Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

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SVariance1
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Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by SVariance1 »

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Is there a quick fix for a toilet tank that is hissing? I may go to home depot to get a new flapper, which seems to fix some problems.
Mike
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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by sailaway »

A flapper is a good place to start, but we have had to replace the seal between the tank and the bowl a few times, as well. If you have an alternative, turn the water off at the tank until you get a chance to address it.
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JoMoney
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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by JoMoney »

Flapper would be my first guess. Especially if it's something temporarily fixed by "jiggling the handle"
Last edited by JoMoney on Thu Nov 24, 2022 10:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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NavyIC3
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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by NavyIC3 »

Put some food coloring in the tank and see if it turns the water in the bowl the color of the food coloring. If it does it's a flapper problem. You can try cleaning the flapper and the seat for a temporary fix. To me hissing sounds more like a refill valve issue.
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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. »

i think if you have hard water (I do) it degrades the plastic/rubber on the flapper. I have to periodically change the flapper every few years, but that takes care of it. Hopefully it does for you too. Happy Thanksflushing.
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BobTexas
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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by BobTexas »

NavyIC3 wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 10:39 am . To me hissing sounds more like a refill valve issue.
Agree. Did you take the lid off and see if you can identify what is making the sound? Flappers are a common source of problems, but they don’t normally hiss
diy60
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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by diy60 »

Hissing is usually the fill valve in a barely open position. For that, I would first try to adjust the float downward to see if more buoyancy force triggers the valve shut.

For ghost flushing, it is usually blisters forming on the silicone seal. Changing the flapper seal is an easy fix.

I just went thru all of this a few days ago and busted one of the cheap foreign made plastic parts and had to replace the whole flapper assembly. Good luck
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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by eddot98 »

SVariance1 wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 10:30 am Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Is there a quick fix for a toilet tank that is hissing? I may go to home depot to get a new flapper, which seems to fix some problems.
Please post more information. I know a little bit about toilets, but there are lots of people on this site who will know more than I do and they will be able to help.
Is it leaking water on the floor?
Will it still flush?
If you take off the tank cover, what do you see? Does the flapper close or is it staying open? If you have a big ball on the end of a rod connected to the flush valve and you pull it up a little, does that stop the hissing sound?
What kind of flush valve do you have - conventional, fluidmaster, or something else? Here’s a site describing the different types of flush valves:

https://www.thespruce.com/different-typ ... es-4094288
You could take a photo of the inside of the toilet tank and post it if you are having trouble identifying the type of flush valve that you have.
Good luck.
FYI, I usually have spare toilet parts hanging around for just this sort of problem.
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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by livesoft »

Check for rats, cats, and snakes in your toilet.
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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by tennisplyr »

Youtube videos are good for things like this.

https://youtu.be/PgNg5Q2JPFk
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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by MBJ0909 »

My toilet was hissing last week, I narrowed it down to the sound coming from the fill valve. Something must have broken in there. Surprisingly easy to replace after watching a 4 minute youtube video.
Last edited by MBJ0909 on Thu Nov 24, 2022 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by nisiprius »

Some toilets contain a flapper or other part that typically forms a seal, is raised by the handle and chain, and falls back and reseals after the flush. The flapper is made of some kind of rubber or silicone, and, much like car windshield wiper blades, starts out soft and supple and, for whatever reason, gradually hardens over time.

As it hardens, it needs to be better and better aligned to make a good seal. Also, the surfaces of the flapper and pipe develop some kind of algae or biofilm.

If you simply clean the flapper, and perhaps the inner edge of tube it sits in, using a cloth and friction and optional detergent, there is a fair chance that it will "fix" the problem for weeks and weeks.

When the situation is marginal, and it may be marginal for years, "jiggling the handle" may sometimes shut it off. Or skillfully applying just enough force to lift the flapper up, yet not quite enough to trigger an actual flush, may stop it. When it is marginal, flush-to-flush variations start to happen, and the toilet may be sensitive to the handle-turning technique of the individual, so it may be a result of having guests. For some reason, children's handle techniques are more likely to cause problems, especially children who like to use a bit of force. If it is a marginal in-between situation, then replacing whatever moving part makes the seal will work like absolute magic and cure the problem totally for five years or so.

Some toilets have a float and an arm that controls a valve. Test by lifting the float gently and seeing if that stops the flow. There may be an adjustment screw that adjusts how full the tank fills before the valve shuts off. Adjusting it down just a bit, as if you wanted to reduce the volume of the flush, may make the difference between the float exerting not quite enough lifting force and just barely enough. Again, if it does work, it's a short-term fix.
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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by bengal22 »

Turn off the water to stop the hissing.
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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by criticalmass »

SVariance1 wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 10:30 am Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Is there a quick fix for a toilet tank that is hissing? I may go to home depot to get a new flapper, which seems to fix some problems.
When does the 'hissing' occur? While the toilet tank is refilling after use, or does it come and go at random times? The answer here is important for the diagnosis.
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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by SVariance1 »

BobTexas wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 10:50 am
NavyIC3 wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 10:39 am . To me hissing sounds more like a refill valve issue.
Agree. Did you take the lid off and see if you can identify what is making the sound? Flappers are a common source of problems, but they don’t normally hiss
Yes, I took the lid off and tinkered with some of the parts. I do not think it is the flapper. I think it is the fill valve. The sound is coming from the fill valve. The water is not coming up to the line where I think it normally goes. If I tinker with the fill valve, the water will rise a little higher and the hissing stops. The issue is that I do not know how to fix the fill value. There could be some gunk in it but I am not sure., or may be something is loose. I am hesitant to take parts off the fill valve.

The strange thing is there is no extra water coming into the toilet and there does not appear to be extra water goes into the tube.
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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by SVariance1 »

criticalmass wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 11:45 am
SVariance1 wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 10:30 am Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Is there a quick fix for a toilet tank that is hissing? I may go to home depot to get a new flapper, which seems to fix some problems.
When does the 'hissing' occur? While the toilet tank is refilling after use, or does it come and go at random times? The answer here is important for the diagnosis.
After flushing and sometimes it stops temporarily but then it hisses again.
Mike
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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by SVariance1 »

diy60 wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 10:57 am Hissing is usually the fill valve in a barely open position. For that, I would first try to adjust the float downward to see if more buoyancy force triggers the valve shut.

For ghost flushing, it is usually blisters forming on the silicone seal. Changing the flapper seal is an easy fix.

I just went thru all of this a few days ago and busted one of the cheap foreign made plastic parts and had to replace the whole flapper assembly. Good luck
It seems to be a fill valve problem. I just do not know how to fix it permanently. I watched videos in which people took off the cap and cleaned but I am a little nervous about taking it apart and not being able to get it back together.
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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by livesoft »

Replacing the fill valve is easy. Follow the directions on the box.
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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by jabberwockOG »

Fill valve is the issue. You can usually adjust fill valve with a screw that stops the water at various fill levels. Or bend the float down (if it has a metal float).

Or just replace the fill valve. It's a pretty easy DIY fix. Inexpensive replacement kits that include new fill valve, spud washer, and flapper are available at HD and Lowes. Always replace the flapper while you're in there.

Or if you don't want to hassle with it - call a plumber - likely 1 hr job and apprx $250-300 nowadays - no shame there some folks don't like to mess with plumbing.


btw - I have seen toilet supply valves and even old pipes break when turned, along with other similar plumbing horrors. Never mess with plumbing unless you know 1) exactly where the main house water shutoff is located and 2) that the main shutoff valve isn't corroded in open position, and actually works, and 3) you have the tool required to turn it off (when valve is at meter). Also best to diy plumbing repairs early in the week (not on weekend) when you can easily get a plumber to come out in an emergency or if the job is bigger than what you are comfortable doing.
Last edited by jabberwockOG on Thu Nov 24, 2022 12:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by SVariance1 »

I think I may have narrowed down the problem. It seems like there is a rubber piece in the cap of the fill valve that gets worn out. I may try to get a new cap with rubber piece and give it a shot
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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by Howie »

And since we're on the topic, what about a "whining/whistling" sound when flushed? One of my toilets has started to exhibit this peculiar noise.

Thanks.
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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by sailaway »

Howie wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 1:39 pm And since we're on the topic, what about a "whining/whistling" sound when flushed? One of my toilets has started to exhibit this peculiar noise.

Thanks.
Sometimes this means the flow is being restricted somewhere between the faucet and the fill. Have you and any plumbing done recently that involved turning the water off and back on? This can flush sentiment thought the system and clog faucets and toilets.
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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by Sandtrap »

SVariance1 wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 12:55 pm I think I may have narrowed down the problem. It seems like there is a rubber piece in the cap of the fill valve that gets worn out. I may try to get a new cap with rubber piece and give it a shot
Sounds like the upper washer on an anti syphon fil valve in which you twist the cap on the top off 1/4 turn, after turning off the main water supply!!!! Or it will get interesting!

The washer can be replaced. But, It's simple to buy another. Turn off the toilet water supply valve/angle stop valve. Use a channel lock plyers to change. Don't overtighten anything. Only hand tight and just a tad with the plyers or the plastic nuts will crack.

Anti siphone toilet fill valve in a long rectangle green box at Home Depot, Lowes, True Value, etc.
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https://www.amazon.com/Fluidmaster-400A ... 9686&psc=1

No ball or stem. The float is a cylinder that rides on the main vertical tube. Twist then lock the tube to get your fill heights. Be sure to engage the lock or things will get interesting under pressure.

Get an orange paint roller tray from Home Depot to slip under the valve and things to catch water and debris. They fit just right.

Should take no longer than 20 minutes.

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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by avidlearner »

Agree with Sandtrap, I had similar toilet whistling issue and replacing the valve fixed it.
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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by enad »

SVariance1 wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 10:30 am Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Is there a quick fix for a toilet tank that is hissing? I may go to home depot to get a new flapper, which seems to fix some problems.
Not sure if it's an option, but if it is, shut the valve that puts water in the tank and then close the bathroom until you can repair it.
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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by Harry Livermore »

Is it a Toto/ Korky type fill valve? There is a rubber diaphragm that gets hard over time. Easy part swap.
In addition, if you are on a well, you might have fine particles that can occasionally interfere with the diaphragm. Do you find that silt collects on the bottom of the tank?
Either way, probably not a red-alert item on Thanksgiving.
As others have said, a flapper is a cheap part to swap. If you have a 2-part toilet (tank and bowl separate parts) and you are thinking of replacing the gasket, get the two tank bolts/ nuts/ washers as well, ahead of time. The existing ones are likely fused into a solid mass of metal, and they sometimes weep or leak after many years. Probably a good time to do a refresh, since they are all cheap parts.
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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by biscuit5 »

SVariance1 wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 12:40 pm...The water is not coming up to the line where I think it normally goes. If I tinker with the fill valve, the water will rise a little higher and the hissing stops.
As its Thanksgiving Day (and you should be relaxing :happy ), you could fill a 2 liter (or other) bottle w/ water and submerge it in the tank, this will raise the water level as a temp fix.

I never tackle a plumbing project on a day where Box stores aren't open to buy parts in the event something goes wrong.

Good luck.
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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by Kagord »

Hissing, years ago, with the plastic ball on a rod valve actuator setup, adjustments would have a chance of fixing hissing. These days, with Fluidmaster/Korky float integrated on the supply tube, it's usually a failed valve.

I've never had much long term fixing Korky valves (cleaning/revitalizing the diaphrams), and I ususally replace with the tried and true Fluidmaster 400A on everything but Toto. Toto I use Korky.

This is a 5 minute job, maybe 10 minutes the first time you do one.
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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by chris319 »

Do not put tablets in the toilet tank which promise to leave your toilet "sparkling clean". They usually contain chlorine which attacks plastic/rubber parts in the tank and compromises the seal such that you have a slow leak complete with "hissing" sound.
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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by bberris »

arcticpineapplecorp. wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 10:41 am i think if you have hard water (I do) it degrades the plastic/rubber on the flapper. I have to periodically change the flapper every few years, but that takes care of it. Hopefully it does for you too. Happy Thanksflushing.
Calcium deposits on the flapper and seal can cause it to leak, without really degrading it. You can try cleaning the parts with vinegar, or citric acid solution to dissolve them off.
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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by Howie »

sailaway wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 1:46 pm
Howie wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 1:39 pm And since we're on the topic, what about a "whining/whistling" sound when flushed? One of my toilets has started to exhibit this peculiar noise.

Thanks.
Sometimes this means the flow is being restricted somewhere between the faucet and the fill. Have you and any plumbing done recently that involved turning the water off and back on? This can flush sentiment thought the system and clog faucets and toilets.
Appreciate the response. No plumbing recently...
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Re: Thanksgiving Toilet Tank Hissing

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. »

bberris wrote: Fri Nov 25, 2022 8:46 am
arcticpineapplecorp. wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 10:41 am i think if you have hard water (I do) it degrades the plastic/rubber on the flapper. I have to periodically change the flapper every few years, but that takes care of it. Hopefully it does for you too. Happy Thanksflushing.
Calcium deposits on the flapper and seal can cause it to leak, without really degrading it. You can try cleaning the parts with vinegar, or citric acid solution to dissolve them off.
thanks. will have to try that next time.
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