Asked on Nov 26, 2012

Can a frog in the toilet be an indication of a water leak or a break in my water line?

by Morgan
I got up in the wee hours of the morning and was greeted by a FROG on my toilet seat. About 2 years ago, my friend saw one in another upstairs toilet during the summer and a couple days later, my neighbor's water main broke and flooded our street. Recently I have discovered I may have a leak, due to an unusually high water bill. What do I need to do to get the problem corrected and prevent critters from entering my home through my pipes? Also, does the county cover the cost of water main repairs (I live in Metro Atlanta, GA)?
  9 answers
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Nov 26, 2012
    There is no way a frog can enter via the "supply" side. The waste side however is a 3" line that will have openings to the air. These are typically on your roof, I had a client some years back that had a "drowned" squirrel in his toilet bowl. We figured he came in through one of the roof vent stacks. Some hardware cloth will keep that from happening again. your leak could be in your supply underground piping or even be something as simple as a poorly adjusted toilet can test for leaks in the toilet tank with a few drops of food coloring. To test the toilet tank let the toilet fill normally until it shuts off...then add a couple drops to the tank water....if after a few minutes / hour you see color in the Bowl then you have a leak or adjustment problem.
  • Morgan Morgan on Nov 26, 2012
    KMS thanks SO much! So, just so I can be sure Im getting this right..the waste vents that lead to the roof go directly to the toilet? As you can tell, I have no idea about home repair issues. I'm going to test the tank this evening...if I can muster up the courage to lift my toilet lids
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Nov 26, 2012
    The vents on the roof are tied into the overall plumbing system, The waste water flows down and out to your city sewer or homes septic. The "vents" allow the water to flow more freely. These vent line vary by size depending on where they are located in the overall system. here is a link to a simple drawing... The vent stack is normally burred in the wall and is open outside. Because this is connected to the main sewer drain it is full of "sewer" gas. Every plumbing location in a home will have some type of "trap" that is filled with water and is configured in a u shape this blocks the sewer gas from entering the home. In a toilet this "trap" is the water in the bowel. If you removed the toilet from the floor the pipe below should not have any water in it and be continuous with the vent stack. The squirrel I mentioned before climbed down the vent stack then up trough the toilet flange in the floor then it climbed up through the S bend in the toilet to find itself in the toilet bowl...luck for the homeowner they left the seat down...otherwise the squirrel could have run about the house. Its a crappy way to get into a house, but possible for small animals.
  • Morgan Morgan on Nov 26, 2012
    Geez!! Thanks for the information!! I'm hoping I never have to deal with this again!
  • It sounds as though you have a few issues. check your water meter and note the position of the different hands on the meter or note the reading. Do this when you go to bed at night or when you leave the house for the day. After eight hours or so check the readings before you use any water. If the meter has changed, you have a leak. Do as KMS said, color the water in the toilet tank and wait a few hours to see if the bowl water color changes. Check carefully on the outside for dripping faucets as well. As far as a frog, then can swim up stream but it is not very common for them to go past the in line trap that separates the sewer side from the house side. Check to see if you have a mushroom type cap next to the foundation wall or a wall vent against the house. This cap or vent (4" round) is the fresh air that allows air to enter into the pipe system so the waste water flows to the street system. If this cap is missing, this may be the point of entry into the house. If not, I have no idea how this critter can get into the house from the main street sewer pipe. As far as city or county repairs, you need to call them directly. I know where I live I can purchase for about $15 per month, which is high, water main and sewer drain line insurance in case they leak or fail. You may want to purchase this insurance if its mad available to you.
  • Are you sure it was not a prince? As for costs, check with your homeowner's insurance agent--if its not covered, a low cost rider may be available. They should be able to explain to you what may be covered by your policy and where the county's responsibility ends/ My very general oversimplistic understanding is that if it a leak before the meter, its their problem but if after the meter, its your cost.
  • Morgan Morgan on Nov 28, 2012
    Thanks for your help! It's after the meter. The county was very quick to inform me that I have to cover the cost. With all of the great advice I received here, I was able to get a great estimate and my leak detection guy quickly found the leak
  • Morgan Morgan on Dec 03, 2012
    It was in the 3/4" blue polybutelene service line, right next to the water meter