Why’s My Toilet Making That Noise?

A noisy toilet is easy enough to ignore at first, but some nights, it’s enough to keep you from sleeping. Each sound signifies a problem that usually requires repair. By understanding what these different sounds mean, your plumber can diagnose the issue and make repairs faster.  

Common Reasons for Toilets to Make Noise

1. Dripping

All water appliances—from your sink’s faucets to your dishwasher—can drip, including your toilet. People tend to ignore leaks, believing the amount of water child pulling toilet paper next to toiletbeing wasted is minimal. However, 27% of a home’s water use comes from the toilet, and a leaking toilet wastes 52,560 gallons of water a year. You can save water and money by making toilet repairs when you first notice a leak.

If there’s no moisture around the base, check your toilet tank. The flapper could be damaged or worn out. The flapper is the rubber seal that covers the flush valve and keeps the water in the tank until you flush the toilet. It then opens and allows the flush cycle to begin. It closes again and allows the tank to refill after the cycle concludes. 

This seal will weaken with use, causing water to drip into your bowl constantly. Flappers come in two sizes—a 2-inch or a 3-inch. Bring your old one to a local hardware store for a properly sized replacement.    

2. Gurgling

If your toilet is flushing strangely—too loud, too weak, or too slow—listen for a gurgling sound. While you might hear the gurgling from your toilet, it’s actually coming from the drainpipe. When you hear this sound, the vent or the pipe itself is most likely blocked, allowing air to rush through the pipe when you flush.

Use your sink and shower drains and check for gurgling sounds. If the gurgling is occurring in their drains too, then something is blocking the main plumbing vent or clogged the main sewer line. Reach out to a plumber who can remove the blockages. 

person on ground with tube at base of toilet3. Running

Paul Bunyan spent a full day running across the state of Minnesota to help an injured Babe. Your toilet shouldn’t run nearly as long.  

When your toilet flushes, water from the tank enters the bowl. The running sound is the refill valve replenishing the water in the tank. The water should stop running after the tank is full.

If it continues to run, there’s something stopping the tank from filling all the way. This usually occurs when there’s a leak between the tank and the bowl. Since the water is constantly draining into the bowl, the tank isn’t filling, so the running continues. 

Like dripping, running can be caused by a worn-out flapper. If it’s still in good condition, look at the float—the small ball that’s attached to the fill tube. If it’s too high, water will keep filling until it’s reached the overflow pipe. The pipe will remove the water through the bowl until the level is below it again. However, the float will again signal the fill valve to refill the tank, causing the toilet to run constantly. 

You should replace the fill valve if the running continues. Then turn the water off and drain the tank. Unscrew the fill valve from the main water supply line and from the lock nut on the outside of the tank. Bring the valve with you when you shop for a replacement so the parts match. 

4. Banging

Paul Bunyan created the Great Plains by flipping Kansas and Nebraska upside down, burying the hills and mountains. The sound was heard as far west as Washington State and as far east as New York. While your toilet doesn’t make that loud of a sound, it can cause a banging known as the “water hammer.” 

The air chambers in the toilet’s water supply become waterlogged. The water hammer occurs when water crashes into the closed refill pipe. The sound generates a shockwave that sounds like a bang.

 

If you’re in need of a toilet repair, reach out to Paul Bunyan Plumbing & Drains at (612) 236-9052. We’ll source the cause of the problem and make sure your home becomes quiet again.

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