It’s Friday the 13th, considered the “unluckiest” day of the year. And with Halloween right around the corner, you may be paying special attention to potential noises and other “hauntings” around the home. And one of main ways you can detect home problems is by listening to strange sounds around the home. If you are hearing strange noises coming from your bathroom, such as phantom flushes, running water, and other “unexplained” phenomena, you’ve come to the right place.

Learn what’s causing those strange toilet sounds in your home.

How to Diagnose and Fix Strange Toilet Sounds

Your toilets are durable plumbing fixtures that can last for a number of years. However, their durability does not exempt them from plumbing issues that may arise once in a while.

Aside from clogs and leaks, you’ll also discover that they can produce weird sounds especially if you’ve been using them for quite some time already. These sounds may signify a leak in the fixture, water flow restriction in or out of the tank, or high water pressure that causes the pipes to reverberate.

To help you determine the various sounds a toilet can make, read on to find out what they mean and how to fix them.

“Ccchhhh” Sound

If you’ve been hearing an intermittent “ccchhhh” sound, the first thing you should do is check the tank’s flapper. With constant use, this part wears out and when it does, your flapper can make a strange sound in addition to causing a constantly running/leaking toilet.

Worn-out flappers are one of the most common causes of water leaks in the home. Luckily, it’s easy and cheap to replace.

To fix the problem and get rid of this annoying sound, most likely you’ll have to replace the flapper. However, it may simply be loose.

Here are the steps for inspecting and replacing your toilet flapper:

  • Open the toilet tank lid. Your toilet flapper is the round piece of rubber that sits on top of the hole at the bottom of the tank.
  • When you flush the toilet, the bar lifts up the chain, which pulls the flapper out of the hole. If the chain isn’t allowing the flapper to properly seal the hole, you may have to shorten or extend the chain. You can do this by moving the chain to a different hole in the flush bar or by using wire cutters and plyers.
  • If the flapper seals the hole, but water continues to trickle out of the overflow tube, you can adjust the float level to a lower position by screwing the float adjustment screw.
  • If none of the above issues are the problem, and you still have to replace the toilet flapper, turn off water to the toilet first. The water shut-off valve (silver handle) should be located right under your toilet. Tighten it to shut off the water.
  • Next, flush the toilet to empty the tank.
  • Clean the area around the hole and just inside it. Then, replace the flapper by following the instructions on the package. You can find toilet flapper replacements at your local home improvement store for under $10.

By following the steps above, you can even out the level of water inside the tank and stop the toilet fill valve from constantly having to refill the tank.

Ghost/Phantom Flush

You just finished an episode of American Horror Story and all of a sudden you hear the toilet flush. This can be terrifying and confounding.

Phantom flushing, also known as ghost flushing, means that your toilet creates a sound as if it’s flushed even when it’s not being used. This usually happens when there’s a leak in the tank. Find out the cause of the seepage and perform the necessary repair to stop the dripping. Remember, continuous leaking and ghost flushing is not only scary, it’s also bad for your wallet and Mother Nature.

One of the main causes of ghost flushing is when the water refill tube isn’t positioned directly above the overflow pipe. However, do not insert the refill tube into the overflow pipe.

To fix ghost flushing, you may have to replace the flapper, adjust the chain, reposition the refill tube, or replace the flush valve drain. Follow the steps above first and if that still doesn’t fix the problem, contact your local professional plumber for further assistance. You may have a leak elsewhere in the system.

Banging, Reverberating Sounds

There may be an instance when you flush your toilet and then a loud, banging sound resonates from it. This sound, often referred to as “water hammer,” may indicate relatively high water pressure in the supply lines. It could also mean that the flow of water into the toilet tank is somehow restricted.

When there is high pressure from your pressure tank or water heater, the toilet flush releases pressure, resulting in the banging sound. To fix this problem and get rid of that irritating sound, lower the water pressure in the pipes. A pressure reducing valve can often be found near your main water supply line. Normal water pressure is normally between 30 and 55 psi. using a screwdriver, lower the water pressure valve to just below 50 psi. If you have any doubts or questions, don’t hesitate to contact OnTime Service.

If the water pressure adjustment won’t do the trick, you might need to replace the float valve inside the tank. Another common solution to water hammers is an “air chamber.” Air chambers can easily be installed and inspected by a professional plumber.

Loud Water Refill

When you hear a loud sound just as your tank is refilling, it may mean that there’s an uneven water flow inside the supply pipe. You can solve the problem by lessening the amount of water that passes through the pipe. Do this by adjusting the supply valve that’s located under or beside the toilet tank.

We hope that you learned what that odd toilet flush sound means. If the problem persists, just call your reliable Birmingham plumber—OnTime Service.

If you are in need of toilet maintenance, repair, or replacement, choose OnTime Service, the best plumbers in the Birmingham area.

Call us at (205) 872-1944 or fill out our online form to schedule on-time service.