Why Does My Toilet Keep Flushing on Its Own

If your toilet is flushing on its own, Plumbing by Jake can help.

Give us a call at (888) 628-5890. We can ensure your toilet only flushes on demand and stop the water waste.

Toilets Flush on Their Own Due to a Leaky Seal

Water held in a toilet’s tank discharges into the bowl when the toilet is flushed and washes the waste down the drain. If no one is pushing the flush lever, a flapper seal closes the water into the tank and stops it from going into the bowl.

If your toilet runs randomly and you have to jiggle the lever or open the top of the tank to reset the flush mechanism, the flapper seal could be failing. The flapper itself could be damaged or debris could be preventing a solid seal. When a certain amount of water escapes from the tank and into the toilet bowl and the water level in your toilet becomes too low, your toilet will “flush itself.”

If the flapper seal leak is small, phantom flushing may not happen very often. However, as the leak grows, the toilet will flush itself on a more regular basis.

Signs that You Have a Leak

If your toilet has a leak, there may be other signs as well, such as:

  • Repeated or constant whirring or hissing sound
  • Water in the toilet bowl that moves on its own
  • The toilet water keeps running or runs for longer than it normally does after a flush
  • Your typically consistent water bill is on the rise

To be sure you’re looking at a leaky toilet, simply add a few drops of food coloring to the toilet tank and wait awhile. If you see the colored water appear in the toilet bowl, there’s a leak somewhere in the tank. Don’t forget to flush the colored water away so you don’t end up with a stained toilet bowl.

Other Possible Causes of Leakage

The average lifespan of a toilet flapper is around five years. If that’s the problem causing your toilet to flush on its own, we may simply be able to replace the flapper itself to ensure a tight-fitting seal.

Occasionally, the flapper chain inside the toilet tank is too long and needs to be resized in addition to replacing the flapper. While a failing flapper is the most obvious cause of a toilet flushing itself, there could be other causes as well.

Flush Valve Seal (Gasket)

This part seals the flush valve and when it is not working properly, it can allow water to leak into the toilet bowl.

Toilet Float

The toilet float, or float valve, ensures the correct amount of water will fill your toilet tank without the tank overflowing. When the water level is allowed to get too high, the toilet may self-flush. If this is the problem, making adjustments to the toilet float can put a stop to zombie flushing.

Toilet Refill Tube

The refill tube replenishes the supply of water in the toilet bowl after a flush. If the refill tube is positioned incorrectly or becomes detached, your toilet may flush on its own.

Why “Phantom Flushing” Can Be a Big Problem

Other than possibly startling you or being a minor annoyance, most homeowners don’t think a toilet flushing on its own is a major issue. However, every unnecessary flush of your toilet wastes water.

A toilet leak can waste hundreds, even thousands, of gallons of water, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). That is water you’re paying for. It’s literally money down the drain.

The Solution to Your Toilet Flushing on Its Own

Your ghost flushing can sometimes be solved by simply cleaning or replacing the flapper. Other times, the entire flushing mechanism or toilet tank assembly needs to be repaired or replaced. If the problem is bigger, your skilled Plumbing by Jake plumber will be able to walk you through your options.

Schedule Your Appointment Today

If your toilet is flushing on your own and you’re ready to stop wasting water and money, call Plumbing by Jake at (888) 628-5890. We are on-time, reliable, and we have the expertise to take care of your leaky toilet efficiently. We offer up-front, fair pricing, so there are no surprises. And we back up every job with our 100% satisfaction guarantee.