Diagnosing A Noisy Toilet
Toilets aren't generally considered a noisy fixture except for when they are flushed, so it can be quite disconcerting to hear a weird noise coming from your commode. Before you can repair the problem, you first have to diagnose it. The following guide can help you figure out what the odd toilet noise is indicating.
Issue #1: Running water
This noise sounds just like the the refill flow of water that occurs after a flush, but without the actual flush. Fortunately, the problem is typically internal and easy to fix. The most common cause is a faulty flapper inside the main tank. The chain may be broken or adjusted poorly, which causes the flapper to stay open and allow water to constantly refill the bowl. Replace or repair the flapper so that it sits completely over the opening. The float in the tank could also be stuck, which means it won't register when the tank is refilled. Adjusting it and cleaning the arm will fix this problem.
There is one time when a running water noise should raise major concern: when moisture is found outside the bowl or on the ground at the base. This may indicate an external leak, either from a worn seal or from a crack in the bowl or tank. As water drains out the crack, the bowl is constantly refilling. You will need to replace either the seal or the fixture.
Issue #2: Gurgling
Gurgling may happen after a flush or at random. A small gurgle during refill may not be much of a concern if you can verify that the noise is just the rush of water through the flapper opening. Removing the lid while watching and listening closely while flushing can help you make this determination. You may need to adjust the chain length on the flapper so it allows water to flow through without causing the gurgle sound.
Gurgling that isn't associated with the flapper is more of a concern, especially if foul odor accompanies the noise. This can indicate an impending sewage backup or the need to have the tank cleaned if you are on a private septic system. If you suspect sewer gasses are the cause, contact a professional to address the issue.
It is best to attend to suspected toilet problems promptly, since a leaky toilet can cause major water damage. For more help diagnosing or repairing a noisy commode, contact a plumber in your area, such as Henry's Service All.