Once while shopping for a new apartment, a friend joked that as long as the place had room to sleep and a working toilet, the place was perfect. It’s true that a home functions at is best when everything is working properly, and when once doesn’t have to worry about bathroom repairs, all the better.

However, there may come a time when you need to consider replacing or fixing a toilet in your home. While everything may seem fine on the outset, there is the possibility that a silent leak in your tank or bowl could be wasting water, therefore running up your water bill! If you suspect something is wrong with your commode, there are a few tests you can administer to determine if you need to call a plumber to make repairs.

There are, of course, obvious signs of possible damage: having to jiggle the handle to stop the toilet from running too long after a flush may be more than an annoyance, but a warning. Definitely if you see water pooling around the base or rising above the overflow pipe in your tank there is a problem. Sometimes, though, the signs are not as simple to spot.

Is you suspect trouble with your tank, for example, here is something easy to do: add a few drops of food coloring in the water, enough to darken it, then wait about half an hour and make sure nobody uses the toilet. Later, if you see any color in the water in the bowl, this tells you the tank is faulty. These are the silent leaks that cost you money, and it’s important to call a plumber and get them repaired.

Listen and check for inward issues with your toilet as well as more obvious leaks if you feel something is wrong. The sooner your commode is repaired the less money you’ll waste.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on commercial plumbers in Virginia Beach.

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