Strange Plumbing Noises and What They Mean

Strange Plumbing Noises and What They Mean

It’s normal for plumbing fixtures to be loud, but they sometimes make sounds that are too strange to ignore. Below are some examples of what to look out for.


A whistling noise usually indicates a leaky toilet fill valve, so you’ll need to inspect every toilet until you find the problematic one. Once you’ve found it, the fill valve mechanism just needs some adjustment to stop the noise. It’s still a good idea to call in a plumber just in case, as further investigation may reveal a faulty component that needs replacing.


Anyone who stays up-to-date with plumbing and HVAC technology trends knows that older water heater models are prone to sediment build-up. When enough of this material accumulates in the bottom of the appliance, it creates a barrier to heat transfer. As a result, the boiling water trapped in the sediment produces a rumbling sound.

The next logical step when this happens is to remove some of the water from the tank with a drain hose. This task can be hazardous, however, for very few things can tolerate hot water. It’s best to leave this task to a professional to avoid hurting yourself or damaging your property.


Vibrating sounds usually originate from a toilet’s fill valve. To be more specific, it’s caused by a bad diaphragm gasket inside its top cap. When this component loses its elasticity, it struggles to shut off and causes small vibrations that can send a shock wave through the piping. A fill valve replacement is the only remedy for this issue.


An odd whooshing noise is common among copper and galvanized pipes which have mineral deposits built up on the inside. The presence of this build-up makes it harder for the water to move, creating unusual sounds as it swirls through the pipes.

Pay Attention to the Latest Plumbing and HVAC Technology Trends

Because we’re familiar with the latest plumbing and HVAC technology trends, here at McLay we know that some of these strange pipe noises can be eliminated with a little innovation. Call us at (909) 392-2202 to learn about some of the most sought-after features of water-using appliances and to get a free estimate.