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    The 411 on Phantom Flushes

    A Flush
    Even though they are important for your home's plumbing and septic system, toilets are not always on the top of a homeowner's priority list. Unfortunately, without proper understanding and maintenance, your toilets will not only struggle removing waste from out of your home, but they can also waste a great deal of water.

    Have you heard your toilet running when it hasn’t been used recently? This can be a sign of an issue inside your toilet. However, some issues may cause your toilet to flush randomly, which can be surprising if you are home alone. Known as phantom flushing, random flushes are also indicative of an issue with your toilet.

    If your toilet is experiencing phantom flushes, this guide will help you understand the dangers, causes, and options for repair.

    Dangers of Phantom Flushes

    Phantom flushes are not necessarily dangerous, but they can affect your emotions and finances. If you hear the toilet randomly flushing in the middle of the night, for example, you may wake up in a panic. These flushes can induce a good amount of fear in people. Unfortunately, the emotional distress and annoying nature of a toilet that flushes randomly is not the only thing you should be concerned with.

    Phantom flushes can also waste a great deal of water, which will negatively affect the environment while increasing your monthly water bills. Phantom flushes may stem from an internal leak and toilets are one of the most common areas for hidden leaks in homes today.

    Also, periodic, random flushing places unnecessary stress on your toilet's internal components. The flushing will wear down the internal parts, which reduces the toilet's function, efficiency, and lifespan.

    Phantom flushes caused by a broken toilet component may lead to a current or potential water leak. If water overflows from your toilet onto the floor, you will have extensive water damage to repair.

    Causes of Phantom Flushes

    In nine out of 10 cases, phantom flushes occur because the flapper valve inside the toilet tank has worn down. If the rubber is worn, the flapper will not be able to seal the drain opening, which will allow water to continuously refill.

    Not only will a worn flapper valve cause your toilet to flush randomly, but it can also cause your water to run constantly through your toilet. In addition to the flushing, the running toilet will also waste a good amount of water.

    Thankfully, a simple test can help you determine if your flapper valve is worn. Add a few drops of food coloring to the water in your toilet tank. If the color shows up in the actual toilet bowl, a worn flapper is causing water to leak through your toilet.

    Another reason your toilet may be flushing randomly is if there is an issue with the actual flushing mechanism. Inspect the flushing handle to determine if it is wobbly or sticking. Remove the toilet tank cover and inspect the internal parts of the flushing mechanism as well to see if it is good working condition.

    Repair Options for Phantom Flushes

    Many homeowners are able to make repairs on their own, easily replacing a worn flapper valve. However, if you are not comfortable working on the internal components of your toilet, contact the professionals.

    Your contractor can replace the worn valve quickly. If the flapper valve's chain is broken, loose, too tight, or rusty, it can be adjusted or replaced to ensure the valve seals over the drain opening perfectly. If the flushing assembly is worn, it can also be replaced.

    If multiple components of your toilet are in distress and your toilet was manufactured before 1992, consider replacing it with a new model that works both effectively and efficiently to flush away waste without flushing more water than is needed.

    Phantom flushing may not seem like an emergency, but it most likely indicates an internal toilet leak that should be addressed immediately. For more information or for assistance on your toilet, contact King Rooter today.