A toilet that runs constantly can be a severe drain on your water bill. It may not seem like a serious problem but can indicate larger issues and the use of a lot of water. If you hear the constant flow of water from your toilet long after it is been flushed, it is time to investigate the issue.
A running toilet can add an extra $200 a month, or $2,500 a year onto your water bill. This is because the toilet has a leak, which causes fresh water to constantly be pulled in and then drained. Installing a new flapper valve or new leak protection is the easiest way to solve this issue.
Fixing a leaky toilet is often much cheaper than leaving it be. There are several ways to go about this, and it all depends on how efficient you would like to be with your water usage. Follow along to learn about the best toilets and fixes to keep your water bill low!
How Much Does Running a Toilet Cost?
The cost of a running toilet varies depending on the efficiency of your toilet and how severe the leak is. For those with a basic toilet and a minor leak, you will only see a small increase in your water bill. However, you will notice it is higher than normal.
A moderate leak in your toilet can begin to put a real dent in your water bill. Medium toilet leaks can be about 6,000 gallons of water each month, which is about $1,000 a year in wasted water. Now, this is only about $70 per month, but it certainly adds up after a while.
With major leaks, the running toilet will waste thousands of gallons of water each month. This will add up to about $200 a month, or roughly $2,500 in a year! Toilets use the most water of any appliance in your home, so a few small cracks can really add up over time.
These numbers are of course estimates of the waste your toilet could be producing. If you have a new or eco-friendly toilet, they tend to be much more efficient at managing water. Meaning you will not see water bill increases as much as with older toilet models.
However, if you have an old and inefficient toilet small leaks can drain lots of water from your system. This is why it is important to find the issue and repair it quickly so you can decrease the cost of your toilet. The parts to repair are inexpensive and user-friendly!
How To Decrease the Cost of Running Your Toilet?
There are several things you can try in order to reduce the cost of running your toilet! The first three items are this list is easy to do on your own and do not cost a lot to do. The final two options are a bit more complex but will help your toilet’s use of water be more efficient and last a lot longer. So here are a few measures you can take to improve the water usage in a running toilet!
Adjust the Water Level
One of the first things to try on a leaky toilet is to readjust the water level inside the tank. You may not have a leak at all with a running toilet, but the system may be calibrated incorrectly. Leading to water flowing into your toilet when it does not need to.
When the tank of a toilet refills, there is often a floating ball attached to a metal rod that detects when the correct water level has been reached. This keeps the toilet tank from overflowing or not receiving as much water as it should. If this level is too high, it can lead to a toilet that runs more than it should.
All toilets have some version of this mechanism. To fix it, try and bend or squeeze the float rod downwards a little bit. This will lower the float ball and keep your tank from filling up too much. You should check up on this every once in a while, to be sure the new water level stays where it should!
Install a New Flapper Valve
The next step to try if your toilet is still running is to install a new flapper valve. A flapper valve is a thin piece of rubber or plastic that is attached to a chain in the toilet’s tank. If this device does not seal properly, the toilet can run continuously and waste your water.
This mechanism works largely to halt the water flow when the balloon has reached the correct level. When you flush your toilet, the chain pulls this valve up to allow water to flow. But if the valve is broken or cracked, water will continue to flow even after it is shut.
Buying a new flapper valve is very affordable and can be done on your own. You will need to measure the length of the chain attached to the valve and make a note of the toilet make and model. Hardware stores will likely have your replacement as well as instruction on how to install it!
Perform Regular Maintenance
Regular maintenance should be done on all of your home applications. You can have a professional plumber come out and do some tune-ups once a year. But you can also improve the maintenance of your toilet by caring for it properly.
Keeping your toilet clean, inside and out, can help prevent grime from eroding certain functions that can lead to leaks. If you have tap water that is full of minerals, water softeners can be used to prevent mineral buildup inside your toilet. You should also stay away from using harsh chemicals in your toilet to the pipes do not erode away.
Maintenance checks are great for preserving your toilet’s functions, as plumbers are trained to find tiny issues that homeowners can see. This maintenance can keep damages and leaks from happening, which will help lower the overall cost of your toilet. Even if a quick plumber check seems expensive, it is worth the prevention of bigger issues in the future.
Install Leak Prevention
If your toilet seems to constantly leak despite trying other fixes, you should consider installing some type of leak prevention device. This is the more cost-efficient method, as you do not need to replace large piping to the toilet altogether. You will simply install a small device that will keep the leaks in check!
There are many different types of leak-prevention devices to choose from. Some simply alert you when there is a leak, whereas others set up your system to keep it from leaking in the first place. Each has different pros and cons, so it is best to select that it is right for you and your toilet.
Simple alert devices cost around $40, while more advanced protection can cost over $150. There is no single leak prevention device that applies to everyone. But if your toilet seems to always find new ways to leak this could help you act fast when a leak occurs.
Buy an Eco-Friendly Toilet
Finally, you could start from scratch and purchase an eco-friendly toilet! It costs more in the beginning, but will eventually save you a lot of water in the long run. These types of toilets are great at not wasting water, and leaks will be far less prevalent in your toilet system.
If you are considering buying a good toilet, for this reason, look out for those that feature an EPA WaterSense label. These toilets are very specifically designed to use less water than other models. You can find fixtures with this label for your faucets, showerheads, and other appliances as well.
Toilets use roughly 30% of total indoor water usage on average. If the toilet was made before 1992, it could use about 3.5 gallons each flush. While eco-friendly toilets only use 1.28 gallons per flush! That means a lot of savings on the water bill in the future.
What Toilets Use Less Water?
These days you will find plenty of toilet options (such as Toto or Kohler) that use minimal amounts of water per flush. Some do not use water at all! It is a great idea to look for eco-friendly toilet options, to save water in the environment as well as lower your water bill. Here are the most efficient types of toilets on the market to consider.
Dual Flush System
Easily one of the most popular models out there, the dual flush toilet system is great for conserving water at a reasonable price. This system has two different flush volumes for solids and liquids. Giving you the ability to only use as much water as you need for each flush.
These toilets vary, but you can expect to pay around $200 for a dual-flush toilet system. Since you have a lot more control over how your toilet functions you can moderate your water usage without giving it up completely. This high efficiency is growing more common around the country and is a more affordable option than other models.
Pressure Assisted Toilet
You may be familiar with pressure-assisted toilets as they are often found in institutional buildings. They can be identified by a large whooshing sound and speedy flushing process. These toilets use a sealed inner tank that compresses air, which the flush then releases to clean out the toilet quickly and efficiently.
Pressure-assisted toilets are about $300 each. This is the second most expensive option available but can save you a lot on your next water bill. The biggest downside, besides the higher price, is that repairs can be more difficult than normal toilets. It is not the most ideal option, but it is certainly one to consider!
Vacuum Assisted Toilet
Vacuum-assisted toilets work very similarly to pressure toilets, in that you have a pressurized tank and a loud noise when the toilet flushes. However, these models suck the water down rather than pushing it out. This is the most efficient toilet in terms of water usage, using only .8 gallons of water per flush.
You can expect to pay about $250 for a vacuum-assisted toilet. This is the medium choice, as it is not expensive to buy but still efficiently uses the little water it needs. This technology is relatively new to the market, but will certainly gain popularity in the coming years!
Composting toilets, or dry toilets, use no water whatsoever! These are certainly the most unusual toilets out there but are growing in popularity as the most eco-friendly toilet available. The solid waste is combined with sawdust and composted by microbes, and the liquid waste is diverted to allow the microbes to decompose properly. Making the perfect water-free and earth-friendly toilet!
Composting toilets are the most expensive eco-friendly toilet option, costing around $1,000 each. However, you will cut your water bill by 30% by using this type of toilet! It is the best way to drastically cut down on your water bill and limit the overall water usage in your home. Plus you never have to worry about a running toilet again!
What Toilet is the Cheapest To Run?
The cheapest toilet to run is the dual flush toilet system. With the toilet only costing $200 and having control over each flush, this is easily the most economical option. While other models may use less water overall, they do not allow you to use only as much water as you need.
These toilets are increasingly popular and a great eco-friendly option for your home. If you want to splurge, the composting toilet will save you tons of water in the long run. However, this model is much more expensive upfront.
Alexis is a lifelong writer and traveler who loves collecting information with the hope of someday winning trivia night. She enjoys exploring nature’s wonders, reading historical books, and trying out new baking recipes. And as a new homeowner, she is learning alongside the readers with every article!