Phantom Flushing: What Causes Your Toilet to Self-Flush?

phantom flushingDo you regularly hear your toilet flushing and the tank refilling on its own? If so, no need to call the Ghostbusters. This is a common plumbing problem and not the work of a ghostly entity. This phenomenon is known as phantom flushing, and we’ll explain what it is and why it occurs.

How Phantom Flushing Occurs

Phantom flushing is actually just a fancy term for a leaking toilet. A leak may occur in the tank, causing it to automatically refill with water. The problem is often attributed to a faulty flapper. Over time, the rubber in the flapper begins to deteriorate, affecting its seal. As the seal disintegrates, the toilet leaks more and more.

Why Is Phantom Flushing a Problem?

A leaky toilet means you’re wasting water at a rapid rate. If the toilet is leaking non-stop, you could be wasting as much as 200 gallons of water every 24 hours. That is bad for the environment AND your monthly water bill.

The Food Dye Test

You can do an easy DIY test to determine if the toilet tank is leaking water. Place a few droplets of food dye into the toilet tank and wait 20 to 30 minutes. If remnants of the dye appear in the toilet bowl, then you have a leaky toilet.

How to Fix It

Replacing the flapper should resolve the issue. However, if the issue persists, then another underlying cause may exist. In this case, bring in a plumber to diagnose and resolve the problem. A leaky toilet may also be due to a bad flush valve gasket, or water escaping through the overflow pipe.

Fix Your Toilet Today

Call Plumbing & Heating Specialist to stop a leaking toilet. Our special offers make plumbing and heating repairs affordable. Toilet phantom flushing is a problem that can result in needless and massive water waste.

Edited by Justin Vorhees

Residential and Business Toilet Repairs

Serving Customers in Snohomish, King & Pierce Counties, including Lynnwood, Mukilteo, Edmonds, Mill Creek, Bothell, Snohomish, Shoreline, Brier, Mountlake Terrace, Maltby, Lake Forest Park, Everett, Marysville, Lake Stevens & Woodway