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Why Does My Toilet Make Noises When Not In Use?


Has this ever happened to you?

You’re sitting at home one day, watching TV or cleaning the house, when all of a sudden, you randomly hear a strange and frightening noise. It’s like a high-pitched hissing sound.

The sound stops, and you don’t think about it. At least, not until it randomly comes again.

So you follow the sound, only to discover that it’s coming from inside of your toilet.

“But nobody used that toilet recently…” You tell yourself, “Why would it be making noises?”

So now you’ve got this whole new issue to worry about. But you have no idea what could be causing this phantom noise. So what can you do? We’ve put together this handy blog to help you identify and address the issue.

What Kind of Noise Are You Hearing?

There are a few types of noises you may hear coming from your toilet, depending on what the problem could be. Here are some of the more common examples:

  • Hissing noise from the fill valve – This can create a hissing air sound, like there’s air trapped in your toilet system being forced out
  • Ghost flushing – This can sound like the toilet is flushing on its own, and is trying to refill itself. This tends to happen intermittently from a few minutes to a few hours.
  • Water Resonance – There is a sloshing, thumping sound of water in the toilet, which can indicate a blockage in your system that the water is having trouble getting around.
  • Vibrating sound around the wall – Just as it sounds, the toilet is making the wall around it vibrate

How Do I Determine What’s Causing the Noise?

There are multiple causes for strange noises coming from your toilet, none of which include what you had for dinner last night.

Why is My Toilet Making High Pitched Sounds?

If your toilet is making a high pitched sound, a whistling sound, a hissing sound, or is making the wall around it vibrate every few minutes, it could be an issue with your toilet valve leaking. It could also mean your fill valve is not functioning properly as well. Usually checking the water connection behind the toilet for leaks can tell you if this is your issue. Looking in the tank of the toilet to see if your tank is filling up all the way will also help you determine if your fill valve needs replacing.

Why is My Toilet Making Resonant Water Sounds?

Sloshing and resonant water sound coming from your toilet can indicate that you’ve got a blockage. This can be a simple fix that a plunger can help ease, but that may not always be the case. Over time, calcium can build up on the interior of your plumbing system, and it can create severe blockages within your pipes. You’ll need a professional with a video snake to properly determine if this is the cause.

Why is My Toilet Making Noise Every Few Minutes?

Ghost flushing is almost a guarantee that your tank is allowing water to escape, preventing the tank from filling all the way. The sound created is the valve constantly trying to fill more water in the tank.

This is most likely due to a worn out flapper, but could also be caused by a stuck chain or float (either a ballcock or float valve.)

If your toilet is making random noises every few minutes, it means that at least part of the flush is executing. Usually that means that the flapper that holds your tank valve shut after a flush isn’t sealing all the way, letting water leak through. When enough leaks through, it causes the toilet to fully or partially flush.

The good news is that this is one of the easiest DIY plumbing jobs to fix. Just open your toilet tank, and there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to spot the problem even with minimal DIY experience.

Need More Help?

Phantom noises from your toilet don’t have to spell disaster for your wallet. If you’re experiencing issues with your toilet, give us a call today. We can set up an inspection for you and help you determine if the issue is simple or in need of some more professional help. Our team services cities across Contra Costa County, including Walnut Creek, Alamo, Lafayette, and more. When you call Plumbing Solutions, you can rest easy knowing that help is never far away.