Why is My Toilet Making That Noise?
The noise. The noise! If you’ve never had a problem with a noisy toilet, you probably think people exaggerate about how annoying it can be. If you’ve had a noisy toilet you know that, if anything, people are underselling it.
Toilets can make all kinds of weird noises for all kinds of weird reasons, but they’re all pretty much equally annoying. Even worse, toilet sounds are often a sign of more serious toilet problems to come. Whether you’re trying to save your toilet or just your beauty sleep, the only prescription is getting your noisy toilet fixed. Here’s what your particular noise means, and what you can do about it.
Aah, the classic. You may have thought this was coming from one of your sink faucets, because it sounds similar. A slow dripping noise may not seem too terrible at first, but wait until it’s 4 in the morning and you have work. Luckily, dripping toilet problems are generally pretty easy to identify and fix.
Start by looking around the base of the toilet for a leak. Seal any leaks you find with plumber’s putty and caulk, but remember: cracked toilets are a big deal. If you don’t find leaks, then your toilet’s flapper is probably worn out or damaged. The flapper lets water from the tank into the toilet bowl. If it comes a little unsealed, water will drip into the bowl constantly. Flappers are cheap and easy to replace. Just be sure to bring your old one to the hardware store as a reference.
Gurgling After a Flush
We call it a “gurgle”, but it sound like a lot of things. Your toilet’s flush could sound too loud or violent, it could sound and look weak, or it could take too long. Gurgling sounds are usually actually coming from the drain pipe, not the toilet itself. In fact, toilets gurgle for the same reasons any other drains do. First, identify whether the gurgling sound only comes from your toilet, or if it happens whenever you use a drain in the bathroom.
If the toilet is the only appliance with a gurgling problem, then the drainpipe is either partially blocked, or something is blocking its vent. When vents are blocked, air rushes down the drain pipe whenever you flush the toilet, making the water gurgle as it flows past. If multiple drainpipes gurgle, then either something has blocked your plumbing main vent or clogged your main sewer line.
When you flush a toilet, water from the tank enters the bowl. After the flush, the tank needs to fill with water again before the toilet can flush. The running sound you hear is the refill valve letting water into the tank. It should only take about thirty seconds to a minute for the tank to refill with water. Then, you’ll hear the valve close and the running noise will stop. Unless it doesn’t.
If your toilet runs longer than a minute, it means something’s stopping the tank from filling all the way. Usually, running toilets happen when there’s a leak between the tank and the bowl. Water leaks into the bowl continuously, so the tank never fills far enough. It’s also possible that the float telling the fill tube when to stop is in the wrong position. Luckily, fixing a running toilet is a pretty easy job. Start with the flapper and go from there.
Loud banging coming from your toilet’s pipes probably happens after the tank refills. This phenomenon is known as a “water hammer”. It happens when water rushing through a pipe comes to a sudden stop. Toilets generate water hammers when the refill pipe finishes adding water to its tank. When the tank is full, the refill pipe suddenly closes. The rushing water has nowhere to go, so it hit the closed valve and generates a shockwave.
If you can hear that shockwave, it means the air chambers in your toilet’s water supply have become waterlogged. To clear the water out, you need to completely drain your plumbing system by turning off your water and opening all the faucets in your home to let them drain.
Noisy toilets are annoying, but in most cases they’re also simple to fix. If you can solve your noisy toilet problem fast enough, you can even save yourself a potentially expensive repair in the future.
Didn’t see your problem here? Let us know, and we’ll come take a look right away. We can identify and fix any and every plumbing sound your pipes can make, no matter how weird or scary. Sleep well!
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