LESLIE: Paul in Virginia has a noisy problem. What’s going on? The toilets are making some kind of noise when they’re filling?
PAUL: Yes, actually. We bought the house brand new about eight years ago. And back then, when you would flush the toilet it would take, literally, 10 to 15 seconds for the tank to fill back up …
PAUL: … and for the water to cut off, completing its cycle.
PAUL: Now, when you flush the toilet, it takes well over 60 seconds, a minute …
PAUL: … for it to fill.
TOM: Have you ever replaced the fill or the flush valve inside the toilet?
PAUL: Oh, okay.
LESLIE: Well, Paul, toilets need actual like annual maintenance, wouldn’t you recommend, Tom?
TOM: (laughing) Yeah, well maybe not every year. But the thing is, if you’ve had an eight-year-old fill or flush valve in there, you’re way past due, dude. You’ve got to replace those valves. The good news is it’s not that hard to do. I mean you basically go out and pick up one of those Fluid Master fill and flush valves. You can pick one up at your local home depot or at your local hardware store. And you turn the water off to the toilet. Follow the instructions on how to pull out that fill valve and the flush valve. It’s really super easy to do. I mean it’s literally like a 15 minute job, maybe 20 minute job.
The only place you can get yourself in trouble – and you’ll know it right away – is if you turn the water off to the toilet and the valve doesn’t turn off all the way. Well, you’re going to know that. And if that happens, then turn the main valve off to the house before you take the water connection apart.
But it’s really not that hard to do. You’ll have total control over how much water goes in that toilet and how quick it fills back up. And when you replace that flush valve … you could be losing some water, too. I would expect an eight-year-old flush valve to probably leak a lot and you wouldn’t know it. You get this condition called ghost flushing which basically means it sort of fills up on its own whenever it wants to because the seal is leaking.
So those are some pretty easy home improvements to do, Paul. And I think that’s going to probably solve your issue.
PAUL: Okay, excellent. Because as a matter of fact, now that you’ve mentioned it, it does have a tendency to trickle a little bit now. As in like the float isn’t coming up all the way.
TOM: Yeah, exactly. All part of the wear and tear of the most heavily used (laughing) and most misunderstood appliance in the house.
LESLIE: (overlapping) And most under-appreciated.
TOM: Under-appreciated, as well. That’s right.
PAUL: Yeah. Yes. And with four kids in the house, it definitely gets a workout.
TOM: Oh, man.
LESLIE: It gets its workout.
TOM: I thought it was like four years overdue. With four kids, it’s like 12 years overdue. (laughing)
Paul, thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.