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Wasted Water Leaks (Toilet Tanks & Bowls) in Churches

Posted on May 20, 2016 by Bill Skubik in Maintenance, Things to Consider

Leaky toilets (this article is about the standard tank (1.5 to 6 gallon) and toilet bowl, it does not cover more expensive pressurized toilets) can cost churches hundreds of dollars a month in needlessly higher water/sewage bills. Toilet leaks can range from large to small, constant to random, or from being heard to silent. What all the leaks have in common is “wasted water”. A running toilet can leak a gallon of water a minute, which adds up to 1,440 gallons per day.

Most toilet leaks are relatively easy to fix. In a property functioning toilet, no water should move from the tank to the bowl, unless the toilet is being flushed.

The leaks come from the tank slowly emptying into the bowl without being flushed. A faulty valve causes most toilet leaks. A flapper valve should be replaced every 3 to 5 years. Most home improvement stores supply flappers.

Here are some instructions on how to check for a leaky toilet flush valve:

Carefully remove and set aside the tank lid
Add some food coloring to turn the water a different color
Wait 15 minutes and do not flush the toilet
If any food coloring appears in the toilet bowl, the flapper valve is leaking and should be replaced

A toilet can also waste water due to an improperly adjusted or broken fill (“ballcock”) valve causing water to enter the tank and flow in to the overflow tube. If the float is set too high or if the shut-off valve fails to close completely, water will continue to enter the tank and flow into the overflow tube. This type of leak can be seen by simply taking the tank top off and observing if water is flowing into the overflow tube once the tank is full.


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