Dealing with water leaks in the home is a common problem in American households, risking the loss of valuable resources and costing you money in the meantime. If you’re worried about the possibility of your toilet leaking or you’ve noticed some irregularities in the running and flushing process of the toilet’s water system, it’s best to conduct an easy at-home test to find out the answer. Here is a simple maneuver for checking the stability of your toilet and determining whether or not a leak is present.

1. Remove the toilet lid from the tank and drop dye into the water. This can be accomplished either by using simple food coloring from your kitchen or you can safely use a dye tablet, which is often made available for free at your local water utility provider. If you choose to use the food coloring method, release anywhere from 8-10 drops of food coloring into the water tank.

2. Place the lid back on the tank and leave the water to sit. Once you’ve applied the coloring and reassembled the water tank, be sure to not immediately flush right after dropping the coloring into the water. Leaving it to rest for upwards of 10-15 minutes gives the coloring a chance to settle and indicate any potential leaks or running water that will make themselves known in the toilet bowl.

3. Once the time has passed, glance into the bowl and find your answer. If a water leak is occurring through your toilet bowl, the water in the bowl should now be slightly colored due to the dye passing through. If the water has remained clear, then you’re probably safe from having any water leaks through the bowl. Use this handy trick with all of the toilets in the home to guarantee that no leaks are present.

If the toilet bowl test works correctly and doesn’t indicate any trace of a leak but you’re still experiencing problems, it’s time to investigate the surrounding area of the toilets in the home, as well. Another common area for toilet leaks is at the base, which can often be discovered after flushing the toilet. This could be due to loose bolts that need to be tightened or it could indicate the need to replace the wax rings where a seal could be broken.

Whatever the answer may be, addressing the problem and taking quick action is crucial for preventing further water loss and saving you and your family from spending money or dealing with the stress.