Many homeowners have experienced a toilet that seems to flush by itself.
If this has ever happened to you, you probably wondered if you needed to call a plumber or ghostbusters. It’s not so mysterious…just a problem in the plumbing.
A toilet may flush by itself when the Douglas valve seal becomes warped.
When this valve seal becomes warped, the toilet tank will continually leak water into the bowl and the fill sensors are triggered that the toilet bowl is full and needs to be flushed.
This is the same principle as when you fill the toilet with buckets of water. After a while, you’ll find the toilet reaches a certain level and then automatically flushes itself.
To check if your toilet is leaking from the tank to the bowl, you should use the food-coloring test.
After flushing the toilet, add several drops of food coloring into the toilet bowl tank and wait about half an hour. If you see any traces of the food coloring in the toilet bowl water, then you know there is a leak. If the water is clear, there is no leak.
If you detect the food coloring in the toilet bowl’s water, then you know that the problem is caused by too much water leaking past the flapper and filling the toilet bowl. If this is the case, you will need to have the flapper replaced. The flapper valve is made of rubber and is very inexpensive.
If you are uncomfortable replacing this valve yourself, a local plumber will be able to easily take care of the problem.