The superstitious may chalk up self-flushing toilets and mysterious holes in the backyard to supernatural causes. It doesn’t make a very good story, but there is a much more likely explanation for these common household problems: You need to call a plumber. Here are a few of those mysteries and oddities explained.
A Toilet That Thinks For Itself?
What exactly are you experiencing? If it sounds like this scenario from Popular Mechanics — “Toilets flush by themselves, and there’s this awful hammering sound when you use a faucet or the washing machine” — your house isn’t haunted. What’s going on then? You likely need toilet replacement parts. Broken flapper valves, faulty fill mechanisms, and closed faucets ultimately cause a smacking or hitting sound. Whether you are working with standard of water saving toilets, usually you can fix the problem by replacing the flapper valve. In some cases, you may also need a water hammer arrestor to muffle the hammering noise.
No, Those Aren’t Crop Circles
All right, so what’s with the weird holes or tunnels worming their way through your backyard? The most likely explanation is that “you’ve got a collapsed foundation drain, or the concrete inspection cover on the septic tank has deteriorated and caved in,” according to Popular Mechanics. Call in a professional to help with septic sewer systems and septic system problems. They can make certain all critical plumbing is in working order, which then gives you the freedom to level the yard or fill in any remaining holes or divots as necessary. It is important to bring in a professional to clean and repair septic sewer systems; septic tanks emit toxic gases and bacteria, and it is dangerous for inexperienced people to handle them.
If you have a problem around the house that is just kind of weird, there may be a perfectly reasonable explanation. Ask one of the 154,153 plumbing companies in the U.S. whether a plumber can fix the problem (for an average of $353), or if you’ll need to do some more investigating. Find more on this here.