Does your toilet randomly flush in the middle of the night or when nobody has pushed the handle?
It’s a phenomenon known as ghost flushing. No, neither your house nor your toilet is haunted. Ghost flushing is actually a fairly common plumbing problem where water is slowly leaking out of the tank and into the bowl. The water filling the bowl eventually triggers the toilet to flush.
Let the problem go too long, and your water bill will come back to haunt you. The issue generally gets worse overtime, causing your toilet to flush and waste water frequently. You’ll want to call a licensed plumber like one of the contractors at Plumbers 911 to fix your toilet.
You need to replace the flapper
In most cases, a ghost flushing toilet is caused by a loose flapper, which causes water to leak from the top tank into the bowl. To determine if this is the case, add some food coloring to the tank of your toilet. Wait about 30 minutes without using the toilet. If the dye has leaked into the bowl, you’ve got a loose or busted flapper.
Before you replace the flapper, however, check the toilet chain. Make sure it isn’t caught on anything. You may need to lengthen it by a link or two. There should be enough chain to allow the flapper to form a seal on the bottom of your tank.
Keep in mind that different toilets will require different sized flappers. Have a licensed plumber like a contractor from Plumbers 911 fix the flapper.
The fill tube is stuck in the overflow tube
Open the back of your toilet. The large white tube is the overflow tube. The smaller, hose-like tube is the filler tube. If the filler tube gets stuck inside the overflow tube, it will siphon water back out of the overflow tube and out of the tank. The back siphoning can cause your toilet to ghost flush.
A licensed plumber can attach a fastening clip on the end of the fill tube that is then hooked onto the end of the overflow tube, raising the fill tube and preventing it from back siphoning.
Your toilet is leaking
It’s also possible to have external leaks causing water to come out of the toilet. The toilet itself may be cracked or the plumbing may have leaking problems. This will also cause the toilet to ghost flush. You may need to replace the toilet or address a deeper plumbing issue. Call an emergency plumber like the contractors at Plumbers 911.
Need a plumber? Call Plumbers 911
If you need an emergency plumber to inspect or repair your toilet, call Plumbers 911. We are a network of licensed plumbers that can send a local emergency plumber to your home and address the problem. The sooner you get the toilet fixed, the less water you’ll waste. You’ll also avoid any nasty messes that can result if the problem gets too bad.