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Why Is My Toilet Flushing On Its Own?

Is your toilet flushing on its own? Are you worried about skyrocketing water bills from the gallons of wasted water daily?
This issue, called “ghost flushing,” is fairly common. It may be happening in your home or office for numerous reasons.
Here, our experts at MT Drains & Plumbing will share the most common culprits of ghost flushing and how you can fix them. Our Toronto-based plumbers have encountered this problem many times before. We are confident we can help you too!

Faulty Flapper

The flapper is the rubber valve at the bottom of the tank. It controls the flow of water from the tank to the bowl.
Over time, mineral deposits or algae can build up on the flapper. As a result, the flapper sticks in the open position, allowing water to constantly leak into the bowl.
This issue is one of the most common causes of ghost flushing. Fortunately, you can easily fix this problem yourself. Simply clean off the buildup on the component with a brush and some toilet cleaner.
If that doesn’t do the trick, you may need to replace the flapper entirely. You can also invest in a water softener to reduce the mineral deposits in your water. This appliance won’t only help with your toilet but also all the plumbing appliances and fixtures on your property.

Leaking Fill Valve

If you have a toilet flushing on its own, the problem might lie with its fill valve. This device is the mechanism that controls the flow of water into the tank. A leaky fill valve can cause your toilet to flush on its own as water constantly trickles into the tank.
To see if your fill valve is leaking, remove the lid from the tank and flush the toilet. As it’s flushing, carefully listen for any dripping or hissing sounds. If you hear any, then you likely have a leaky fill valve.
If you’re unsure how to replace this component, not to worry. You can always call a professional plumber in Toronto who can help. We at MT Drains & Plumbing are always happy to assist you.

Improperly Positioned Float Ball

The float ball is a buoyant ball that sits on top of the water in the tank. Its purpose is to signal the fill valve to turn off when the water reaches a certain level. If the water level is too high, the float ball can get stuck in the “on” position, making your toilet flush on its own.
Adjusting the float ball is usually a quick and easy fix. Turn off the water supply to the toilet and flush it until the water in the tank is empty. Once it’s empty, unscrew the cap on top of the fill valve and use a pair of pliers to adjust the float ball.

Faulty Refill Tube

The refill tube is a small plastic tube that runs from the fill valve to the overflow pipe. Over time, this tube can disconnect or extend too far into the tank. Therefore, water will constantly flow into the bowl and flush the toilet.
In most cases, readjusting the placement of the refill tube is all that’s needed. If the tube has severe damage, you may need to replace it entirely.

Leaking Toilet Tank

A damaged tank is one of the more pressing issues that can make a toilet flush on its own. If yours is flushing and the tank’s water level isn’t going down, you likely have leak from the tank.
Unfortunately, this issue is not an easy fix. It typically requires the assistance of a professional. Depending on the damage, a replacement might be the best option to save you the headache (and money) in the long run.

Poorly Sealed Toilet Base

If the floor around your toilet is always wet, you’re probably dealing with a base leak. The wax ring seals the space between the bottom of your toilet and the hole in the floor. Over time, this seal can deteriorate, allowing water to seep out.
Another way to check for leaks is to put some food dye in your toilet tank. If after 30 minutes, the color has made its way to the bowl, you probably have a leak.

With water constantly dripping into the bowl, it will eventually trigger the float and cause the toilet to flush. You’ll need to remove the toilet from its position and replace the wax ring. It’s always best to call a professional for this type of repair as it can be tricky.

Work with Toronto’s Industry-Leading Plumbers

If you’re dealing with toilet ghost flush and can’t seem to determine the cause, it’s time to call in the experts. We at MT Drains & Plumbing have over 20 years of experience tackling various plumbing issues in Toronto. Here’s how we can handle your problem quickly and efficiently:
  • Inspection. We start by assessing the situation and asking you questions. We’ll ask you when you first noticed the issue and what, if anything, you’ve done to fix it. We then thoroughly assess your toilet, paying close attention to the components we discussed earlier. 
  • Consultation. Once we’ve pinpointed the issue, we’ll explain our findings and walk you through your repair options. We’ll only proceed with your approval and always provide upfront pricing.
  • Repair. Finally, we’ll get to work fixing the problem. Whether the solution is a minor adjustment or a more complex repair, you can rest assured that your plumbing is in good hands.
  • Recommendations. With your plumbing fixed, we’ll provide tips on toilet maintenance to prevent the issue from happening again. If necessary, we may also suggest additional upgrades to improve your toilet’s overall performance.
When you have a toilet flushing on its own, we recommend getting it fixed immediately. The longer you wait, the more water you waste and the greater the risk of further damage. Call MT Drains & Plumbing at (905) 761-5551 to discuss your options or schedule a service today.

Paul S

Paul has more then 20 years in basement waterproofing and plumbing projects experience. Looking for an advice from an expert plumber? Make sure to read Paul's articles about residential waterproofing and plumbing projects in Toronto.

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