Believe it or not, toilet leaks are the most common reason that your water bill is going up and up.

Most homeowners look for dripping faucets or leaks in their appliances, which could also be the case. But, if they don’t hear a toilet running, they assume that everything is fine. But, it isn’t necessarily so.

There are 4 signs that are not obvious that you should look for to identify if your toilet is leaking.

  1. To get the toilet to stop running you have to jiggle the handle.
  2. Your toilet is making sounds even when it hasn’t been used in a while.
  3. Your toilet tank won’t empty unless you hold the handle down.
  4. You hear your toilet flushing all on it’s own – aka phantom flushing or ghost flushing.

Why Do I Have To Jiggle The Handle On My Toilet?

We have all been there. You flush your toilet and while you are washing your hands you notice that the toilet is still running. You then jiggle the handle a few times and it finally stops running.

What is causing that to happen?

The two most common reasons this could be occurring are…

  1. The flapper in your toilet tank needs to be replaced.
  2. There’s a problem with the chain in your toilet tank that connects the handle to the flapper valve.

It could be one or both of these problems. So, replacing the flapper may solve the issue. Checking and readjusting the chain may also solve the issue.

Why Is The Toilet Making Noises When It’s Not Being Used?

If your toilet starts making noises on it’s own – it’s a sign that something is wrong and whatever the cause it – you need to fix it as soon as possible. The problem could be costing you money in higher water bills.

Now, there are several kinds of noises that could be coming from your toilet and each one has it’s own cause.

If your toilet is running and making a sizzling sound.

The cause here is commonly the tank’s flapper. It could be loose, worn out, defective or installed improperly. The solution is to simply replace that flapper.

If your toilet is flushing on it’s own – it’s called phantom flushing.

See the information below about this strange toilet tank behavior and what to do about it.

If the sound of the tank getting refilled is extra loud.

This type of sound normally indicates that there’s a problem with the water flow. Mainly that there’s too much water passing through the pipe.

You can try to adjust this by lowering the supply flow of water by adjusting the supply valve that’s normally located on the wall by the base of the toilet bowl.

Why Do I Have To Hold Down The Handle On The Toilet To Empty The Tank?

Again, another very common problem that most of us have experienced. You flush the toilet but it simply won’t flush unless you hold the handle down and keep it held until the flush is complete.

What’s causing this?

The most common reason is that there’s too much slack in the chain that connect the flapper to the flush handle. Adjusting the chain may resolve the problem easily.

What Is A Phantom Flushing?

It’s a bit scary to hear your toilet flush when you know that no one is in there. But, it does happen. So, what is causing this “phantom flushing”?

Simply put, when water leaks out of your toilet tank back into the toilet – it causes the toilet to flush. More often than not, the cause for this is a problem with your toilet flapper.

It could be that the flapper is worn out which simply means it needs replacing. It could have been installed incorrectly, or the flapper itself is poorly constructed.

Either way – replacing the flapper is the thing to do.

“I don’t hear any phantom flushing so I’m sure I don’t have a leak.”

Yeah, well, not necessarily true. Here’s a simple test that you can do to find out if your toilet tank is leaking unnoticably.

  • Put a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank (not the bowl).
  • Wait about 30 minutes.
  • Check your toilet bowl. If you see food coloring then you know that your tank is leaking into your bowl.

No matter what the problem is that is causing your toilet to leak – the solution is always to fix the problem as soon as possible. It will save you time and money in the long run.

If you have any questions about toilet leaks or other plumbing issues, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-505-8570. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.