Nipomo Plumbing: Ghost Flushing Causes and Solutions

Toilet from a above

Have you ever been home alone, and in the middle of the night you suddenly hear…your toilet flushing? It can be a really spooky experience, and that’s why it’s called ghost flushing. No need to fear, there isn’t a plumbing phantom haunting you, but you might have a leak that if left untreated, can lead to serious damage. Today our Nipomo ghost-busting plumbers are here to break down what exactly ghost flushing is, and how to stop it.

Before we break down ghost flushing, it is important to understand the basics of your toilet. When you pull the lever to flush, water from your tank is released, and floods into the toilet bowl. When the water gets low enough in the tank, the float will activate a refill valve, which in turn refills the tank.

Simple right?

Causes of Ghost Flushing

Ghost flushing essentially happens when water leaks out of the tank over a long period of time. When the water level gets low enough in the tank, the float activates the fill valve and the tank abruptly refills, creating a noise that sounds like a proper flush. This leak is usually caused by the breakdown of your toilet flapper, which slowly allows water to leak into the bowl. Other causes of ghost flushing include:

  • Defective flush gasket
  • Loose fill tube
  • Float ball at the wrong level
  • Flapper chain requires adjustment
Food Dye Test

An easy way to troubleshoot ghost flushing is to perform a food dye test. Put a drop or two of food dye into your toilet’s water tank, and wait to flush for half an hour. If you see blue food dye in the bowl after thirty minutes, you have a leaking tank on your hands.


If you are a DIY pro, then replacing the toilet flapper is a doable task. However, it is best to trust your favorite Nipomo plumbing company to help with the fix. Overtime, these sort of leaks can worsen. Not only do they increase your water bill, but they can also be an indicator of a hairline crack in your tank. Here at Griffin, our plumbers in Nipomo are your go-to when it comes to ghost flushing and other plumbing problems. Reach out to one of our friendly associates today online or at (805) 934-1949.

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Griffin Plumbing, Inc. • (805) 934-1949

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