Is Your Toilet Haunted?
Inside the toilet
Things That Go "shhhhhh!" in the Night
You walk into your bathroom and all of a sudden, the toilet comes on. It fills with water on its own and then shuts off. You check inside and everything seems fine. You call your spouse in and attempt to explain what has happened.
Your "better half" watches and waits as nothing happens. She (He) asks if you have had anything to drink today. You respond that it makes no difference as the toilet really is coming on all by itself.
Is the thing haunted? Probably not.Take a close look at your toilet bowl. You may
need to use a flashlight. Shine it all around and see if the water in the bowl
is shimmering. If you are unsure,then dry the sides of the bowl with a paper towel. Come back a few minutes later and check to see if the sides are still dry.
If the water is shimmering or the sides are still wet, then it is leaking into the bowl. As the level in the tank drops, it triggers the fill valve to turn on and fills up the tank. That is probably the source of your “haunting”.
if your toilet is similar to mine (pictured above), then you probably need a new flap. Flaps are relatively inexpensive, so you might want to spend the $3 to $8 dollars and buy a new one. The more expensive ones will last longer and seal better and are a pretty good investment. You can find them at your local home improvement store or maybe Wal-Mart.
It is fairly simple to change a toilet flap, in most cases. Turn off the water to the toilet, and remove the tank cover. Most flaps are attached to the flush valve (that round pipe that sticks out of the water), with two ears. The flap will have a metal chain or a plastic strip attached to it. It is easier to replace the flap with the same type of attachment.
However, that may not be possible. If you cannot find your type of flap, you can modify the attachment to fit your situation. Something as simple as a well placed paper clip may do the trick. The main thing is that the attachment (the part of the flap that goes to the flush handle) has a little slack in it. Too much and it may hang up on flushing. Too little slack and the flap may not seal.
Replace the old flap, hook it to the handle and turn the water back on. That is basically it. If you wish, you can hold an elaborate exorcism ritual and impress your significant other. Or you can just inform her/him, that you were able to fix it, after much hard work (and you certainly deserve some type of reward).
However, if it still leaks, then you may have to overhaul the “guts” of the toilet. This is not as involved as it may seem. It is also cheaper and easier than installing a new toilet. And of course, the rewards to expect from your spouse (for all your very hard work) will be significantly increased.
My next home improvement article will be “Giving Your Toilet an Inexpensive Overhaul. It is coming soon to a Hubpage near you. And depending on when you read this, it may already be at hand.