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A Ghost in My Toilet?

We are having a problem with our upstairs master bathroom toilet. The house is new construction, built in 2004. We are the first owners. Recently, the toilet makes odd sounds at odd times. It "runs" a lot during all times of the day, kind of a constant, low trickling sound. But, often we will be downstairs and we hear a loud sound, almost like the toilet flushing. People that come to the house have noticed it also. In fact, my father-in-law, who slept in our master bedroom during a recent visit, was so annoyed by the sound & a sleepless night that he took it upon himself the next day to fix it. He replaced the rubber seal thing. (We have the floating ball type system.) Unfortunately, it still does it. In fact, it almost seems like it does it more now. I noticed that my water bill has gone up by $20 each month, too. We joke that we have a ghost that uses the toilet, and apparently also has a gastrointestinal problem given the frequency the toilet "flushes." :p But in all seriousness I am sure it's not a ghost and I suspect it may be an easily fixed problem that I just don't know how to fix. What else should we try? So, to sum up, there are 2 main problems--(1) the fact that it generally makes a running or trickling sound pretty much constantly, despite the change in the rubber stopper and alterations to the valve, and (2)that it "flushes" or makes a large sound of rushing water that can be heard downstairs several times a day. Any ideas? Thanks in advance for any help! (And, if you saw a previous post of mine, this is NOT the toilet that my son flushed the apple down.)

Re: A Ghost in My Toilet?


The problems you describe can be caused by a leak in the ballcock valve, the flapper valve (tank ball in older systems), a rough valve seat, or even a hole in the copper overflow tube.

Sometimes it's a simple matter of the lift arm chain or upper lift wire being tangled up or out of adjustment that will not allow the tank ball or flapper valve to firmly plunk down on the valve seat.

Also take a piece of steel wool or fine sandpaper & scrub the valve seat so that the flapper valve/tank ball can seat firmly & seal the valve seat---for this, you would have to temporarily shut off the water suppy & flush the toilet to get all the water out of the tank.

Consult the sites below to identify possible problem causes & components.

Place a strong light over the toilet & remove the tank cover---flush several times to see if you can pinpoint where the leak is.

If you have an old ballcock valve that's gone bad, it is usually more expedient to replace it with a $5 Fluidmaster non-siphon model 400A replacement from HD/Lowe's.

On the toiletology site, click onto "index" for topic selection.


Blue RidgeParkway
Re: A Ghost in My Toilet?

do you have a pet?

i ask because i have a very smart dog who likes to drink from toilet not water bowl no matter how many times i put fresh water down. he would lift seat himself and drink away causing water level to go down. then we would here refilling. when dog wanted fresh water he would use nose or paw to flush toliet. i finally figured it out but closing bathroom door tight when not in use not option in summer becase get too hot so i put child cabinet lock on door so could keep door cracked open when vacant but dog can't get in (no thumbs!).

we also replaced toilet guts with leak sentry fluidmaster kit and adjusted water level in tank.

Re: A Ghost in My Toilet?

Along with JacktheSkack's recommendations .... check the water level in the tank is not too high ... if it is the water will flow down the overflow tube ... causing this.

Just a thought.:)

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