Hearing an unexpected dripping sound in your wall is both terrifying and frustrating. When this happens after flushing a toilet, you may frantically start searching for the cause of the sound. A pipe could have broken, there may be an issue with a joint, or there may be another cause for the sound.
Once you can troubleshoot the cause of the dripping sound, you can start figuring out a solution. If there is a leak behind the wall, your best option would be to call a plumber that has the experience and the tools necessary to quickly locate and repair the issue. The sooner the problem is fixed, the less potential you have for long term damages.
Toilet Tank Issues
Most toilet related problems are limited to clogs or sewage backup, however you may occasionally hear a steady dripping sound coming from somewhere in the toilet area when you flush. This dropping sound can be on the toilet itself, or behind the wall, but finding the culprit quickly is important.
The usual origination for dropping sounds when flushing the toilet come from the tank itself. This can be due to an aged gasket on the overflow tube, or potentially a crack between the tank and the bowl itself causing water to slowly leak.
A more serious issue, cracked pipes can cause occasional or constant dripping sounds from within the walls depending on where the crack is situated. For example, if it is on a refill pipe, the dripping will be constant, but if it is on the drain pipe, the dripping will only happen shortly after a toilet flush.
Dripping behind the wall can be a very damaging issue that needs to be located and fixed as quickly as possible. The longer water is allowed to drip, the higher the chances for mold blooms, fungus, and structural damage to the wood of your home. You could also be facing a higher than usual water bill as the water slowly keeps dripping onto the floor behind the wall and soaking into the foundation.
Fixing the Issues
In cases where the dripping sound is coming from the toilet tank itself, tightening the overflow or replacing the flange, ensuring the flapper fits properly over the drain, and adjusting the float valve so the tank fills to the line and not over it can all help remedy the issue.
If it’s not in the toilet tank itself, the leak will be behind the wall or at the base of the toilet near the floor. If the leak is found at the base of the toilet, tightening the support bolts or the rubber gasket can stop leaks.
If the issue is behind the wall, the drywall may need to be removed in order to access the pipes if a basement is not accessible. In many cases, the pipes can be replaced or repaired without major deconstruction of the wall.