Why Does My Plumbing Sound Like a Foghorn?

Homeowners, particularly those in their first home, will undoubtedly encounter a lot of “firsts”, and many of those will be plumbing related. The first time you use a portion of your plumbing system and hear a loud sound similar to a fog horn, you may initially be startled, but once the shock wears off you’ll likely start asking “why does my plumbing sound like a foghorn?” 

There are actually several potential causes for noisy plumbing, and they can vary depending on where and when they happen. There can be a foghorn sound from a toilet, the sound can seem like it’s inside the walls, inside the water heater, or even just from a regular sink. We’re going to get into what can cause this, and what homeowners can do about it. 

Why Does My Plumbing Sound Like A Foghorn?

As we mentioned, there are a few potential causes for this, and each one will have a unique solution. Let’s take a look.

When Your Toilet Sounds Like A Foghorn

If you’re hearing a foghorn sound from your toilet, noticeable when you flush, the most common problem is with the fill valve in the tank. This is sometimes known as a ballcock valve and is the part of the toilet that fills the tank with water following each flush. 

To test it, you can take the tank lid off and flush, then close the valve by lifting the float, and if the noise stops you’ve found your culprit. Replacing a fill valve can be a bit involved for some, but an experienced plumbing DIYer should be ok with some hardware store supplies.

When Your Sink Sounds Like A Foghorn

Sometimes, when you turn on a faucet you can hear a loud noise that sounds almost like a horn. In most cases, this is caused by a loose washer inside the faucet body. While this isn’t a serious or urgent plumbing issue, the annoyance that it causes can become a problem for many. 

To fix it, you’ll need to replace the loose faucet washer, and potentially tighten the screws on the faucet itself. The washer can be found at most hardware stores, but if replacing that doesn’t solve the issue, you may want to reach out to a professional

When Your Water Heater Sounds Like A Foghorn

In some cases, you’ll be using your plumbing and will begin to hear a foghorn sound, but you can tell it’s not coming from the faucet. In cases like this, it may be coming from the home’s water heater. Many water heaters are plagued with mineral build-up, and that build-up can cause noise from the gas burners. 

When You Can Hear A Foghorn Sound Inside Your Walls

Foghorn sounds coming from the walls are much rarer than rattling or clicking sounds, but they can still be an indication of a loose or unsecured pipe in the walls. This is one of the situations where, instead of poking around yourself, it’s best to call a plumber and have the problem tracked down by a professional. 

Emory Can Be Your Trusted Plumbing Partner

If your plumbing is making sounds of any sort that just aren’t normal, and you don’t want to spend the time to troubleshoot and subsequently fix the issue, the best idea is generally to use a local resource to help get the project done. While noises aren’t something that generally prevents homeowners from using their plumbing, it does indicate that something is wrong that needs to be addressed. Reach out to Emory today to tell us what’s going on with your plumbing, and we’ll tell you how we can help fix it.