Phantom Flushing | Plumbing Katy

A home’s plumbing in Katy can be a significant source of water leaks, and a toilet leak is one of the most common. When a toilet flushes on its own, it is experiencing a “phantom flush”, and may be wasting up to 200 gallons of water per day. Phantom flushing is the term used for a leaking toilet tank. It occurs when water leaks out of the toilet tank, resulting in the tank automatically refilling with water. What you actually hear is the refilling of the tank with water, rather than an actual flush.

The Cause Behind Phantom Flushing

When you flush the toilet it raises the flapper in the bottom of the tank allowing the water to escape and enter the bowl. When the flapper becomes worn or has an improperly adjusted chain, water can leak by the flapper into the bowl. However, a flapper is not the only component that may cause the tank to leak water into the bowl, as the fill valve may also be a source of a toilet leak. The following will assist you in determining the cause of a running toilet, or if you prefer to leave it to a professional, contact a Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Rosenberg plumber for the professional repair of your plumbing in Katy.

Leak Test

First, you need to establish if a leak is occurring with a simple dye test. Place several drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. Return in 15 minutes, if you don’t see the coloring in the bowl recheck again in an additional 15 minutes. If coloring is in the bowl the toilet has a tank leak.

Fill Valve or Flapper Valve?

To determine if the fill valve is at fault, inspect the overflow tube (the open pipe located in the tank). When the float does not shut off the incoming water supply, the water level will rise, allowing water to escape into the overflow tube, and into the bowl. As a general rule, the water level should be about 1 inch below the top of the overflow tube.

Most fill valves have an adjustment, typically either a screw adjustment or a floating clip. The counterclockwise movement of the adjustment screw type will lower the water level on a fill valve with a float arm. Pinching the clip to release it, and sliding it down will lower the water level on a cylinder float valve.

However, if the adjustment doesn’t provide a solution, the replacement of a faulty fill valve will stop leaks from occurring. If the fill valve is not overflowing check the flapper valve. A Benjamin Franklin plumber can provide the repair you need for your home’s plumbing in Katy.

Visually inspect the flapper valve (also called a flush valve) at the bottom of the tank. If the flapper valve has recently been replaced, lengthen the chain holding the flapper to the flush handled by one or two links. If the chain is too short, it prevents the flapper valve from seating in the siphon hole, resulting in phantom flushing. After adjusting the chain, repeat the dye test. If the water in the bowl is colored, replace the flapper or contact our licensed plumbers for the repair of your home’s plumbing in Katy.

A Benjamin Franklin plumber in Katy is available to provide toilet repair for phantom flushing or other toilet issues and to resolve other plumbing problems for your home or business. We serve Katy, Sugar Land, Houston and the surrounding areas, and are a member of the BBB with an A+ rating. Hiring Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Rosenberg to ensure first quality repair, installation or replacement of your home’s plumbing in Katy. Your satisfaction is always 100% guaranteed.