If you have noticed a substantial increase in your water bill or if your water meter indicates that you have been using more water than usual, then you probably have a plumbing issue somewhere inside or outside of your home. If you do not see water pipes leaking, then you need to check both your pool and toilet for leaks. Pools and toilets can leak water without leaving behind any obvious evidence.
A toilet that leaks can waste up to 16 cubic meters or over 4,000 gallons of water every month. The leaking water generally runs into the toilet bowl and the excess fluids work their way down through your sewage pipes. You may see a small trickle or slight movement in your toilet when you have a leak, or you may not see anything at all.
Identify the Problem
To check to see if your toilet is leaking, remove the cover from your toilet tank and look at the level of water inside. The water level should sit about an inch below the top of the overflow tube. This tube is hollow and water leaks into your toilet if the water level sits close to the openings. This means that your fill valve needs to be adjusted.
The bobber or float may be damaged as well. This part of the toilet shuts off the fill valve once the water in the tank reaches the correct height. When the float doesn’t work, then the fill valve does not turn off and water continues to flow into the tank.
If the water level in the tank is low or if you see the water moving, then water may be leaking out of the flapper. The flapper allows the water to enter the toilet bowl when the toilet is flushed. You can test to see if the flapper is leaking by adding three drops of blue food coloring to the water in the toilet tank. If the water in your toilet bowl turns blue after 15 or 20 minutes, then the flapper is leaking.
Make the Repairs
If you find the exact toilet leak problem, then you can purchase the necessary part from your local hardware store. If you are unsure of the problem or if you want to reduce water usage in your home, then consider purchasing new toilet components to replace the old ones. Find a low flow or dual flush toilet hardware kit and follow the instructions to replace your old toilet parts. These kits reduce toilet water usage substantially and your leaking problem will be repaired as well.
Pool Water Loss
Most pools have pumps and filters that allow water to run outside of the pool so that debris can be removed. Once the water is filtered, it is returned to the pool. This means that the water must run through a series of hoses and pipes to get back and forth from the pool to the filter. This water moves fast and with a great deal of pressure and even the smallest leak can cause substantial water loss.
Identify the Problem
To see if your pool is leaking water, fill up a bucket halfway with water and use a piece of tape or a pen to mark the water level. Place the bucket on the stairs in your swimming pool and place a mark where the pool water hits the bucket. Leave the bucket in place for 24 or 48 hours and then mark the levels of both the pool and bucket water. Measure the distances between the initial marks and the new marks. If the pool water has dropped further than the bucket water, then you have a leak.
To find a pool leak, inspect all of the hoses that attach to your pool filter to see if water is being released. Also, check seals, fittings, and gaskets around the filter.
Make the Repairs
Replace any filter or hose parts that appear to be leaking water. If there are no obvious leaks, then contact a plumber who can investigate the situation further. There can be a leak anywhere along the filtration system, and a plumber will be able to inspect all the lines as well as possible leaks in the concrete, fiberglass, or vinyl liner of your pool. Once the plumber finds the issue, you can make the repairs yourself by adding patches or by replacing parts, or the professional can do it for you.
A great deal of water can be lost if you have minor toilet and pool leaks, and the loss will be reflected on your water bill. To help conserve water and limit your costs, make sure to investigate leak issues and make the appropriate toilet and pool fixes.