You are alone in your house at night and hear your toilet flushing in the nearby bathroom. Your mind starts racing with the possibility of only one explanation: your bathroom is haunted!
In reality, this is no paranormal plumbing incident and is what the plumbing industry refers to as ghost flushing.
The term ghost flushing is rooted in having a toilet that flushes on its own, but there is no ghost involved. This occurs because of a slow water leak from the tank due to a weakened flapper. This causes the float to lower which triggers the water to refill the tank.
How to Determine Where the Leak Is Coming From
Check for internal leaks
The first step to stopping your toilet’s ghost flushing issue is to determine the source of the leak. If there is no water pooling around your flow, it is often the toilet flapper that is the source of your problem. To check the functionality of this component, just perform a simple dye test. Put a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank, let it sit for 30 minutes, and if that same color is still there half an hour later, you will know that the flapper is causing the internal leak. Make sure the flapper is clean and working properly with the toilet chain. If the problem persists after that, you will probably need to replace the flapper altogether.
Check for external leaks
If you find water pooling at the base of your toilet bowl, then your ghost flushing problem can likely be traced back to an external leak. You will want to check for cracks in the bowl. You may also be dealing with a loose supply line or a broken shutoff valve. Make sure that the connections of these components are tight, as loose valves are a common cause of toilet leaks. You should make sure your toilet is properly bolted to the floor too and see if the wax gasket for your toilet is still in place. However, if your toilet bowl is cracked, you will likely have to install a whole new unit.
Check your water bill
If your toilet seems to be ghost flushing but you cannot find the source of the problem, the best thing to do is to check your water bill. If there has been a sudden increase in costs and you have not changed your habits specifically, then there is a good chance that a toilet leak is causing your problem. This is another scenario where you should call a plumber. Just because you cannot see a toilet leak does not mean there is not one there. It is more cost-efficient to have your toilet serviced than to keep wasting money because of a water leak.
If trying to fix your toilet yourself is out of your comfort zone or you are unable to determine where the leak is, give Plumbing Rehab a call at 239-673-0640 or fill out a contact form online. Our plumbers can assist with professional ghost flushing toilet repair.