Use Food Coloring to Diagnose a Water Leak in the Toilet Tank
If you have a heavy leak in your toilet, it's easy to diagnose—the faint sound of the toilet tank constantly replenishing is a dead give away. What about a slow leak? Diagnose it with food coloring.
If you have a slow leak in your toilet tank, hundreds of gallons are just slowly and silently cascading down the side of your toilet bowl every month. Fortunately you can easily detect if the uptick in your water bill is from a slow leak or not.
A simple test for toilet water leaks, place a half dozen or so drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. Leave the toilet alone for a half hour or more. Come back and check to see if the water in the bowl of the toilet has become tinted with the food-coloring dye from the tank. If it has, you've got a leak between the tank and the bowl.
How to check your toilet for leaks
- Remove the toilet tank lid.
- Drop one dye tablet or 10 drops of food coloring into the tank. (Dye tablets are often available for free through local water Providers.
- Put the lid back on. Do not flush.
- Wait at least 10-15 minutes, and then look in the bowl. If you see colored water, you have a leak. If not, you don't.