Common types of leaks found in a home are caused by worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and leaking valves. And even a small leak in your home can use thousands of gallons of water per month. For instance, a leaky faucet can waste up to 15 gallons of water per hour. That's over 10,000 gallons per month!
While average monthly water usage can vary greatly, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), if a family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons of water use per month, there may be a leak. But, if your monthly water usage and water bill seems to have increased with no known cause, you should check your plumbing for leaks.
Toilet Leaks and the Food Coloring Test
Toilet leaks are common and can be detected by doing a food coloring test. Place a few drops of food coloring in the tank at the back of your toilet and let it sit for about 10 minutes. If the color shows up in the water in the bowl, you have a leak. (Be sure to flush the toilet until all the color is gone from the tank and bowl to avoid staining.) See the list below for other areas in your plumbing system to check.