It’s the last day of Fix-A-Leak Week! So far, we’ve talked about the problem (leaks, and especially leaking flappers and running toilets). Now, it’s time to talk about the solution. Like we explained in Day 5, leaks are the kind of invisible water that we can save. The question is, how can we detect them? Here at nth Solutions, we have the answer: the LeakAlertor®. And like all good inventions, the LeakAlertor has its origin story.

It was late at night, when our lead engineer and co-founder, Eric Canfield, sat down at the kitchen table, about to eagerly enjoy his dinner. And then, he felt the drops trickle onto his head, his neck, and into that steaming beef stew. Toilet water! For the third time in less than two months, one of his three teenage daughters had caused an upstairs toilet overflow. Enough was enough.

It was time to buy a solution. Eric searched high and low and found nothing. Convinced that a product had to exist to solve this problem, he headed to the US Patent Office. And while he found 150 patents related to toilet leaks and overflows, not a single one had resulted in a consumer product.

What to do? As we learned, leaks are a common problem that can cause great damage: both, to the environment and to your water bill. So, Eric did what every inventor has always done: he decided to create his own solution. Partnering with local businesswoman Susan Springsteen, Eric co-founded nth Solutions, LLC, as a catalyst for bringing his idea to life in the form of the LeakAlertor.

Now in its 6th generation, the LeakAlertor 6000 is the fruit of 22 years of research, 6 issued and pending patents, and numerous trade secrets. It installs in seconds without tools and constantly monitors for leaks, running toilets, and overflows. Most importantly, it alerts you both audibly and visually to the problem before you leave the bathroom – to help you minimize your water footprint.

With the team at nth Solutions, Eric avenged his beef stew and produced an efficient solution for the universal problems of toilet mishaps and leak detection. And ever since then, the LeakAlertor has been helping to find leaks – all week, every week.

So thanks for tuning in this week to investigate the world of leaks and water with us, folks! This marks the end of this year’s Fix-A-Leak Week. We hope we’ve given you some food for thought these past few days with our discussions about water conservation. The importance of monitoring and detecting unwanted water wastage and leaks truly grows to be more relevant each and every day, and that’s a fact that we recognize wholeheartedly.

That’s why in honor of Fix-A-Leak Week, and to thank you for following our posts all week, we’ve created a coupon code for you: FALW2019.  Just visit us at www.leakalertor.com in the next week, buy as many LeakAlertors as you need, and enter the code. We’ll take $5 off each one you order, and the shipping & handling is free (sorry, US orders only)! So, celebrate Fix-A-Leak Week with us, and save water and money with the LeakAlertor, one leak at a time.

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.