Having a leaky toilet costs consumers hundreds of extra dollars each month. One leaky toilet can waste as much as four to five gallons of water per minute.

The most common toilet leak is a leaky flapper, or flush valve. The flapper is located at the bottom of the tank and if it does not seal properly water will leak around it and into the toilet bowl. As the water leaks the tank level falls and the toilet fills back up again. A simple test can be done by adding a few drops of food coloring into the tank after it has finished filling. If there is a leak the food coloring will leak into the bowl.

Replacing a flapper or flush valve in a toilet is simple and should only take a few minutes. Flappers can be purchased at most retail outlets that sell plumbing supplies.

For more instructions on repairing a leaky toilet, consumers can visit the fluidmaster website at www.fluidmaster.com. The site will walk consumers through simple repairs and suggest what parts are needed for repairs.

Most repair kits are less than $20.00 and come with simple instructions. By purchasing a kit instead of individual parts, you eliminate unnecessary trips to the hardware store.

First turn the water off at the shutoff valve near the base of the toilet. If there is not a shutoff valve there you will need to shut the valve off that is located on the floor underneath the toilet. Once the water is off you should flush the toilet. This empties the tank so you can make repairs. Use a sponge to soak up any water left in the tank.

You should check your toilet-tank mechanism and be sure to purchase the correct kit.

Align the flapper over the mounting ears on the flush valve. Connect the chain from the flush lever to the flapper and turn the water back on. When the tank has filled check for leaks. You may need to shorten the chain depending on the valve or trim the flapper.

Another type of toilet leak is caused by a broken fill valve. If the float is set too high or the shut-off valve does not close completely, water will continue to flow into the overflow tube. This tube is what delivers water into the toilet bowl.

You will need to shut off the water to the toilet. Flush the toilet to remove the water and use a sponge to remove excess water from the tank.

Disconnect the supply line and remove the plastic lock. Remove the old valve and replace with a new valve. Again, these parts can be purchased as kits and have all the parts needed to repair your toilet. It is important to follow the directions on the kit in order for your toilet to work properly.

Once all repairs are made, turn the water supply back on to your toilet. Let the tank fill and flush a few times. You can also drop food coloring into the tank again to be certain you fixed the leak properly. If there is still a leak, make sure the flapper is covering the hole. You may need to make adjustments to the flapper.

You can also adjust the water level in the tank by twisting the top of the valve and float assembly. Turning clockwise will raise the water level and counterclockwise will lower the level. Try each one to see which level is best for your tank.

If you have questions or need further help contact the support hotline that is located on the back of the kit.

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