What Do the Creaking Sounds Mean When I Flush the Toilet?
From a plumbing perspective, your toilet extends beyond the porcelain bowl itself and also includes the pipes and fixtures that keep it running smoothly. The whole system is designed to withstand abuse to last a few years without repair and replacement. For instance, your toilet bowl can potentially last up to 50 years, although it is recommended that you replace it in 20-25 years.
Now, when you hear strange noises when flushing your toilet, it could mean several things. Of course, this article is not meant to be a diagnosis, but rather a guide so that you will have an idea of the causes behind all that racket.
Here are some unfamiliar sounds you may hear and their possible causes:
- Ssssshhhh or Ccccchhhh — Your toilet flapper might be the culprit. The sound can be intermittent or constant. The flapper is attached to the overflow tube, and it controls how much water will enter the tank. If the mechanism is worn out, it can produce the sound. More importantly, it will cause your water to leak, adding to your monthly bill. Luckily for you, it is an inexpensive and quick fix. Try to rattle it around to see if it is simply loose. You can tighten it using a few tools. If not, call a plumber immediately to resolve the issue.
- Foghorn — It may surprise some people how the horn sound can be so loud. One way to diagnose this is to open the tank lid and then push down the level. The sound should immediately start, and you should immediately pull the float ball to its maximum height position to see if the sound will stop. If it does, the problem could be the ballcock washer.
- Flushing — Do you hear your toilet flushing by itself? No, there are no ghosts in your house. It is more common than you think, so much so that the industry has a name for it–phantom flushing. Your toilet does not necessarily flush by itself, even if it sounds eerily similar. The culprit can be a leak in your tank. One of the possible reasons is the wrong position of the water refill tube in relation to the overflow pipe. To fix the issue, you need to replace the toilet flapper, calibrate the chain, and then adjust the refill tube. If that does not do anything, you may also buy a new flush valve drain. An experienced plumber can diagnose the problem by the sound alone, like the way an expert mechanic does when listening to the engine.
- Blaring sound when refilling — When you hear a loud noise as your tank refills water, the possible perpetrator would be the uneven water flow from your plumbing supply line. The solution may be as simple as regulating the inflow of water from your toilet tank. You can find the supply valve at the bottom of or adjacent to the tank.
- Hammering and banging — Does your pipe sound like a bunch of raccoons are running around your house? The technical term for it is a “water hammer.” It could mean one of two things–restricted water flow or high water pressure. Replacing the float valve may do the trick. But it may not be the fault of your toilet alone. It can be caused by the high water pressure on your plumbing supply line. For Canadian households, the water pressure should hover around 35 to 60 psi (pound force-per-inch). It can go above that but no more beyond 80 psi. Do not ignore the hammering sounds because they might cost you down the road. The high water pressure will exert extra pressure on your pipes and also potentially damage your appliances. You may contact your water utility, which can adjust the pressure in your home. But the best option is to install a water pressure regulator in your home or ask your plumber if installing an air chamber will be the cheaper solution.
How Much Does Canadian Plumber Cost?
The cost of hiring a professional can vary from your location and the pedigree of the plumber. It will also depend on what type of work you need. Generally, you pay a plumber per hour, and it will cost between $100 and $270. The initial hour will be the most expensive, but the flat rate will go down from the second hour. You may also need to pay a trip fee if your home is quite a distance away.
Make sure that you hire only licensed plumbers. It is not unethical to ask for proof from the workers coming to your home.
When you hear odd noises coming from your toilet, it means that the system is begging for attention. Call Urban Water Works immediately to address the problem and return your toilet to the familiar swishing and gurgling sound when you push down the tank lever.