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What is Ghost Flushing and How to Stop It

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What is Ghost Flushing and How to Stop It

You are probably familiar with ghost flushing. This issue happens when the toilet flapper valve is no longer watertight, and the water supply from the tank keeps leaking into the bowl. 

Fixing ghost flushing toilet issues is not difficult, but you will first need to understand what causes the problem. This article will guide you through the most common toilet flush issues and how to deal with them effectively.

Reasons Why Your Toilet is Ghost-Flushing

There are many reasons that can make a toilet bowl or toilet tank flush. Most of them have to do with the flush valve, but let's look into the leading causes of phantom flush in a little more detail.

Reason 1: Ghost Flushing Caused by External Leaking

External leaks can be explained by issues in your toilet's bowl, tank, or in the pipes that connect it to the sewage system. These can be:

  • A crack on the exterior of the bowl: You should be able to inspect your toilet and notice if there is a crack in the bowl. If you find one (no matter if the water is slowly draining out of it, there are only a few drops, or nothing is happening yet), you're probably better off replacing the entire toilet. There's little you can do if the toilet leak is caused by a cracked bowl.
  • A crack on the exterior of the toilet tank: This is a more common fault and can happen if you knock the toilet tank against, for example, the wall. One solution for dealing with these cracks is lowering the level of your tank water (you can do this using the level located next to the fill valve).
  • A loose shutoff valve: If the water pressure in your home is too high, this can damage the water shutoff valve that is connected to the toilet and cause ghost flushing. To address this situation, you will need to call a local plumbing company.
  • Loose piping: Lastly, if the seals between the sewer system and your toilet are loose, you can also get a toilet leak. The best way to resolve this is to replace the seal and/or the piping. You can usually find these parts in a hardware store.

Reason 2: Ghost Flushing Caused by Internal Leaking

The usual culprit when it comes to ghost flushing is not external but internal leaking. This is to be expected, as toilets are made of many moving parts that are continuously in use. When one fails, your toilet flushing can begin to show issues (and your water bill will suffer for it!).

Some common internal causes for ghost flushing include the following parts:

  • The refill tube: The refill tube, as its name indicates, refills the toilet tank (but not the toilet bowl). If it's pushed too low, it can shutter water into the tank, overflowing it and causing ghost flushing. You will need to remove the overflow tube from the pipe to check if this is where the water leaking originates.
  • The toilet flapper: This is one of the most common reasons when your toilet flushes continuously. When the flapper no longer creates a seal, the water will keep filling the toilet bowl. Replacing the rubber flapper will usually fix the problem.
  • Flush valve: The flush valve is the component responsible for flushing the toilet. If it's broken, it will cause constant flushing, wasting water because the system thinks you are pushing the handle. The solution? You will have no option but to replace the entire flush valve.
  • Toilet flange: You can find this piece at the bottom of the toilet and connects it to the main drain pipe. You will need to call a plumber to replace the flange because the entire toilet will need to be moved to its side to access this part.

Our Services

If you are experiencing phantom toilet issues, it's always a good idea to ask a plumber to check whether your toilet is working properly or if there are parts that need to be replaced.

Hawthorne PHC is a company specializing in plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and water filtration. If you are looking for a plumber in Las Vegas, they can help you deal with plumbing problems. Their trusted experts will be able to solve your toilet leak and toilet flush issues in no time.


 

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