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LeakAlertor 5000

LeakAlertor Differences

Which LeakAlertor do I have, the 5000 or the 6000?

•  The LeakAlertor 6000 has sensors exiting the enclosure, while the LeakAlertor 5000 does not.

•  The 6000 has a hole on the front (right side) of the enclosure to permit access to the reset button.

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LeakAlertor Installation

How do I install my LeakAlertor 5000?
  1. Close the toilet lid to prevent accidentally dropping the unit into the toilet bowl
  2. PEEL off the protective backing
  3. PRESS the LeakAlertor onto the outside surface of the tank
  4. While pressing the LeakAlertor onto the tank, PULL the battery activation tab straight down. After several seconds, the GREEN lamp will flash
  5. After the RED lamp flashes and the unit beeps, FLUSH the toilet

You can also check out the 30-second installation video here!

Can the LeakAlertor be placed on the inside of the toilet tank?

No. The LeakAlertor has been designed to ONLY be placed on the outside surface of the toilet tank.

Where should the LeakAlertor be placed on the toilet?

Although the LeakAlertor can be placed almost anywhere on the toilet tank, the best location is about two inches from the top of the tank, and close to the flush handle. For instance – the left side of the tank just below the lid is perfect!

LA-2-inch-diagram1

What happens if I forgot to flush the toilet during installation?

That’s not a problem! The LeakAlertor will go into “Learn Mode” and figure out the toilet’s characteristics on its own.

How long after installation will it take for my LeakAlertor to begin detecting leaks?

It can take the LeakAlertor up to 48 hours to “learn” all of the characteristics of the toilet, but a leak can typically be detected within the first 12 hours or less!

LeakAlertor Operation

How does the LeakAlertor work?

Just as a stethoscope allows a doctor to detect heart problems the patient didn’t know existed, the LeakAlertor identifies toilet leaks that most people cannot see or hear. To put it simply, the LeakAlertor analyzes all of the noise your toilet generates to determine whether or not there is a leak or a stuck flapper. When a problem is detected, the LeakAlertor will flash the RED lamp and beep at the end of every flush cycle. If a stuck flapper is detected, the LeakAlertor will start flashing the RED lamp and beep until the problem is corrected.

(For a more technical answer, please check out the “Ask the Engineers” FAQ’s)

What do the RED, GREEN and YELLOW lights mean when they flash?

At the end of each flush cycle, the LeakAlertor will give you a status indication:

Two GREEN flashes: No leak, no problem!
YELLOW flashes and BEEPSThe battery is low and will need to be changed.
Several RED flashes and BEEPS: A leak has been detected.
MANY RED flashes and BEEPS: A MAJOR leak has been detected!
CONTINUOUS, NON-STOP RED flashes and BEEPS: A STUCK-FLAPPER or TOILET OVERFLOW has been detected! IMMEDIATE action is required!

How often will the LeakAlertor notify me of the status of my toilet?

At the conclusion of most flush cycles, the LeakAlertor will flash RED if there is a leak and GREEN if everything is OK.

How long will the LeakAlertor battery last?

The LeakAlertor’s replaceable battery will usually last up to two years, and quite often even longer! However, the battery’s operational life can be shortened due to uncorrected leaks (the more the lamps flash and the unit beeps, the more the battery is drained).

How do I replace the battery once it dies?
Why is my LeakAlertor beeping?

Like your battery-powered smoke alarm, occasional beeping indicates a low battery. In addition to the beeps, you will also see the YELLOW lamp on the LeakAlertor flash at the end of each flush cycle. These signals let you know that the battery needs to be replaced.

If the beeping is accompanied with a blinking RED lamp, then you have a leak.

Will the LeakAlertor give a false positive for anything other than a toilet leak?

Extensive testing has shown that in almost every single instance, if the RED lamp is flashing, the toilet is, or has been, leaking.

A leak was detected…now what?

The RED lamp is flashing, but I used dye tablets and there is no coloring in the bowl... Why did the LeakAlertor indicate a leak?

The LeakAlertor is able to detect intermittent leaks and alert the user after-the-fact, even if the toilet has temporarily stopped leaking. Generally speaking, once a toilet begins to leak intermittently (periodically), the flapper will continue to deteriorate until the leak becomes virtually continuous.

I just replaced my flapper - do I need to reset my LeakAlertor?

No! Once the flapper has been replaced, the LeakAlertor will adjust to the new toilet environment within 24 hours.

I just replaced my flapper, and my LeakAlertor is still indicating a leak... Why?

If you just replaced your flapper, the LeakAlertor needs 24 hours to reset and recognize that the leak has been corrected.

If it has been more than 24 hours since replacing the flapper, and the LeakAlertor is still indicating a problem, unfortunately you probably still have a leak. Contact a local plumber to find out the cause.

What causes my flapper to leak?

There are several reasons that a flapper might leak…

  • The flapper deteriorates over time due to cleaning solvents, repetitive use and/or hard water.
  • A small piece of foreign matter may be lodged under the flapper lip.
  • The flapper in your toilet may not be the correct make, model, or size.
What should I do if my toilet is leaking or if the flapper is stuck?

In most cases, the flapper should be replaced. You can easily purchase a flapper in the plumbing aisle of your local hardware or home improvement store. You can also call your local plumber to replace it for you!

General Questions

Is the LeakAlertor safe around children?

Yes, the LeakAlertor is safe around children. It cannot easily be taken off the toilet or opened.

Can my LeakAlertor be used anywhere else other than the toilet?

No. The primary function of the LeakAlertor is to detect toilet tank leaks.

Can my LeakAlertor be cleaned?

Yes, with any mild bathroom detergent. It is suggested that you wipe the LeakAlertor with a damp cloth or towel instead of spraying it directly.

How do I remove the LeakAlertor from my toilet?

To remove the LeakAlertor from your toilet, use a butter knife or putty knife to gently pry the unit from the tank.

Can I move my LeakAlertor to different toilets?

No. It is recommended that the LeakAlertor be placed and left on a single toilet. When it is first activated, the LeakAlertor “learns” the characteristics of the toilet to which it is attached and remembers only those characteristics.

My LeakAlertor's GREEN lamp kept flashing while I was drying my hair... Why?

The LeakAlertor’s detection circuitry is also able to profile various kinds of background noise (like hair dryers). It will use those opportunities to alert you that no leak has been detected and the LeakAlertor is working properly

How much water is lost from a leaking toilet?

According to the American Water Works Association (AWWA), a leaking toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water in just one day. At that rate, that’s enough water to fill an Olympic size swimming pool in one year!

Ask the Engineers

How does the LeakAlertor REALLY work?

 

A leaking flapper will produce a drop in the water level inside the toilet tank, causing the fill valve float (or pressure sensor) to activate, which usually lasts several seconds. This phenomenon is often referred to as a “phantom flush”. As the flapper continues to leak, this process repeats itself. When a fill valve action occurs (phantom flush or actual flush), water is forced into the tank at a rate that is a function of the water pressure, toilet feed-valve, and the ports of the fill valve itself. The pressurized water produces turbulence inside the tank, which in turn produces vibration. The LeakAlertor has been designed to specifically identify and isolate the vibration signature of a fill valve action and qualify it as either a normal flush cycle or a refill action in response to a leaking flapper. Easier said than done!

What was the most critical design objective for the LeakAlertor?

One of the most critical design objectives for the LeakAlertor was simplicity of installation and use. Achieving that objective without any user setup or calibration required developing a unique sensor technology and a correspondingly complex mathematical process that would allow the product to be placed on virtually any tank and flapper based toilet (there are hundreds of different models), accounting for dozens of different types of fill valves, flappers, and variations in water pressure (even on the same toilet), while simultaneously ignoring external noise, incidental bathroom “disturbances” (use your imagination!), and all kinds of interference.

How does the LeakAlertor identify the vibration signature of a flush cycle?

Because the vibration signature is different from toilet to toilet, the LeakAlertor must first “learn” its environment. After attaching the product to the toilet and pulling the battery activation tab, the user is instructed to flush the toilet. The LeakAlertor then mathematically models the toilet as a function of the vibration due to water turbulence, committing the “flush signature” to memory. The “flush signature” is used to help determine other toilet characteristics, such as whether or not the flapper is leaking . The modeled flush signature is also used to determine when an actual flush is taking place so that upon completion of the entire flush cycle, the user can be alerted.

How long does it take the LeakAlertor to learn its environment and begin to alert the user?

 

Depending upon what data is modeled when the unit is first installed, and given the actual normal use of the toilet and any associated background noise, it can take up to 48 hours to “learn” the toilet and respond accordingly to leaks. However, extensive testing and actual field data has shown that in most instances, the LeakAlertor will mathematically model the toilet and detect leaks in just a few hours, or overnight at most.

 

Does the LeakAlertor give an indication after every flush?

 

The majority of the time, the LeakAlertor will give a status indication after every flush. There are a few exceptions:

  • The LeakAlertor divides the day into a number of cycles, which represent specific periods of time. At the conclusion of each cycle, the device takes several minutes to recalibrate itself. During this recalibration, the LeakAlertor is unable to detect flushes and will not respond with any type of indication.
  • Some toilets are very quiet. The LeakAlertor will adjust its sensitivity over a wide range in order to detect very quiet fill valve actions, and this occurs as a function of a number of different factors. If the toilet is flushed during a time when it has not adjusted its sensitivity low enough, the device may not “see” the flush, and thus will not respond with any type of indication.
Sometimes, the LeakAlertor gives an indication when no actual flush has been initiated... Why?

 

The same technology that is used to detect turbulence can also detect the “presence” of someone nearby due to the noise that individual is producing.

  • Operating a hair dryer, a nearby noisy shower, singing, loud conversations, and more can be detected by the LeakAlertor. The device assumes that someone is in the bathroom, and it will give an indication of the toilet’s status after the noise has ceased.

 

Guides Icon

Technical Reference Guide

A brief overview of how the LeakAlertor really works.

Technical Reference Guide

Step-by-Step Evaluator’s Guide

A quick reference guide to installing and testing the LeakAlertor, including how to create an authentic leak, and common installation errors.

Evaluator’s Guide

Data Display Unit (DDU) Guide

The definitive guide to the LeakAlertor, how it really works, and how to use the Data Display Unit to show real-time measurements, events and data logging information.

Data Display Unit Guide

Leak Simulator Kit Guide

Create an authentic leak with our Simulator so you can see the LeakAlertor in action!

Leak Simulator Guide

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Dye Tablets

5 Reasons why dye tablets are not accurate:

The LeakAlertor takes away the frustration of high water bills, and saves you money! Unlike dye tablets, the LeakAlertor is constantly at work checking for silent leaks, wide-open flappers, and faulty fill valves. It alerts you before you leave the bathroom with a “beep” and blinking LED during the flush cycle.

1) Errors are made in using dye tablets.
Often times, dye tablets are used incorrectly. Some people have mistakenly put the tablet in the toilet bowl rather than the toilet tank…test ruined! Some have put the tablet in the tank, and flushed the toilet immediately…test ruined! Some people drop the tablet in the tank, but then walk away and forget…again, test ruined!

2) Not all toilet leaks are caught by dye tablets.
Dye tablets can only detect one type of leak – a leaking flapper – and only if it’s leaking at the time of the test. However, stuck flush valves, wide-open flappers, phantom flushes, and running toilets are all common leaks not detected by dye tablets.

3) By the time you use a dye tablet your toilet may have already been leaking for weeks, or even months.
Often times, homeowners don’t realize a toilet is leaking because they think a leak should mean there is water on the floor. However, the most common leaks occur either at the flapper, or where the tank and bowl connect. These leaks occur inside the toilet, and are almost always invisible.

4) Intermittent leaks are often missed by dye tablets.
Just because your toilet isn’t leaking at the moment of testing doesn’t mean it wasn’t leaking an hour ago, or won’t be leaking an hour from now. Also, when a flapper first begins to leak, the amount may be too small for dye tablets to detect.

5) It’s not easy to get dye tablets.
Few hardware stores actually sell them, and it’s a hassle to contact your water utility for free tablets. You can buy them on-line, but you have to pay for shipping and wait for them to arrive. Meanwhile, your toilet continues to leak, and your water bill gets even higher!

7 Reasons why the flapper/flush-valve won't close:

1)  The flapper is “stuck” to the overflow pipe.
One observable symptom: it is not bobbing or floating in the water, regardless of the water height, and appears to be partially or fully upright.

2)  The chain is tangled.
A chain link can get stuck on the metal clip or loop over the top of the lever arm. Although an improper chain length causes many of these problems, “slapping” the flush handle can also cause the chain to hang up.

3)  A clogged drain/obstructed pipe produces back pressure through the flush valve seat.
The obstruction doesn’t allow the water level inside the tank to drop low enough for the flapper to seat properly. In this instance, the flapper appears to “hover” in the water above the flush valve seat. A clogged or obstructed drain pipe is the most common reason for toilets to overflow the bowl.

4)  A “universal” replacement flapper is purchased.
When a “universal” replacement flapper is purchased, it does not seat properly on the flush valve. Flappers should be purchased according to the type of flush valve used because universal flappers can leak and/or fail to seat up to 50% of the time.

5)  The flush handle/lever is old, defective, or “sticking” to the inside of the toilet tank.
Old or defective equipment can result in the flapper being held open.

6)  The flapper hinges are weakened and/or degraded.
This allows the flapper to slide to the side and not seat properly on the flush valve. (Note: the water flow from the fill valve can also push the flapper to one side if it is above 60 PSI.)

7)  A flapper’s buoyancy doesn’t become “negative” until the tank completely evacuates.
This does not allow the flapper to seat properly. Although there are several known causes (including toilet design), the most common is a clogged or obstructed drain pipe, which creates back pressure into the tank through the flush valve.


5 Common reasons why wide-open flappers often go undetected:

1)  No one is home to hear it running.
Often times, a person will use the bathroom before they leave their home (or business). In this case, a wide-open flapper would not be detected until the person returned home and realized the problem. This could be hours, or even the following day.

2)  The bathroom is not used frequently.
A wide-open flapper in secondary bathrooms (a finished basement or guest bathroom) can go undetected for days or weeks, wasting a tremendous amount of water and resulting in a high water bill.

3)  Hearing impaired/challenged people may fail to recognize a problem exists.
People with moderate to severe hearing loss may be unable to hear the running water. People afflicted with tinnitus may be unable to distinguish the sound of the running water from their tinnitus.

4)  The sound of the toilet tank refilling is a muted hum.
The initial flush of a toilet is loud, brief, and occurs while the user is still in the bathroom. However, the refilling of the toilet is quieter, prolonged, and typically finishes after the user has left the bathroom. Therefore, the user is unaware when the flapper remains wide-open.

5)  Background noise can easily mask the sound of a wide-open flapper or flush valve.
Examples include central air conditioners and HVAC systems (while the fan is operating); ceiling and window fans; music and/or TV; etc.