Why Does My Plumbing Sound Like a Foghorn?

Water, plumbing, and drainage are serious businesses. They are important to almost all activities happening inside your home, from kitchen sinks, washing machines, dishwashers, and water heaters to showers and toilets.

They usually run above the ceilings, under floorboards, and through walls. Properly working plumbing can fade into the daily life of your home. Though untreated problems may result in flooding, leaks, or backups, leading to an inconvenient mess and expensive repairs.

As your house ages and settles, so does your plumbing. Continuous use may start to take its toll on transition points, seams, and joints, resulting in different strange noises. To help you understand the reasons plumbing sounds like a foghorn, look at the following rundowns:


1. The Walls

At times, it is hard to discover where the foghorn sound comes from. Usually, the sound comes from the walls. If this is the case, ensure you call upon a plumber before you start sledgehammering the walls.

There are also several reasons why plumbing makes loud and unusual noises. Your pipes might be old, or you’re dealing with loose pipes.

2. Washer

At some point, you will start hearing your dishwasher or washer make strange sounds when filling it up with some water. Among the common sounds is the slamming and sharp ‘machine gun’ noise, which is a sign of valve problems. If the rattles grow faster, it may result in rumbling, foghorn-like sound.

The problem could be related to worn out solenoid fill valves similar to the ones in the toilet but harder to reach, smaller, and stronger.

3. Water Heater

Clicking or ticking as water heaters cool down or warm up is nothing to be worried about. However, loud thumps and pops show major sediment and scale buildup. A drain-and-flush usually corrects the problem, and offering your plumbing maintenance will prevent the issue from occurring.

If you notice gurgling or bubbling within your tank, it will be an emergency issue. It means the water in the tank has started boiling, and the pressure/temperature valve has also failed.

Your tank might soon release scalding water, or even worse than that, there would be a steam explosion. Quickly turn off the electricity or gas and vacate the place immediately.


4. Fill Valve in the Toilet

When fill valves in the toilet fail to work as they should, you may start hearing an unusual moan that comes from the bathroom pipes. To determine whether this is the issue, try to turn off the water supply to all the toilets inside your house.

Immediately you identify the toilet with faulty fill valves, you will need to replace the fill valve assembly. Ensuring that a professional plumber properly does this is vital to prevent water leakage and further issues.

In some situations, you may want to replace some parts for your toilets to work well. For instance, toilet flappers normally last for around five years because of wear and tear.

Though a few flappers have a short lifespan, based on the pH level in the water and use of chemicals. If you cannot fix your flush valve and fill valve with these easy adjustments, Into Plumbing and Heating experts recommend that you replace both of them.

5. Water Pressure

Usually, the water pressure in most homes is set anywhere between 40 and psi. You can measure the water pressure with a psi gauge and hose adapter. To achieve accurate static reading, you will have to turn off every faucet inside your home.

Setting the pressure to more than 60 psi will result in strange sounds coming from the pipes. An adjustment may remedy this issue. 

This may include installing a good pressure regulator so as to protect the plumbing and reduce noise. As with all kinds of plumbing projects, it could be best to have a good plumber:

  • Perform the adjustments
  • Check the pressure

6. Loose Piping

A noisy water pipe is caused by loose piping inside the house. Water moving in large volumes may make pipes sway and hit against the objects or walls, resulting in loud banging noises. This continuous banging can damage the pipes in the long run, causing leaks.


Based on the setup of your home, crawling under your house with a flashlight will ensure you know the root of the problem. You can spot the problem by just looking and listening, thereafter securing the piping to make sure there is little or no movement.

7. Faucet

The faucet washers can be at fault if you start hearing a foghorn sound immediately after you open the faucet. At times, loose faucets create loud noises when they are subjected to water.

The best course of action is to tighten the screws of your faucets and check if the sound will stop. If nothing happens, you may need to call upon a professional plumber as it might be a bigger or serious issue.

8. Air Chamber

When the air chambers are filled with water, they may lose their effectiveness and make the pipes produce strange sounds.

The step of flashing the air chamber needs you to turn on the faucets and shut off the water. Once you turn back on the water, every air chamber would be flushed, making them start functioning properly and normally.

9. Ballcock

Different mechanisms, which make up toilets might be a source of unnecessary noises. Tanks, which keep refilling in between uses, normally means leaky flap valves. You may want to replace this yourself with safe water and cash.

Whistling sounds also means you require a new ballcock or need to adjust the overflow tube. Your ballcock valve may slowly leak, at times, with a hissing noise or result in a bang when it shuts off.

The Bottom Line!

If toilets in your house make anything other than gurgling and whooshing sounds, which accompany normal flushing, it is definitely calling your attention. Unlike other appliances, toilets are simple to please since the parts are affordable and sounds are diagnostic hints.

If you start hearing foghorn sounds, it means you have older toilets with the metal ballcock-style fill valve. Failing to seal the ballcock, you may replace your washer. Though replacing valves is not much more expensive or difficult plus, it would be a long-term fix.