Water Leaks

Costly Drops of Water

Water leaks are expensive. A typical toilet leak can add $300 onto a water bill. The majority of leaks are due to a malfunctioning toilet tank. Toilets leak at the bottom of the tank around the flapper plug or at the overflow tube.

Checking for a Leak

Utility customers can test their water meters themselves by taking a reading right before bed, and then again first thing in the morning to ensure that the meter is working correctly and to identify the possibility of potential water leaks. 

Some silent leaks in toilets can be detected by putting a couple drops of dark food coloring into the toilet tank. Without flushing, wait 10-15 minutes to see if color appears into the bowl indicating there is a leak. Roselle Public Works Water Division can also run a diagnostic test on water meters that may include a test against a container of known volume.

To test the flapper plug, carefully remove the lid from the toilet tank and mark the water level with a pencil. Shut off the water supply. If the water level remains on your mark for 10 minutes, the flapper plug isn't leaking. If the water level drops below the line, the flapper plug is leaking and should be repaired.

The water level should be at least one inch below the top of the overflow tube. If the water level is at the top of the overflow tube, the float should be adjusted so that the water level is at least one inch below the top of the tube.

Toilet tank leaks typically result from warn parts or from misalignment from some part of the flushing mechanism. Most repairs can be done by a lay person. If you are not sure you can fix the problem, call a plumber.

Most water leaks can be traced back to toilet tanks, however, malfunctioning water softeners or humidifiers, or a leaky pipe in the slab or foundation may be possible. Utility customers unable to easily find a leak source are recommended to contact a plumber for assistance.