Why Does My Plumbing Sound Like a Foghorn?

Last Updated On June 11, 2024

Updated on August 15, 2022



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Why Does My Plumbing Sound Like a Foghorn

Have you ever used a plumbing fixture and been blasted by a loud fog horn noise or sharp groaning sound? If so, you’re not alone. 

Many people experience noisy pipes on a regular basis without much thought. However, an airhorn sound demands immediate attention due to its high decibel levels. 

In this PlumbingNav guide, we will cover:

  • Causes of foghorn noise coming from plumbing
  • How to determine the cause of a foghorn sound coming from your pipes
  • How to resolve a foghorn noise coming from your plumbing

What's In This Guide?

      Causes of Foghorn Sound Coming From Plumbing

      Foghorn sounds can come from a variety of plumbing fixtures and have different causes.

      One possible reason for a foghorn noise coming from your plumbing is a loose washer in your bathroom or kitchen faucet. If the washer is not properly secured, it can become dislodged and cause water to leak out. This will often result in a loud foghorn sound as the water pressure forces its way through the gap. 

      Another potential cause of a foghorn noise coming from your plumbing is a faulty flapper in your toilet. The flapper is responsible for sealing the fill valve (sometimes known as the “ball valve” or “ballcock valve”) that allows or prevents water flow between the tank and bow. 

      If it is not functioning properly, water can slowly leak out of the tank and into the bowl. This will often cause a foghorn sound as the water level in the bowl drops. 

      Finally, another possible reason for a foghorn noise coming from your plumbing is loose pipes. If your pipes are not properly secured in your walls with pipe mounts, they can vibrate and cause a strange noise that can also indicate damage to the water pipe material. 

      Oftentimes, loose pipes are caused by improper installation, old mounts, or pipes that are too close to each other or to the walls. To fix this plumbing problem, a plumber will secure the loose pipes with pipe clamps or brackets. 

      How To Determine The Cause Of A Foghorn Sound Coming From Your Pipes 

      If you’re hearing a foghorn noise coming from your plumbing, the first step is to determine the cause mentioned above. To summarize, there are three common causes of this type of foghorn noise: 

      • Loose washers
      • Faulty flappers
      • Loose pipes

      To determine which one is causing the problem in your home, start by turning on all the faucets in your house one by one to see if the noise is coming from one specific location, or if it’s happening throughout the entire plumbing system. 

      You should also test the cold tap and hot tap separately. If it’s coming from just one faucet and affects both the hot water and cold water, chances are there’s a loose washer. 

      If the noise is coming exclusively from your toilet, it’s likely a faulty flapper. Luckily, a new toilet flapper is an inexpensive fix.

      If the noise is coming from all the plumbing fixtures in your house, it’s probably due to loose pipes. This is a more serious problem that will require the help of a professional plumber to fix. 

      In the meantime, you can try to reduce the noise by turning off all water sources in your home and opening up all the faucets to release any built-up pressure in the system.

      did you know Why Does My Plumbing Sound Like a Foghorn

      Humming Noises Coming From Plumbing

      Some people may mistake a humming sound for a fog horn sound. While the fog horn sound indicates loose plumbing fittings or pipes, a humming noise is a sign of a water hammer, or hydraulic shock caused by trapped air that increases pressure levels in the pipe. 

      High pressure levels can seriously damage your pipes, so install a pressure regulator or water hammer arrestor with a piston or air chamber to help absorb the shock and relieve your pipes. 

      Most building codes require a water hammer arrestor at the installation of new pipes and appliances, such as your water heater or washing machine. (This is especially true in commercial buildings where a plumbing riser is present.)

      How To Resolve A Foghorn Noise Coming From Your Plumbing

      Tighten/Replace Washer

      Over time, washers in your bathtub faucet, bathroom sink faucet, or kitchen faucet can become loose and begin to vibrate, causing the loud noise you’re hearing. A loose washer can also indicate a leak. 

      To fix a loose washer, simply tighten the washer with a wrench. If the noise persists, or if the washer is damaged, you may need to replace it. 

      To replace a loose faucet washer, turn off the water supply to the faucet and remove the handles. Then, unscrew the nuts that hold the valve in place and remove the old washer. 

      Finally, install a new washer and reassemble the faucet. With a few simple tools and some basic knowledge, you can easily fix a noisy faucet.

      Replace Toilet Flapper

      A foghorn noise coming from your plumbing is most likely caused by a faulty toilet flapper. Luckily, this is an easy problem to fix with a few simple tools. Follow this step-by-step guide to replace your toilet flapper and enjoy a quiet toilet once again.

      First, turn off the water to your toilet at the shut-off valve. This is usually located behind the toilet or in the basement.

      Next, flush the toilet to empty the tank and drain the toilet. Carefully remove the lid and set it aside.

      Locate the flapper at the bottom of the tank. It will be attached to a chain or strap connected to the flush handle. Use a pair of pliers to disconnect the flapper if necessary.

      Now, take your new flapper and line it up with the holes on the bottom of the tank. Connect it using the same method as the old flapper. If you’re having trouble, consult your toilet’s owner’s manual for specific instructions.

      Finally, turn on the water supply and test your new flapper by flushing the toilet several times. If it’s working properly, you should no longer hear that annoying foghorn noise!

      See the following video for more information:

      FAQs Regarding a Foghorn Sound Coming From Your Plumbing

      What causes a moaning sound in water pipes?

      A moaning sound coming from your water pipes indicates one of the following issues:

      • Loose washer in the faucet
      • Loose flapper in the toilet 
      • Loose water pipes in walls or underground

      Why do my pipes sound like a foghorn when I flush the toilet?

      If you have a loose toilet flapper, it may produce an airhorn sound thanks to the loose flapper creating a water leak from the toilet tank to the toilet bowl. As water levels in the toilet tank drop unexpectedly, unusual pressure levels cause the harrowing noise.

      How do you stop water pipes from groaning?

      To resolve a foghorn noise coming from your water pipes, a plumber can tighten the mounts that keep the water pipes in place in your walls. You know the problem is caused by loose water pipes if the airhorn noise affects your entire house instead of one plumbing fixture. In most cases, you will opt to hire professional plumbing services to resolve this issue.

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      About Plumbing Navigator

      We write about "all things plumbing," helping you navigate common questions, repairs, and the best plumbing products on the market.

      About Plumbing Navigator

      We write about “all things plumbing,” helping you navigate common questions, repairs, and the best plumbing products on the market.

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