Does one of your toilets flush every few hours – or worse, every few minutes? If so, you have a ghost flushing problem. It has nothing to do with a ghost using the toilet. When there’s ghost flushing, it means the fill tube is improperly installed, or the toilet has a leaky flapper. It could also mean there’s a slow leak from the toilet bowl or the tank, which causes the float in the tank to fall, which is the sign needed for the tank to refill.
As you can tell, you may need some help from emergency plumber Sydney tradesmen to get rid of this problem. But before that, how do you deal with the flushing?
Check for leaks
Check the base of your toilet or under the tank. If there’s even a small amount of water, that means the toilet is leaking, albeit slowly. However, if there are no signs of leaking, that could mean a leak isn’t the cause, or the toilet is leaking internally – in which case, the flapper could be the culprit.
Check the toilet’s flapper
You can find out if it’s the flapper causing the toilet leak by adding a few drops of food dye to the toilet tank, then leave it alone for about 30 minutes. If you see the water in the toilet bowl has the same color as the food dye you added, it’s a sign that the flapper needs to be reinstalled or replaced.
First, try cleaning the flapper and the surface area of the flush valve, and see if the chain connected to the flapper is properly adjusted so that the latter sits just right over the drain opening. If you need to adjust the chain and you know how to do so, then go ahead and make the adjustment to see if that solves the problem.
If the chain is the proper length and cleaning doesn’t help, then it could mean the flapper is worn out, in which case it’s time to replace it. When you buy a replacement flapper, make sure you get one that’s as close as possible to the old one in both size and shape.Otherwise you’ll still be dealing with the same problem.
Check the refill tube
If there’s nothing wrong with the toilet flapper, move on to the refill tube and see if it’s been properly installed.
When you take the lid off the back of the toilet, look for a big white tube and a smaller, hose-like tube positioned on top of it. The former is the overflow tube, and the latter is the fill tube. The fill tube shouldn’t be inserted into the overflow tube; if it is, it just siphons water back out of the overflow tube and tank. To fix this, just take the fill tube out and attach it so it’s positioned directly on top of the overflow tube.
Even if ghost flushing may seem like a minor problem, it can lead to bigger ones later on if left alone. So if you hear your toilet flushing when no one’s using the bathroom, check it as soon as possible so you can deal with the problem sooner rather than later.