Na(+)-coupled phosphate cotransporters of the SLC34 gene family catalyze the movement of inorganic phosphate (P(i)) across epithelia by using the free energy of the downhill electrochemical Na(+) gradient across the luminal membrane. Electrogenic (NaPi- IIa/b) and electroneutral (NaPi-IIc) isoforms prefer divalent P(i) and show strict Na(+):P(i) stoichiometries of 3:1 and 2:1, respectively. For electrogenic cotransport, one charge is translocated per transport cycle. When NaPi-IIa or NaPi-IIb are expressed in Xenopus oocytes, application of the P(i) transport inhibitor phosphonoformic acid (PFA) blocks a leak current that is not detectable in the electroneutral isoform. In this review, we present the experimental evidence that this transport-independent leak originates from a Na(+)-dependent uniport carrier mode intrinsic to NaPi-IIa/b isoforms. Our findings, based on the characteristics of the PFA-inhibitable leak measured from wild type and mutant constructs, can be incorporated into an alternating access class model in which the leak and cotransport modes are mutually exclusive and share common kinetic partial reactions.