Strange Plumbing Noises Part 4: Why Do My Pipes Sound Like a Foghorn?


Strange Plumbing Noises Part 4: Why Do My Pipes Sound Like a Foghorn?

It may sound absurd to compare simple plumbing noises to a foghorn until you actually hear the noise. This is a deep humming that reverberates and can be caused by several different things, depending on where in your house the noise is coming from. Let’s take a look at the common culprits.


This is one of the most frequent causes of the foghorn sound in plumbing. If you hear the sound every time that the toilet is used, then it’s probably a problem with the ballcock (a.k.a. fill or flapper) valve inside the toilet. When ballcocks get offset or old, they no longer close the valve properly and shudder – this can quickly echo and get amazingly loud.

The easiest solution for this issue is to pop the top off of your toilet and see if you can replace the “ball” part of the valve so that it closes completely. You may need to replace the valve altogether, so it’s best to contact a professional.


If you hear this sound when you turn on a faucet, then it’s probably a problem with a faucet washer. A loose faucet washer, when subjected to water, can also create a lot of noise and may approach that foghorn-level of noise. Tighten the screws throughout your faucet system to try to stop this problem. If your faucet continues to rattle, get in touch with your plumber.


At some point, you have probably heard your washer or dishwasher make some strange sounds as it fills up with water. One of the most common noises is the sharp, slamming “machine gun” noise that indicates valve problems. If this rattle grows fast enough it can also cause reverberating, foghorn-like sounds.

Here, the problem is probably related to a worn out solenoid fill valve, which is a bit like the one in your toilet, but smaller, stronger and harder to reach. It’s probably time to replace that valve before it gives up forever.

Inside the Walls or Widespread Issues

If you have trouble pinning down where the foghorn sounds in your plumbing fixtures are coming from, or if it appears to be coming from all your appliances, then it’s time to call your plumber. A professional will cover all the bases, such as: are the pipes old? Are the brackets holding them in place loose? A few loose pipes may be causing these noises. You should also check to see if you have a pressure regulator (located at your water meter or near your water source), and if the foghorn noise is coming from this regulator, it may be malfunctioning and due for a replacement.

For answers to your questions or for a solution to strange plumbing noises, contact the Pink Plumber today!

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