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Aug 15 2023

5 Weird Toilet Sounds & What They Mean

Has your toilet been keeping you up at night with strange noises? Understanding these sounds can be key to avoiding hefty repairs and high water bills. At Rooter Hero Plumbing & Air, we provide reliable plumbing service to local property owners, including toilet repair and toilet replacement. If you’re worried about the puzzling sounds of your toilet, read below to learn five of the most common toilet sounds and their solutions.

Phantom Flush

Ever walked by your bathroom only to hear the soft sound of water refilling the toilet tank, even when no one has used it? This is often referred to as "phantom flushing." A phantom flush can waste gallons of water daily, a silent drain on your wallet and the environment. This phenomenon usually indicates a slow leak between the tank and the bowl. The culprit is often a compromised flapper valve. This rubber seal prevents water in the tank from entering the bowl unless a flush occurs. Over time, the flapper can wear out or become misaligned. Here's a quick test: add a few drops of food coloring to your tank. If, after an hour without flushing, you see the color in the bowl, you've got a leak.


The flush concludes, but the sound of running water lingers on. This perpetual stream can become a nagging background noise that many homeowners overlook. Much like the phantom flush, the constant running of a toilet can lead to significant water wastage. However, this issue could also indicate a more complex problem within the toilet's mechanism that might evolve into a costly repair if left unchecked. The cause often lies with the flapper not sealing correctly, the float being misadjusted, or the fill valve malfunctioning. Begin your detective work by examining the flapper. Ensure it's sealing properly and isn't hindered by any debris. Next, adjust the float. It might be set too high, causing the tank to overfill. You can also inspect the fill valve. If it's damaged or worn out, consider replacing it.


A bubbling or gurgling sound, reminiscent of a brook or a babbling stream, might seem harmless at first, even oddly peaceful. But in the toilet it's less than ideal. These sounds can be early warning signs of potential blockages or venting issues within your plumbing system. Left unattended, these minor inconveniences can turn into significant blockages, causing malfunctions or, worse, overflows. Start by checking for blockages in the toilet bowl or drain. A simple plunge might dislodge minor obstacles. If the sound persists, the problem might be a blocked vent pipe. Ensure it's clear of debris like leaves or bird nests. If you're not keen on scaling rooftops or the issue continues, calling a plumber is a wise choice.


The sharp and startling sound of a bang or clank post-flush can be unnerving. This isn't a percussion session you'd willingly sign up for. Continuous banging can even damage joints or connections in the long run. This phenomenon, known as a water hammer, arises when rushing water is abruptly stopped, causing a shockwave. The solution often lies in air chambers that may have become waterlogged. You might need to drain the system to restore them.


Continuous hissing can indicate a minor leak that, over time, wastes water and can potentially escalate into a more significant problem. Often, a faulty fill valve is to blame. If water is entering the tank too rapidly or under high pressure, it can create a hissing noise. Consider replacing or adjusting the fill valve. If the issue isn't resolved, inspect for pinhole leaks or problems with the water supply line.

Do You Need a Professional Plumbing Service?

If handling these issues seems intimidating, or if the problem persists, it might be time to invest in a professional plumbing service. Call Rooter Hero Plumbing & Air today. Our experienced plumbers are always ready to put their tools to work for your home or business. Contact our office for more information or to schedule a time for your next toilet repair or toilet replacement.

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