I would like to pass on a bit of parenting advice that I have learned over the weekend before we begin today. If your children are playing quietly in their rooms, then you should definitely go ahead and check in on them—they are up to no good. Sure, we have had the occasional writing on the walls and furniture with permanent magic marker, the make-up incident that would make a circus clown jealous, and countless dirty diaper messes. But when toilets are involved, daddy gets a little upset.
I had to spend some quality time recently with a plunger trying to get the half ton of toilet paper unclogged from the toilet. That is not exactly the way that I envisioned to spending my evening, but oh well. After my multiple flushes and nearly getting tennis elbow, I finally got it unclogged.
While I was plunging away, I thought to do the old dye test. Most people will say that their toilets do not leak, but taking a few minutes out of your day can prove it. All you need is a little bit of food coloring and 15 minutes.
Remove the back lid of the toilet and drop in enough food coloring to turn the water to a noticeable shade. If after 15 minutes the color of the water in the bowl has changed as well, then you have a leak. Replacing the “guts” of the toilet is a good way to go. I would suggest changing all of the parts, but you can just get by with just the flapper and simple adjustments.
Many toilets also do run only at night; that’s because people use much less water during these hours and in many municipal water systems, the water pressure rises considerably during this time. It is not uncommon for system water pressure to rise by 15 to 20 pounds per square inch (psi), and by as much as 30 psi in some situations. This rise in pressure could cause “water creep” inside your gravity- fed tank by 1/2 inch or more. That is why the manufacturers of toilets normally suggest that the water level to be set at approximately one inch below the top of the overflow tube.
This does take general plumbing knowledge and experience, but is an easy start for any do it yourself kind of person.