Life in Alberta’s Festival City can quickly go from fun to rough if your plumbing goes haywire – whether it be through your water bill or sheer inconvenience, you won’t be celebrating anything until things are back to normal. Some plumbing issues can quickly go from troublesome to devastating if not addressed immediately. Here are a few troubleshooting tips for one of the most important fixtures of Edmonton plumbing systems – the toilet.

The Phantom Flush
You’ve barely entered your bathroom when you suddenly hear the toilet flushing on its own – no, it’s probably not a ghost, but rather a problem that many plumbing professionals refer to as ‘phantom flushes’. This is a sign of a leak somewhere in between the tank and the bowl, a slow one in fact, so you don’t notice anything until the flush. The cause is usually a broken, cracked, or worn flapper seat that will need replacement.

Weak Flush

Another common toilet trouble is when the flushing mechanism never seems to work efficiently enough – so much so that you end up having to flush more than once every time you use it. This might be caused by an unusually long chain that connects the flapper cap to the flush handle. In this case, the flapper doesn’t open completely even when the handle is already pulled all the way up.

Trickling Water

A sustained hissing sound coming from your toilet could be a sign of water trickling into your tank via the supply line, and here’s how DIY Network’s plumber-contributor Ed Del Grande sees it:

“In this case the parts to check are the float, the refill tube and the ballcock or inlet-valve assembly. The hissing sound is typically caused by water coming through the inlet valve. First check to see whether the float is sticking or needs adjusting. Next, check to make sure the refill tube isn’t inserted too far into the overflow tube. (It should extend only about 1/4″ below the rim of the overflow tube.)”


Only a few of these toilet problems seem to match the headaches that an overflowing toilet causes, which could be attributed to a broken or worn fill valve (the mechanism charged with stopping water from flowing into the tank once it’s filled). You may have to adjust the height of the lever connected to the fill valve to prevent an overflow until a plumber comes in to fix it.

Always remember that when your toilet problems turn out to be more than you can handle, call in Edmonton plumbing professionals for help. Tough jobs are exactly what pros like Capital Plumbing & Heating Ltd. are equipped to handle.