Water Block water shutoff device installed in the vertical position on a toilet shutoff valve. The device is connected to a stainless steel braided toilet hose.

How You Can Stop a Running Toilet Now With These Automatic Water Shutoff Devices!

Stop That Running Toilet!

A running toilet can be a costly and wasteful problem, even if it goes unnoticed for just a short period of time. A high monthly or quarterly water bill can attest to this. Residents of water-conservation states like California know this all too well, as they can end up with a hefty water bill if they don't have a way to identify or  automatically shutoff the water supply to a running toilet.

Where Do Toilets Leak?

The most common running toilet leaks are caused by a few components. These can include an open flapper at the bottom of the tank that doesn't seal properly due to warpage, deterioration, or misalignment. Another common cause is a faulty fill-valve seal that is worn or obstructed by sediment. This can cause the seal to continuously release a steady stream of water into the overflow tube. Finally, a running toilet can also be caused by a fill-valve that is stuck open due to changes in plumbing water pressure.

To help visualize the potential loss of water from a worn or obstructed flapper, consider the image of a subfloor view of the drain pipe from under the floorboard. The image shows how a small leak from the flapper can cause a significant amount of water to accumulate under the toilet over time. According to the EPA, a running toilet can waste upwards of 200 gallons of water per day.

White PVC toilet drain pipe leaking water below subfloor structure. This is a potential plumbing problem that should be addressed by a qualified plumber. The water damage could cause mold growth and structural damage if it is not repaired promptly.

Drain Pipe View Under Floorboard of A Flapper Seal Leak.


The Potential Danger From A Leaking Toilet

So, what could happen if you are away from home and NOT present to turn off the water supply for a running toilet? Well, you can waste a TON of water, or worse, you may end up with a TON of water on your floor. 

Using a conservative EPA water loss calculation of 8 gallons per hour, here's how much water can be wasted in different scenarios:

  • If you're at work for 8 hours: 64 gallons
  • If you're away for the weekend for 48 hours: 384 gallons
  • If you're on business travel for a week for 120 hours: 960 gallons
  • If you're on two weeks of summer vacation for 336 hours: 2,688 gallons
  • If you're home in an empty nester home with a 2nd/3rd floor bathroom or basement toilet that goes unchecked for a month for 720 hours: 5,760 gallons
  • If you're at a summer home for six months for 4,368 hours: 34,944 gallons

The EPA's worst-case estimate of 166 gallons per hour would result in the following water loss:

  • If you're at work for 8 hours: 1,328 gallons
  • If you're away for the weekend for 48 hours: 7,968 gallons
  • If you're on business travel for a week for 120 hours: 19,920 gallons
  • If you're on two weeks of summer vacation for 336 hours: 55,776 gallons
  • If you're home in an empty nester home with a 2nd/3rd floor bathroom or basement toilet that goes unchecked for a month for 720 hours: 119,520 gallons
  • If you're at a summer home for six months for 4,368 hours: 725,088 gallons


Running Toilet Solutions

Fortunately, you no longer need to be physically present to stop a running toilet when a leak develops. There are two automatic shutoff devices available on the market that can do the job for you, at different budget price/performance thresholds!

Mechanical water block installed on a toilet in a horizontal plane. The water block has fittings to connect to a water shutoff supply valve and a supply hose. This is a safety device that can be used to stop the flow of water to the toilet in the event of a leak or other problem.

Mechanical Water Block Installation On A Toilet Stop Valve.

The first device is the most economical option. It is a 100% mechanical, real-time shut-off valve that is widely used in the USA by the coffee service industry as a property damage protection device against coffee brewer water line breaks or tube disconnects. When applied to a toilet, this technology can prevent about 70% of silent tank leaks. The only instances in which it will not operate and perform a shutoff are in a "tank full condition" (plumbing term that refers to a toilet tank that is filled to the top with water) and a flapper leak develops, or if the leak flow rate is less than 0.50 gallons per minute. Testing shows the device works extremely well against the most common toilet tank failures which are the flapper not properly sealing after a flush and a open fill valve producing a continuous water stream into the overflow tube.

  • The Water Block device will automatically reset itself after every flush, unless the trigger threshold has been exceeded. The trigger threshold is the amount of water that the device needs to detect in order to activate. If the trigger threshold is exceeded, the device will not automatically reset itself and will need to be manually reset by pressing the red lever on the reset device.

If you want complete control over your toilet leaks, the E-WATERBLOCK BLE or LORA SMART device is the best option. This intelligent, real-time shutoff valve will stop the flow of water with minimal delay as soon as it detects a leak.

Here are some of the advantages of this technology:
  • Personalized settings: The device can be customized to your specific needs, such as the size of your toilet tank and the type of leak you want to detect.
  • Wide range of detection: The device can detect drips of water, full-on flow rates of up to 8 gallons per minute, and continuous flow.
  • Cloud connectivity: The device sends water flow data to the cloud for historical analysis, pattern interpretation, and alerts. You can also set the device to send you a notification before it shuts off the water, so you can take action to fix the leak before it causes any damage.
  • Management dashboard: The device has a management dashboard that allows you to view the water flow data from all of your toilets in one place. This is helpful for multi-family buildings or businesses with multiple toilets. The dashboard also allows you to generate maintenance tickets if needed.
  • Easy to install and maintain: The device is easy to install and maintain. It can be manually reset by turning a red knob, and it automatically resets itself after each flush if the leak has been repaired.

The E-WATERBLOCK  can be manually reset by turning a red knob. It will automatically reset itself after each flush if the leak has been repaired and the activation threshold has not been exceeded.

Eltek smart E-WaterBlock installed on a toilet for complete leak water protection. The E-WaterBlock is a small, wireless device that can detect leaks and excessive water consumption in toilets. When it detects a problem, it will automatically shut off the water supply to the toilet, preventing flooding and water damage. The E-WaterBlock is easy to install and does not require any tools or professional help. It is also battery-powered, so there are no wires to worry about. The E-WaterBlock is a great way to protect your home from water damage and to keep your family safe.

Smart E-WaterBlock Installation On Toilet Shutoff Valve.

    Both the mechanical Water Block and SMART E-WATERBLOCK offer the secondary benefit of protecting your property from water damage caused by leaks in the plumbing connections to the toilet tank.

    External to the toilet, leaks can develop due to hose bursts, cracked coupling nuts, or toilet tank cracks. All of these incidents can be detected and the water supply shut off if they occur downstream of the device.

    Other technologies, such as toilet notification systems, offer some value to consumers, but they can result in significant water loss between the time the notification is sent and the time the repair is completed. This approach assumes that the homeowner is reachable, the repair is done quickly, and access to the premises is possible. It does little to conserve water or produce a meaningful lower water utility bill.

    A running toilet can be a costly and wasteful problem, but there are solutions available to help you prevent water loss and save money.

    If you are concerned about water loss from a running toilet, I recommend investing in one of the automatic shutoff devices mentioned in this blog. They are a cost-effective way to prevent water loss, save money on your water bill, and protect your property from water damage.


    To learn more about these devices or to get a quote, you can check out the Hawkeyed Water Defense website or their contact us page.

     A plumber installs a Water Block on a toilet to prevent leaks.

    Water Block Prevents Water Damage in Multi-Family and Condo Units by Automatically Shutting Off Water Supply to Leaking Toilets. 

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