. When you push the lever to flush the toilet, the flapper moves to allow water to flow from the tank into the toilet bowl. Over time, this piece of material deteriorates, allowing water to flow from the tank to the bowl even if the toilet has not been flushed. In most cases, replacing the flapper will do the trick.

Unfortunately, some leaks are not this easy to fix. If replacing this piece of hardware does not solve the problem, your best option is to call a professional to have the leak assessed.

Leave a Reply