Foghorn sound - driving me nuts!! Help

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by Kp090, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. Kp090

    Kp090 New Member


    I could really do with some advice right now on how to fix my issue. Before I start I’m not a plumber or anything like that so I would be very grateful for any help.

    Recently In the house I’ve been hearing loud foghorn type of noise coming from the cold water pipes and feel a vibration. I have to constantly keep flushing the toilets or open cold water tap in the sink for the noise to go.

    I read lots that usually the noise happens when people flush their toilet however I get the noise once the water has filled.

    I’ve replaced the diaphragm valve in the toilet but the noise still came back. It’s not all the time but randomly appears throughout the day so to stop it I flush the toilet a few times, open the tap in the bathroom and eventually it stops. After I changed the valve and while the noise was happening, I pushed down the ball float so water runs into the cistern and noise goes but as soon as I lift the float to stop the water, the noise comes back again.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? I would really appreciate all the advice I can get.
  2. kiaora

    kiaora Guest

    It’s probably a ball valve, do you have a tank in the loft?

  3. Allsorts

    Allsorts Super Member

    Trying to think this through logically, as long as the noise is present there is a tiny bit of water flowing through whatever is making it; no trickle, no noise. So if you have fully shut off that cistern ballvalve by pulling up on it so that no water is coming out and the noise is still there - which you say it is - then it isn't that ballvalve that's at fault. So leave the poor thing alone. (Which 'diaphragm' did you replace - the ballcock's or the flusher's?)

    You also say that when you press down that ballvalve to make it flow the noise stops, but when you release it to shut the cistern flow off again the noise often returns? I think what's happening there is that when you open that cistern valve the water pressure in your pipes fall away so the actual culprit valve that's making the noise has the water pressure removed from it, so it stops moaning. Ie, the valve that's allowing this trickle - and is making a trumpet in the process - should really be 'off', but is instead allowing this trickle through when the water pressure is high enough. It's probably just a little bit sticky.

    So when you shut off that cistern ballcock again, the increased water pressure in the pipes is forcing another (faulty) ballvalve open a tiny amount somewhere, and that's where the noise is coming from.

    To trace it, make a list of every ballvalve in your house - tanks in the loft (most likely culprit) and any other toilets, and also if you have a garden tap outside that hasn't been tightly shut off. Get the noise going and then visit each one, pulling their balls up firmly; a plumbing 'wedgie' as it were.

    When you find the guilty valve, give it a good telling off.
  4. retiredsparks

    retiredsparks Super Member

    Do you live on a ship
    or near the sea
    DIYperson likes this.
  5. retiredsparks

    retiredsparks Super Member

    Put a new ball valve in the tank.
    It will cure the problem.
  6. Kp090

    Kp090 New Member

    Thanks Peter for your reply, I have a big coffin tank up in the loft and also a toilet downstairs which I need to still check..

    What makes you think it’s probably in the tank in the loft and not the toilets?
  7. just pumps

    just pumps Screwfix Select

    Heat and Allsorts like this.
  8. Kp090

    Kp090 New Member

    Hi Allsorts, appreciate the reply, thank you!

    Yes you’re right, when the ballvalve in the toilet is up so no water is flowing into the tank of the toilet then noise is happening (the noise isn’t constant but randomly appears) so to stop it I just keep flushing the toilet and the one downstairs and open the bathroom tap as well and somehow it disappears but also just to check if it might be this toilet or the one downstairs I pushed the ball down and water was coming into the tank and sound gone.

    I replaced the ballvalve diaphragm but when examining it, it looks fine there wasn’t any tears in the rubber.

    The increased pressure elsewhere does sound like the right thing rather than it being this particular ball valve.

    Thanks I’m going to check the other toilet and the tank upstairs as well and hopefully I can find where it’s actually coming from.

    It’s most likely to be one of the ball valves that isn’t closing properly? I do get a thud kind of noise in the bathroom toilet once the tank has filled up?
  9. Kp090

    Kp090 New Member

    Haha not quite but it does sound like it when the noise is going on. Proper peeing me off yesterday as it was happening during the England game :mad:
  10. Kp090

    Kp090 New Member

    I’ll check the loft thank you!
  11. Dr Bodgit

    Dr Bodgit Super Member

    Do your toilets fill from the incoming mains? If so then its likely the ball valve in the coffin tank.

    Flushing the toilet lowers the mains pressure as they're filling up...noise returns once pressure increases to a certain level and flow is restricted by the ball valve.
  12. Allsorts

    Allsorts Super Member

    When the noise is present, just pull up on each ballvalve in turn. When the noise stops, bob's your uncle.
    Dr Bodgit likes this.
  13. Kp090

    Kp090 New Member

    See now this is where I’m not a plumber or have a clue about these things comes in... I think they are filled from mains because when I turn off the mains tap in the house the toilet stops filling and there’s no water at all.

    Thanks for the reply, I’ll check the loft for sure rather than messing around with the toilets.
  14. Kp090

    Kp090 New Member

    Brilliant, cheers mate, I’ll give this a go, if it’s in the loft and I pull up the ball and the sound goes, what part needs replacing so then I can tell a plumber what I’m going on about and not seem like an idiot? Lol
  15. Allsorts

    Allsorts Super Member

    You either replace or repair the ballvalve - just like you did in the cistern.
  16. Kp090

    Kp090 New Member

    Thank you!! In the toilet I only replaced the rubber valve that the arm with the float is attached to but cheers for all the help I’ll give it a try and get back to you :)
  17. Dr Bodgit

    Dr Bodgit Super Member

    Its going to be a part 2 ball valve in the c/w tank, can google for info and sure there are plenty of videos about replacing and repairing them. The body should unscrew to reveal the washer which can be replaced...might be gummed up or just gone hard. Probably just as easy to replace as long as the connecting pipe dimensions are the same (length).
    Kp090 likes this.
  18. Kp090

    Kp090 New Member

    When the toilet is filling up and just when it is fully filled I get a loud thud noise, would this indicate anything at all or is it all due to most probably the dodgy ball valve in the loft tank?
  19. Kp090

    Kp090 New Member

    Thanks a lot mate, I’ll get up into the loft and have a look at this soon as the noise comes back.. do you know roughly how much it might cost to replace this? Part probably won’t be much but do you know rough labour charge?

    When the toilet is filled and thud noise comes is that to do with the current issue or is this different?
  20. Dr Bodgit

    Dr Bodgit Super Member

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