Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Water Bureau

From forest to faucet, we deliver the best drinking water in the world.

Customer Service: 503-823-7770

GENERAL INFORMATION: 503-823-7404

More Contact Info

Your Toilet is Feeling Neglected. Here's What You Can Do About It.

Simple steps you can take to fix a water-wasting toilet

Toilets are misunderstood. Knowing the basics of how a toilet works, and how to fix it can help you save thousands of gallons every month!

If you’re unsure, don’t worry, you’re not alone in having some toilet anxiety. Google aggregated global “how to fix” searches and it turns out we search for how to fix toilets a lot. It’s the top “how to” search for fixture fix in North America!

We’ve got you covered on this one.

How to Find a Toilet Leak

Check your toilet for leaks twice a year. It’s easy!

Just grab some food coloring, lift the lid off your toilet tank, and add 10 drops of food coloring to the water in the tank. But don’t flush! Wait 15 minutes. If the dye color shows up in your toilet bowl, you have a leak. Don’t have food coloring around? Order a conservation kit and you’ll get a set of leak detection tablets that you can use instead.

Fix a Flapper in Five Easy Steps

Toilet tankIn the toilet, the flapper is really the magic behind the flush. This rubber or plastic part allows water to “flush” from the tank into the bowl and down the drain.

Flappers typically last about 5 years and are often the source of leaks when they no longer fully seal. You can repair or replace a flapper with these quick, easy steps. It’s fine to put your hands in the tank water, but you might want to wash well afterwards.

  1. Turn the water inlet shut-off valve clockwise to turn the water off.
  2. Flush the toilet to drain the tank.
  3. Check the flapper valve to make sure it is lining up with the valve seat. If needed, replacement flappers can easily be purchased at hardware stores and some large grocery stores. Take your old flapper with you to make sure you get one that fits.
  4. Attach the new flapper to notches on either side of the overflow tube base. Hook the chain in a position where it rests without pulling the flapper up (causing a leak) or hanging over the edge.
  5. After installing the new flapper valve, flush to test.

Replace your toilet for a rebate!

If repair isn’t the answer, that the Portland Water Bureau offers a $50* rebate to replace your old toilet with a water efficient model.  Lean more at: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/water/rebate.

*Single-family residential customers enrolled in the bill discount program are eligible for a $100 per toilet rebate.