12 Feb

Phantom Flush: Does Your Toilet Have A Ghost?

  • Karen Mares
  • Comments Off on Phantom Flush: Does Your Toilet Have A Ghost?

Your toilet is haunted. 

Have you ever awoke in the evening to what sounded like one of your toilets flushing? If you have, you may have noticed an unexpected spike in your water bill, too. There can be a few reasons why your toilet is haunting you. 

phantom flush toilet


Phantom Flush: The Flapper

The most common culprit to this “phantom flush,” is the toilet’s flapper. The flapper is what seals the hole from the tank to the bowl. These do, unfortunately, wear out over time. If it’s worn, it doesn’t seal the tank’s hole completely and gradually seeps water into the bowl. You can normally tell just by looking at your flapper if it’s time for a new one. Fortunately, these are very inexpensive, and easily found at big box hardware stores, like Home Depot.

Phantom Flush: Constantly Running

Is your toilet trying to run away?

Another possible cause of this phantom flush phenomenon is that the water level just may be out of adjustment. As you can see in the picture above, the overflow tube has a line towards the top of it. This is where the water level should stop filling. If the fill valve is out of adjustment however, the water may continue to rise until it begins to pour into the “overflow tube.”  When this happens, the toilet will just run and run until corrected and / or adjusted with the float adjustment screw. If you think this is the culprit, experiment a little with the float adjustment screw until you have it where the water level is happy. It should stop running.


These small little annoyances; running toilets, phantom flushes, can become huge annoyances when you have company or a party. Or maybe you’re just trying to go to sleep and stay that way. It really is a good idea to deal with these issues as they come up, because the waste of water is a bigger annoyance than that phantom in your toilet. Save yourself some money on your water bill! And fear not; if you find yourself over your head or just don’t want to tackle it, we’re here for you!

Westside: (Beaverton, Tigard, Lake Oswego) 503-620-9111

Eastside: (West Linn, Troutdale, Gresham) 503-253-0030

 phantom flush

About Karen Mares

A Portlander born and raised, Karen lives in Southwest Portland with her husband and children. Karen has kept journals throughout her life, and she began her personal blog, Random Thoughts From A Suburban Mom in 2007. She hasn't stopped writing online since, channeling her passion for words and information into writing and communicating through social media and blogging.