How To Check If Your Toilet Is Leaking: Easy Home Method

Have you noticed that your water bill has suddenly increased, but you can’t figure out why? It’s possible that you could have a leak in one of your toilets, even if you don’t see any visible signs of water around the commode.

Your toilet may have an internal leak that doesn’t leave any signs of water on the floor, known as a silent leak. You can test for a silent leak by listening for sounds of running water or by putting a few drops of dye in the toilet tank and waiting to see if it leaks through to the bowl.

Worried that you have a silent leak in your home? Let’s look at some information about silent leaks and how you can stop them. 

Can a Toilet Leak Without You Knowing It? 

A Toilet

Unfortunately, your toilet may be leaking without your knowledge, as not all leaks are visible or cause massive puddles of water in your bathroom. 

Some toilet leaks may be within the toilet itself, wasting water without exterior signs of leakage. These leaks are known as silent leaks. While it may seem weird to worry about a leak that isn’t leaving water everywhere, silent leaks can increase your water costs exponentially. 

What is a Silent Toilet Leak? 

A silent leak is when your toilet is leaking but not in a way that is immediately noticeable to the owner because the leak is contained within the toilet. 

The most common type of silent leak causes your toilet to flush unnecessarily. Flushing your toilet accounts for about 27% of your water usage each month, and if your toilet continues to flush even when not used or in between uses, this could be costing you lots of money on your water bill. 

How Do You Find a Silent Leak in Your Toilet? 

Think you may have a silent leak in your toilet? Below are some of the ways to work to find a silent leak in your home.


The number one way to find a silent leak is by listening. Although the word silent is in the name, these types of leaks typically have a sound associated. The sound could either be a faint running or dripping noise from your toilet. It could also include flushing sounds when no one is using the toilet.

There is a chance that your silent leak is entirely silent, especially if it is small. So just because you may not hear the leak doesn’t mean there isn’t one!

Color Test

Grab some food coloring and put a few drops in the toilet tank. Don’t flush the toilet; instead, wait a couple of hours and come back to check on it. 

When you come back, lift the toilet seat and look for signs of color in the water. If there is food dye in the toilet bowl, you have a silent leak. 

Silent Leak Tablets

An alternative to the color test is to use dye tablets (on Amazon) to try and find the leak. The dye tablets work in the same way as the color test but are a slightly different color and are more compacted to give an easier-to-see result. 

How to Fix a Silent Toilet Leak

Professional plumber repairing toilet tank

It can be annoying to discover that your toilet has a silent leak costing you money on your monthly water bill. Here are a few different ways you can work to fix the leak.

1. Call a Plumber

The most obvious solution is to call a plumber to fix your leaky toilet. However, this option can be a bit pricey, so you may want to try a DIY solution first. 

2. Clean Your Toilet Flap

A dirty toilet flap is the leading cause of silent leaks. Use a sponge or a rag to clear your toilet flap of dirt and debris to see if this helps.

3. Replace Your Toilet Flap

If you went to clean your toilet flap and found it was damaged rather than dirty, then you will need to replace the flap. Most hardware stores have a kit you can purchase, allowing you to replace the flap yourself without needing additional tools. 

While replacing the flap is easy, if you are unsure at any point during the process or you continue to have a leak afterward, be sure to call a licensed plumber for help. 

Final Thoughts on Checking Your Toilet

No matter how old of a toilet you have, it’s a bright idea to frequently check it for silent leaks that could be costing you extra on your monthly water bill. This way, if you find your toilet has a silent leak, you can work to remedy the problem before it gets worse.