Toilet Making Refill Sounds – Here’s Why

Last Updated on September 21, 2022 by Alex Cubias

Sometimes your toilet can make some crazy noises. These can be normal noises, or there might be something wrong with your toilet. Why do toilets sometimes make refilling noises, and what does it mean if these noises are constant?

If a toilet is making persistent refilling sounds, that means that the toilet is continuously having the refill itself. This is most likely because of an internal or external leak. This can be caused by the flapper at the bottom being damaged or the refill tube being in the wrong place.

There are a few reasons why the toilet may be leaking and causing these noises, and there are a few different ways to fix it.

What Does Constant Refilling Mean?

Once a toilet has been flushed, the water in the tank flows out of it and into the bowl. It will make a hissing noise as the tank is refilled. However, this noise should only happen for a few seconds after the flush, then stop and go silent. If this noise persists for a long time, it means that the tank is still refilling during that entire time.

The tank of the toilet is not supposed to be constantly refilling, so that means something is wrong. When the tank is refilled, it gets to a certain level, then stops. Until the tank reaches that level, it will continue to refill. So, if the tank is continuously refilling, that means that something is preventing it from reaching the proper water level. This typically means that the tank is leaking.

Leaks can be internal or external. An internal leak is all happening inside the toilet; the leak is inside, and the water will flow somewhere else inside the toilet. An external leak is easier to spot; the water is flowing outside the toilet, and you’ll be able to see if it is spilling out.

How to Fix Internal Leak

With an internal leak, the water flows out of the tank, but it stays inside the toilet or through the pipes where the water and excrement normally go rather than spilling out of it. An internal leak can be caused by a couple of different things.


Refill Pipe in Wrong Spot

The first possibility is that the refill pipe is pouring into the overflow pipe. The refill pipe is where the water comes out to fill up the tank with water. The overflow pipe is what sends the water out of the tank if the water level gets too high. The pipe is straight up and down, and the water will spill over the top and flow down it if it rises above the height of the pipe; this is to prevent the water from overflowing in the tank if there is a malfunction.

However, the problem may be that the refill pipe, rather than being stuck to the side and flowing outside of the overflow pipe, is pouring right into the overflow pipe. The water isn’t filling up the tank but is instead flowing out of the tank through the overflow pipe. This means the water is continuing to flow because the tank is not getting to the right level because the water isn’t filling the tank.

To fix this problem, simply move the refill tube to the right place. There is usually a clip attached to the overflow pipe. Put the refill pipe back on the clip so that the water flows next to the overflow pipe instead of into it.

Damaged Flapper

At the bottom of the toilet, there is a flapper. It is essentially a plug that keeps the water in the tank instead of letting it flow into the toilet bowl. When you flush the toilet, the flapper is lifted up to let the water in the tank flow into the toilet bowl. When the toilet has been flushed, the flapper is replaced, at which point the tank refills.

Over time, the flapper can become worn or damaged, meaning that it isn’t able to plug the hole where the water enters the toilet bowl. Instead of keeping the water from flowing into the toilet bowl, the flapper will allow some of the water to leak out and enter the toilet bowl.

If a damaged flapper is allowing the water to leak from the tank, replace the flapper. You can purchase a new one online or in a store. Make sure to shut off the water supply before replacing it.


How to Fix External Leak

External leaks can cause water to flow from the tank to the outside of the toilet. It is pretty easy to spot an external leak. Before checking to see if the constant refilling is being caused by an internal leak, see if there is any water coming out from the toilet. If there are any puddles of water, see if they were already there or if the water is leaking from the toilet. If you do find water leaking, this may be an external leak causing the tank to not refill properly.

External leaks usually happen at the bottom of the fill valve, the water supply line, or the seals between the tank and the bowl. Check each of these areas for leaks.

If the water is leaking from the fill valve, try tightening the locknut under the tank. It may just be loose. If that doesn’t work, try shutting off the water supply, removing the locknut, and cleaning it and the toilet beneath it. If the locknut is damaged, replace it.

If the water supply line, which connects the tank to the wall, is leaking, you will just need to replace it. If it is older than 5 years, it may be a good idea to replace it anyway, as they can become damaged after an extended amount of time.

If the place where the bowl and tank meet is leaking, you may need to replace a bolt, washer, or gasket. There are a few of these, so pinpoint where the problem is, shut off the water supply, and replace it.