What's That Noise? Plumbing Edition

May 15, 2018


Are the noises in your home keeping you up at night? Not sure what they are? Worry no more, we've got just the right solution to get your sleep back on the right track. The guide below will help you self-diagnose some of the most common plumbing related noises you may be hearing in your home, and help you figure out how soon you need to call in the experts.

Noises coming from the toilet

Toilet hissing:

The continuous hiss may be the result of the refill valve not turning off. The hissing sound is made when high pressure water is passing through the restricted fill valve and entering the tank, this causes vibrations that you hear as hissing.

Toilet thumping:

This sound is called water hammer and can be caused when a valve closes suddenly at the end of a pipeline system causing a pressure wave in the pipe. The pressure wave can cause many problems ranging from loud noises to a pipe collapse.

Jack hammer:

This rapid banging or jack hammer sound also known as resonance, occurs during the flush cycle and is caused by an obstruction in the main shut off valve at the wall behind the toilet, the supply line, or fill valve.

Short air bursts:

This sound can occur when the fill valve is turning on and off because it is refilling lost water from the tank.


A toilet that suddenly begins to gurgle or make any unusual noises can be a sign of a much more serious clog in your sewer line.

Noises from the water heater


If your water heater is making popping noises, that means the water is overheating. This is attributed to the sediment buildup in the tank. The solution is to have your water heater drained and flushed.

Noises from drain pipes


A drain pipe rattling is usually caused by the water lines not being properly secured. This can be fixed easily if your water lines are easily accessible. A defective pressure reducing valve can also cause some very strange noises. Unless you are familiar with plumbing and comfortable fixing this type of problem, you should contact a plumber for help.

Noises from sump pump

Noisy motor:

Older sump pump models constructed from PVC or plastic generate more noise than new cast-iron systems. Newer pumps also feature self-lubricating motors and run very quietly. If your motor is very noisy, the system is old, and you've tried installing rubber stoppers, it's probably time to replace the system.


Gurgling is often a result of a standard check valve, it's common to hear gurgling or slurping noises as water moves through the pipe during the discharge process. Using a spring-loaded replacement valve may eliminate the noise.


When water is discharged through the system's piping, you may hear a clanging noise caused by the pipe hitting the pump's basin or the well's wall.

From clogs and leaks to parts and new equipment, call A.J. Perri, your local New Jersey plumbing expert. Our plumbers meet rigid trust certification standards ensuring your peace of mind. Our services are guaranteed in writing against defects in materials and workmanship and include a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

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Last Updated: July 06, 2023