Greater Cincinnati Water Works

Greater Cincinnati Water Works


What Leaks Waste

High bills usually mean a leak. Leaks can drip hundreds of gallons of water down the drain.

Not only is your water wasted, but it registers through your meter and could cost you as much as several hundred dollars a month.

Please note that no reduction in water charges will be made for leakage.

  • Dripping Faucet: Consumes 15 gallons a day, or 60 cubic feet per month
  • Running Toilet: May consume up to 12 gallons a minute
  • 1/16-Inch Opening: Consumes 943 gallons a day, or 3,773 cubic feet per month
  • 1/4-Inch Opening: Consumes 60,900 gallons per day, or 243,600 cubic feet per month

Checking Your Toilet

Toilet leaks are the most common and costly types of leaks, because toilets represent the greatest water use in the home.

Here are some easy ways to check for and fix a toilet leak:

Continuous Overflow Leak

Remove the top of the tank. Find the overflow tube in the center of the tank. The water level should be about 1 inch below the top of the overflow. If the water is above the overflow, you probably have a continuous overflow leak. If the water is just at the top of the overflow, sprinkle some powder on the surface of the water near the overflow. If the powder disappears down the overflow, this also indicates a continuous overflow leak.

This problem can be corrected, depending on the cause, by:

  • Bending the end of the float ball rod down,
  • Replacing the float ball which has filled with water, or
  • Replacing a faulty or corroded float ball shut-off valve.

Improper Seating Leak

Wait 5 minutes after a flush. Check the water in the bowl for ripples. Or, perform a dye test: Simply put a few drops of food coloring in the tank and check the bowl in one hour. If colored water is getting into the bowl, you have a leak due to improper seating. If you do not have food coloring, call our Customer Service Center and request a dye strip to conduct a similar test.

This problem can be corrected, depending on the cause, by:

  • Tightening a loose handle
  • Straightening the control arm (e) if it is rubbing
  • Replacing a sticking rod guide (f) or ball rod
  • Cleaning a corroded valve seat
  • Replacing a faulty tank ball

Other Leaks

If your toilet is not the culprit, other leaks are not so easy to see and can also cause your water bill to be high.

If you have a high water bill and the toilet seems to be operating properly:

  • Check all faucets. Replace worn washers or defective fixtures.
  • Check outside water taps to be sure they are turned off at the faucet.
  • Check your water heater overflow pipe.
  • Check a humidifier tank that has a miniature float arm and an overflow.
  • Check for an underground leak.

If these steps do not solve your problem, you may need to call a plumber.