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Phantom Flusher

Do you have a Phantom Flusher? That's a toilet that turns the water on all by itself and lets it run for about 15 to 20 seconds. If you have a Phantom Flusher, you know I'm not kidding. A Phantom Flusher is a builtin feature of some refill valves (also called ballcocks); the device sits in the left side of the toilet tank.

The neat feature of a Phantom Flusher is that it not only tells you when the toilet is leaking, but it also tells you which part in the tank needs fixing --- it's the flush valve flapper, ball or disk that needs replacing.

The flush valve is the unit in the center of the toilet tank with a chain attached to the trip lever. Now, have you got that straight? A Phantom Flush does not mean anything is wrong with the refill valve, the problem is the tank ball, flapper or disk on the flush valve is leaking and needs replacing.

Now if you're not lucky enough to have a Phantom Flusher in your toilet tank, I have a little trick that will reveal which part is causing a leak. First, remove the tank lid and turn the water off at the supply valve under the tank.

Next, with a pencil, mark the water level on the back wall inside the tank. Wait 20 minutes or so, and then check the water level. If you find the water level remains at the pencil mark, you need to fix or replace the refill valve.

On the other hand, if you find the water level has dropped and is now below the pencil line, it's the flush valve that's the culprit.

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