Toilet Making High Pitched Noise When Not in Use – Causes & Solutions

Written by

Paulk Webb


Freddie J. Hagopian

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toilet making high pitched noise when not in use

If you have a toilet making high pitched noise when not in use, you’re not alone; there are even Reddit threads complaining about this problem. This is a common household issue that can be caused by various factors, from the age and condition of the toilet to the water pressure in your home.

In this article, we will explore why your toilet might be making this noise and how you can troubleshoot and solve the problem.

Why Does the Toilet Make a Loud Noise When Not in Use?


There are a few possible reasons why your toilet keeps making noise even when not in use, and none of them include ghosts, thank goodness! The fill valve or the flapper causes, most of the time, the toilet’s high-pitched whistle.

1. Problem with the Fill Valve or the Ballcock

It is part of the toilet that controls the flow of water into the tank. When the fill valve isn’t working properly, it can cause water to flow rapidly into the tank, which results in the toilet making a noise every few minutes.

A broken fill valve not only produces high-pitch sound from the toilet but may also lead to bigger problems in the future, such as burst pipes and flooding!

2. Faulty Flapper

Another possible cause is an issue with the flapper: the rubber seal that sits on top of the flush valve and prevents water from flowing out of the tank. If the flapper isn’t seated correctly, it can cause a whistling or hissing sound.

3. Calcium deposits

The issue can also come from your toilet pipes. After a while of use, the buildup of calcium deposits will block the water running in the pipe, causing the toilet to make a hissing sound even when not in use.

Types of Noises You Are Hearing


Whether your toilet makes the noise randomly every hour or every 30 minutes, it is essential to note what kind of noise you hear to identify and troubleshoot the problem. Here, we have listed four of the most common noises that you might hear in the bathroom:

1. Water Hammer

As the name suggests, a water hammer is basically the loud hammer-like banging noise you might hear from your toilet or the pipes. Also referred to as water knock, water hammer is caused by the sudden shutting of the fill valve as the tank fills, causing the water to be slammed around the pipes and fittings.

2. High-Pitched Whistle

This is another common noise that is usually a cause of worry for many, characterized by a high-pitched resonating whistle or a vibration from the toilet.

3. Ghost Flushing

If your toilet makes a flushing sound even when there’s no one in the bathroom, fret not because it’s not really a ghost problem. Despite its name, ghost flushing is caused by water seeping from the tank and into the toilet bowl, flushing it on its own.

4. Hissing

Ghost flushing may also be accompanied by a constant hissing that sounds like the sharp noise from a deflating balloon.

How Do I Tell What is Causing the Noise?

By listening to the kind of noise your toilet is making, you should also be able to tell what part of your toilet needs fixing or replacing.

1. Shut-Off Valve


First, if your toilet is making a loud hammer-like banging, it should be safe to assume that the water pressure gushing from the pipes to the tank is too high. A quick fix would be adjusting the shut-off valve to reduce the water flow.

2. Fill Valve


Next is the high-pitched whistle or vibrating sound from the toilet not in use. The usual culprit of this noise is a faulty fill valve, commonly called the ballcock. Over time, the fill valve gets worn out and brittle, causing it to malfunction and leak.

3. Flapper


Lastly, ghost flushing accompanied by hissing is caused by a leaky flapper. As water flows into the tank, a faulty flapper would cause this water to leak into the bowl, not fully filling the tank and definitely increasing your water bill.

Solve Your Noisy Toilet Problems

Now that we have basically equipped you with the knowledge on how to diagnose your noisy toilet problems, this part of the article will walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to quiet them down.

1. Check the Water Pressure.

Adjust the water valve located at the back of the toilet and observe if your toilet is still making noise. If it is, proceed to number 2.

2. Check the Fill Valve

More often than not, a high pitch sound from your toilet is generated by a faulty fill valve that might have been blocked by debris or water mineral buildup. If this is the case, clean the fill valve and remove the obstruction.

3. Replace the Fill Valve.

If the fill valve is not blocked but you can hear the noise coming from it, you might have to consider replacing the whole mechanism.

4. Ask for Professional Help.

If you feel like you’ve tried everything and you find yourself unable to fix the high-pitched noise from the toilet, then do not be ashamed to ask for help. Contact your plumber, sit back, relax, and let the professionals take over.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is a whistling toilet dangerous?

Yes and no. It depends on what you’re dealing with. Still, even the smallest problems can snowball into dangerous issues. For instance, the pressure in the blocked pipe can rise so high that it causes the pipe to burst.

Also, the valve is already worn out, it’s not good news. So it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Why is the toilet making a noise when I sit on it?

A few loose parts often cause this noise problem in your toilet, ranging from a loose toilet base to loose tank bolts.

Is it okay to leave the noise alone?

While some noises could be an indication of harmless problems, it is still important to diagnose and fix them. Sometimes, the noise from the toilet stops when flushed, and you might be tempted to leave it alone. But doing this could lead to bigger issues in the future.

Can I fix my toilet by myself?

Definitely! Fixing your toilet can be a rewarding experience, and there are many video tutorials online that could walk you through your problems. You can even save this article for future reference.


Bathroom maintenance is a lot of work, and nothing is more worrying than hearing your toilet making high pitched noise when not in use. The good news is that you are not alone, and we have written this article to help you solve your noisy toilet problems.

If you ever find yourself in a noisy situation, make sure to listen and identify what kind of noise your toilet is making.

Save this article so the next time you hear your toilet whining, you’d know exactly what to do.

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