How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes

Why is there sand in the bottom of my toilet tank?

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

It’s a sign that the well is pumping sediment. This is not a problem that would ordinarily occur with a municipal water supply. Sometimes not enough sediment/sand is pulled up by the pump to be noticeable in your water at the sinks or bathtub, but the small amount coming into the home settles at the bottom of the toilet tank and builds up over time.

    Sand can also settle in the bottom of the water heater. The sand layer will cause it to make an abrupt, loud gurgling/bubbling sound now and then while heating. Yet another place that sand can accumulate is in the screen filter at the water inflow connections to your washing machine. Here it will slow down the water flow to a trickle so that filling the tub of the machine for the first cycle takes an unusually long time.

    Any well produces a little sand occasionally, and the solution for minor amounts of sand is a whole house filter (also called a sand filter) or a centrifugal sand filter.

    The other solution, a whole house filter, removes rust, sand, and small bits of sediment, but the filter cartridge needs to be replaced regularly. If you forget to change it, eventually the water flow into the house will decrease severely as a kind of built-in filter change reminder device. The centrifugal filter just needs to be flushed out at the bottom, but is more expensive to purchase.

    If sand is visible in the your water or the sand filtration system fills up quickly, you have a problem with the well itself and need to consult a well drilling contractor for a solution. The problem could be that the well is collapsing and filling with sand, or the filter screen is degrading. In some cases, a well pump that is too big can also suck up sand.

    Also see our blog post Does a home inspector check toilets?

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about “TOILETS”:  

Are drop-in toilet bowl cleaner tablets safe?

Why is there mold inside my toilet tank?    What are the pros and cons of a wall-mounted toilet?

What are the minimum clearances around a toilet?

What is the little tank on top of the water heater for? 

What is that big thing in the toilet tank? What is the white plastic tank inside my toilet tank?

• Can I install a commercial (wall-mounted flushometer) toilet in my home? 

Does a home inspector check toilets?

• What is the code required minimum height above a toilet? 

    Visit our PLUMBING page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

Water Heaters

Water Heater Age

"What Are The

Signs Of..."

Septic Tank Systems

Structure and Rooms

Plumbing Pipes

Termites, Wood Rot

& Pests



When It First

Became Code

"Should I Buy A..."

Park Model Homes


Shingle Roofs




Wind Mitigation

Roof and Attic

"Does A Home


Pool and Spa

"What Is The Difference Between..."




Concrete and

Concrete Block

Metal Roofs


Modular Homes

Rain Gutters

Mold, Lead & Other Contaminants


Older and

Historic Houses

Crawl Spaces

Mobile-Manufactured Homes

Building Permits

Life Expectancy

Clay Soil





Exterior Walls

& Structures


Common Problems

HUD-Code for

Mobile Homes

Garages and Carports

Flat (Low Slope) Roofs

Electrical Panels

Sprinkler Systems

Electrical Receptacle Outlets

4-Point Inspections

Hurricane Resistance

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Home Inspection

Heating and Air Conditioning

Building Codes

Fireplaces and Chimneys

Inspector Licensing

& Standards

Energy Efficiency

Washers and Dryers



Doors and Windows



Electrical Wiring

Click Below  

for Links

to Collections

of Blog Posts

by Subject

Plumbing Drains

and Traps


Smoke & CO Alarms

Aging in Place

Top 5 results given instantly.

Click on magnifying glass

for all search results.






Air Conditioner & Furnace Age/Size


Electrical Switches





Water Intrusion

Electrical - Old

and Obsolete


Foundation Certifications

Tiny Houses

About McGarry and Madsen



Buying a home in North/Central Florida? Check our price for a  team inspection by two FL-licensed contractors and inspectors. Over 8,500 inspections completed in 20+ years. In a hurry? We will get it done for you.

Moisture Problems

Crawl Spaces