Is your toilet making noise when not in use? The sound of a loud toilet can be quite irritating, but most importantly it could signal an underlying problem.
Although diagnosing what makes your toilet can be a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be.
There are different reasons why your toilet either gurgle or make loud noises. However, there are three most common reasons: they include-
- Faulty fill valves
- Leaky toilet valves
- Calcium deposits accumulated on the inner parts of the pipes
1. Leaky Toilet Valve
One of the possible causes of your toilet making noises when not in use is a leaking toilet valve.
You will notice a leaking toilet valve when the water continues to pour into the tank without filling up.
You can confirm the problem by checking for damages on the shutoff valve connected to the wall below the toilet.
You will know it is damaged if you see water leaking.
If you also see calcium deposits or corrosion on the shutoff valve, that could also be the reason for the noise.
A simple way to fixing the problem is by replacing the valve or tightening the nuts on the valve.
Sometimes the cause of the leaking could be a loosely fixed nut.
However, if the corrosion has spread, you may have to replace both the pipe and the shutoff valve.
2. Calcium Deposits
Calcium deposits inside your pipes or the toilet fittings could be the reason why your toilet is making noise when you are not using it.
You need to inspect these areas to be sure whether these are the causes because you cannot fix something you don’t see.
Calcium deposits occur due to an increase in the buildup of calcium and magnesium salts when using hard water.
These deposits are commonly on pipes, the rim of the toilet, and sinks, but they can also occur on the faucets.
To properly diagnose the problem, turn off the water supply, then unscrew one of the pipes connected to the toilet.
If you don’t see any deposits on the outside, it doesn’t mean there won’t be anything inside.
Check for the deposits in the pipes. Sometimes, it might be hard to see on the pipes.
But, if the toilet is making noise and taking too long to flush, then that could be the problem.
The best thing to do is to clean all the toilet pipes. A simple way to do that is by scrubbing them regularly.
However, this may not be a viable solution, especially if you live in areas with hard water. For this reason, you should consider using a solution to dissolve the calcium deposits.
A good solution is either Lime Away or White Vinegar. Remember always to use protective gloves when handling harsh chemicals.
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3. A Faulty Fill Valve
A faulty fill valve could also be the reason why your toilet is making noise, especially if you hear a hissing sound coming from the tank.
If the water continues to pour in without the tank filling up, then that could be the problem. A fill valve prevents water from filling to the brim.
If it damages, you will hear the hissing sound, and the water will continue pouring in and spill over to the overflow valve.
You can ask for professional help or fix the problem yourself. A simple way is by adjusting the fill valve until the hissing stops.
You should start by lifting the toilet lid then, reach the float arm, and gently hold it up. If the hissing continues, twist the valve until the noise stops.
If twisting the valve doesn’t work, then then the only solution is replacing the fill valve.
4. Blocked Sewer Drain
If you hear gurgling noise, then you should check for blockage in the toilet, sewer drain, or even the vent.
Blocked toilets and drains are a result of so many reasons; however, some are insignificant.
Unless you have experience fixing toilets, don’t attempt to fix the drains because it is going to be messy.
Ask for a professional help to make things easier for you.
However, if you feel you can fix the toilet by yourself, then you have to make quite an effort. Follow these steps to fix it:
Find the source of the problem. If you know what is causing the blockage, then you can easily reach in and remove it.
Remember to put on your protective gloves before reaching in.
Pour in a liquid dishwasher and hot water into the toilet bowl and allow it to settle for a few minutes.
Take a plunger that has a flange on its base and press it deep into the toilet, ensuring that it has completely submerged.
Repeat the plunging slowly for a few minutes. This should help with the problem.
You can also remove the object by use of a coat hanger. Unravel a coat-hanger, then push it inside the toilet pipes to grab the blockage.
However, this will only work if the object is near.
If the object is further, try reaching in using a plunging snake or an auger. This is simply a wire that can coil like a snake and reach further into the pipes.
You can also make a cheap solution at home if buying is such a task. Simply mix vinegar, water, and baking soda in a bucket then pour it into the toilet.
5. Water Hammer
Water hammering could also be the cause of the noise you keep hearing when the toilet is not in use. The noise is usually loud, and it sounds like a plane.
Sometimes it can even shake the toilet pipes due to its intensity.
A water hammer occurs due to compressed air inside the pipes. When running water inside the pipes suddenly stops, the air vibrates violently.
The speed of the running water causes it to bang on the pipes and the fittings. This usually occurs after you have flushed the toilet.
You can try to fix the problem by adjusting the shutoff valve to reduce the amount of water flowing into the toilet.
If this doesn’t work, purchase a regulated fill valve and install it or have a professional help you do it.
A regulated fill valve controls the amount of water pouring into the tank and consequently reduces the amount of pressure.
Remember to turn off the water from the main supply first before you begin fixing the problem.
Types of Toilet Noises
The toilet in your home is solid plumbing designed to last many years. Nevertheless, its longevity does not mean it isn’t prone to occasional problems.
Besides the blockages and leaks, you will notice that your toilet may make strange noises, notably if you’ve been using it for a while. These noises may indicate a fixture leak, restricted water flow into or out of the tank, or excessive water pressure causing the pipework to reverberate.
Several minutes after flushing, the toilet creates a construction site-like noise. Such loud sounds, such as slamming or knocking, should not be disregarded. Excessive water pressure in the water supply pipe is the main culprit in this case. When the tank fills, and the water flow quickly stops when the fill valve closes, it creates what’s known as a water hammer.
It’s highly recommended that you install a water hammer arrestor to prevent your toilet from making such a loud noise. Ignoring the noise might result in broken pipes. You may also lower the water flow by changing the shut-off valve so that the water pressure is reduced and less prone to make unusual noises.
Hissing “Ccchhhh” Sound
You should check the tank flapper if you’ve heard an occasional “ccchhhh” sound. This part deteriorates with time, and when it does, it may produce a funny noise and cause your toilet to run/leak continuously.
One of the primary reasons for water leaks in the home is worn-out flappers. Luckily, it is simple and inexpensive to replace.
You’ll probably need to repair the flapper to resolve the issue and eliminate this irritating noise. However, it may just be loose.
Is your toilet sounding like a ship approaching port? Not exactly reassuring, right? If your toilet produces a foghorn sound, it may be due to a loose washer within the “float” – a typical black ballock-style valve found in older toilets.
If the noise ceases after lifting the tank lid and flushing the toilet while holding up the float, the problem is the float. This noise is annoying, but it may be readily fixed by disassembling the float and locating the loose valve or getting a plumber to repair the part for you.
This toilet noise usually always occurs in the dead of night, especially. Suddenly, your toilet flushes on its own. Most likely, the water in the toilet cistern is slowly leaking out due to a defective flapper. Once the float falls below a particular level, the water turns on, and presto, the toilet flushes as if by magic.
Put food coloring in the toilet cistern to identify whether or not the flapper is indeed the problem. After approximately 30 minutes, check whether any food coloring has entered the toilet bowl. If so, you have, so to speak, caught your ghost. Fortunately, replacing the toilet flapper is a simple task you can perform yourself or hire a professional plumber to handle for a meager cost.
Squealing/ Whistling Noise?
Do not be alarmed if you hear a high-pitched noise from your toilet tank when it refills after you flush. The most probable perp is the ballcock valve, commonly known as the float valve. Fortunately, this is a straightforward and inexpensive fix.
Although the issue may occasionally be fixed by changing the current ballcock mechanism since its parts are so affordable, many individuals opt to replace the entire thing because they have already dismantled it.
If you have basic DIY skills, you can do the replacement yourself; however, if you do not feel comfortable or do not have the time, a trained plumber will fix the problem swiftly, eliminating this bizarre toilet noise in almost no time. Because this issue often occurs with a toilet float valve, upgrading the fill valve will solve the problem in no time.
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If your toilet makes a vibrating noise around the wall every time you flush, the fill valve is likely the source of the problem. This is because the diaphragm gasket within the fill valve might degrade, lose elasticity, and become rigid.
You can check if the problem is a defective fill valve by opening the toilet tank lid and gently raising the float arm. The float arm is attached to the fill valve and must be changed if lifting it prevents the noise from happening.
The above hacks should able to help you fix your toilet gurgling or loud noise when not in use.
However, if you’ve completed all the steps above and still hear the noises you’ll have to consult with a professional plumber for additional assistance.
Meet Mike O’Connor, (a DIY enthusiast), living in Cincinnati, a city ranked as the noisiest in the USA.
As a work from home dad, I have a first hand experience of how noise can truly affect your well being.
Soundproofing isn’t something that should be taken as a hobby, it should be a skill that every homeowner should be equipped with.
Most of the work documented on this blog comes from purely first hand experience, and the products recommended work as indicated.