Water tank noise & sound diagnostic FAQs:
This article provides answers to frequently-asked questions about how to diagnose noise problems with the water storage tank or water pressure tank including hissing, gurgling, bubbling, or clangs, bangs and clashes at or near the water tank.
This article series gives diagnosis & repair advice for well or water pumps, controls, tanks, water pressure, water flow, water quantity.
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On 2017-02-24 22:31:15.526784 by (mod) - periodic gurgling bubbling sounds at the water tank
Sounds like a bad check valve is letting water drain back to the well, causing a submersible pump to turn on. But then I can only guess with just partial information
On 2017-02-24 07:26:27.830307 by Cody
I have a 500 gallon well water holding tank in the attached garage. Every 30 seconds to 1 minute, a gurgle bubble sound that lasts for about 2 seconds can be heard from in the house. My pressure valve says 60. I also tried resetting the pump protection plus. Any ideas?
On 2016-12-04 17:31:07.311356 by mike
My water tank has a knocking sound when the water shuts off
On 2016-11-10 23:23:59.894402 by (mod) - water pressure drops then surges to normal
Your home may be served by a water pressure regulator that's failing. Search InspectApedia.com for MUNICIPAL WATER PRESSURE for more details.
On 2016-11-10 06:03:31.111789 by C Lee
(I know next to nothing about plumbing) We have city water and the only "tank" I know of that we have is the hot water tank. It was replaced about 7 months ago. Lately, when you go to use the water the pressure drops then a sudden surge and it then goes back to normal.
You also hear a noise of some sort. You hear the noise when using the toilet also, but the water does not seem to change. Additionally, we have a drip on the hot water side of the tub in one bathroom. I don't know if this is connected or what any of this is about. When this first started it seem to be only happening on the hot water side on all faucets and happen more when the water was not used for several hours. Help please, I am worried and don't have a clue about any of this.
On 2016-10-05 08:50:30.652087 by Arek
I've been living on tank water for 4 years and have had no problems with the water pump. Over the last couple weeks the Pump has become significantly louder when pumping. It still works fine but is annoyingly loud. Same humming/pumping sound it always made but much louder.
On 2016-08-29 17:02:41.170076 by (mod)
My first suspect is a water hammer problem. Search InspectApedia for WATER HAMMER to read a description, diagnostic suggestions, repair advice.
On 2016-08-28 12:11:48.810426 by Judy Martin
My 5000 gallon outdoor storage tank that fills with canal water started shaking and banging while filling when I was watering yard. It stopped after a few minutes. Next day light watering, no banging but did not hear water entering and water viewing tune showed water level down about 6 inches. Work was being done at canal when this occurred. What do you think is occurring?
On 2016-07-02 17:56:43.437310 by (mod)
Try slightly closing the water supply valve into the water heater.
On 2016-07-02 13:33:32.721783 by Anonymous
We can hear a high pitched sound in the house mainly upstairs. When the water tank is heating it seems to stop. A few hours later it starts again after using the hot water, what could cause this
On 2016-07-02 13:27:36.424371 by Anonymous
On 2016-03-24 16:16:53.822581 by Will
My water heater was got replaced 6 months ago. Since then whenever the hot water gets turned on, there is a intermittent bang sound occurs. It only happens when hot water turns on.
Just wondering if this is related to the pressure valve. Any idea?
On 2015-11-07 02:42:28.817403 by (mod)
I don't have any idea what the noise is or what it sounds like. Perhaps that'd help suggest a solution; Speculating (as we've no information) if the noise is simply a water flow sound (no air, no banging no clanging) then you might try a few simple mods like partly closing the tank inlet valve to slow the water flow rate into the tank.
On 2015-11-04 16:47:07.372722 by Mike M
I am looking for some technical advice on how to eliminate noise from within the well tank (if possible). Today I was at a friend’s house and listened to his well tank fill. All I could hear was the relay click to start the pump. My house not so much.
The noise is solely within the water tank, only when filling and there since day one. No change over 10 years of use.
My submersible well pump and well tank, Wellrite model WR120R, was installed professionally 10 years ago. I use the term professional loosely and it’s a long story. I was informed at the time that the noise was normal. It is louder than the TV volume which is located one floor above the well tank.
(Nov 18, 2014) Paul Loudenslager said:
My water tank is approx. 30 in. diameter by 70 in. tall. It's rated at 75 psi. The well company recommended this size if I intended to install an irrigation system for the lawn; never did.
For the first approx. five years when this tank was receiving water from the well, a loud boom was heard. This sound is no longer heard, but sometimes a clang is heard. What caused the boom and now the clang?
Is something amiss that needs attention? What are the ratings for this tank; that is, how much water does it hold, etc.? The cut-in pressure is roughly 40 psi and the cut-off pressure is roughly 60 psi. Any info you can provide is greatly appreciated.
Paul I'm a bit baffled myself but I suspect you're hearing a type of water hammer.
(Jan 11, 2015) Howard said:
We have well water. We had a problem with the water heater t&p valve discharging suddenly and violently. we called the heater manufacturer who advised new valve, 2 new valves later and cold water in the water heater valve keeps bursting before water is even heated. Went under the house to check the well pressure tank Well-X-Trol WX-203 -- pressure gauge is 0 psi. We have plenty of water in the house. Tank sounds the same when tap on it, tried to empty pressure tank (not sure if did properly) -- very little water trickled out.
First check the water heater temperature settings; if the heater is over-heating the TP valve was doing its job.
you can see how to make an independent measure of water pressure - I'd start there. If water pressure is abnormally high then that may explain the TP valve discharge.
Water hammer can also damage TP valves - see
Have a well with a pressure tank and a 20/40 switch The switch stuck on, not sure how long, the gauge read about 80-90 when I turned pump off.. I've replaced the faulty switch.
1st problem - the water now has an oily or sulfur odor, seemed clear but if it sits it becomes clouded. Ran about 50 gallons of water and that seemed to help..The well is only used on weekends.. The smell & some of the cloudiness returns after sitting over night or all week..
2nd problem - the pressure tank now has a high pitched noise just before it cycles off.
I think the air pressure is at 30 lbs. Can check pressure again this weekend - Wally 7/25/11
It sounds as if your pump was damaged by overwork. I'm not sure where else in a water system you'd get oil into the water supply (except for a leak into the water well itself).
A lurking sulphur odor may have been disclosed in the actual water supply when the system ran for a long time, perhaps dropping the water table beyond normal, though if the pump was running but water in the building was OFF, that doesn't apply.
Anyway, if there are contaminants in the water pressure tank, running water dilutes what's in the tank but it could take many pump cycles to clean it out.
A better procedure would be to drain the water tank. Turn off the pump, (preserve water if needed for priming the pump), drain the water tank, then repressurize it and flush out the pipes one last time.
Follow-up from Wally:
Thanks, this weekend I did drain the pressure tank & flushed it. After draining, rechecking air pressure & adding more air, it stopped the squeal when the pump stopped .
Flushing the system for a good 10 minutes, changed a sediment filter and flushed it again for 10 minutes. Water tasted & smelled much better even after sitting over night..
Now this Labor Day weekend will check the system again, see what it's like after sitting all week..Thanks again! - Wally 8/29/11
(July 6, 2012) James said:
Hello, I live in a 3-story, 6-unit condo building in Chicago. We have a large Well-X-Trol pressurized bladder tank. Recently, my neighbors and I have noticed extreme increases in water pressure. So much so that the lines to my washing machine start shaking when I do a load of laundry, and that it seems to be close to overwhelming my shower drain. We have also noticed the noise of the tank running to be loud and frequent. It seems to be running at least 30 minutes out of an hour.
The tank is 5 years old and we never noticed this before. In the meantime, we have closed off the valves to the tank and have been running just on city pressure - which is actually fine, I'm not even sure why we need a booster. We had someone come out to look at the tank, and said that it seemed to be working properly it is set at 40/60. But if it is currently working "properly" - why is it running so much and why is the pressure so extreme? It seems to be very hard to find someone who really knows about these issues, so I appreciate any help!
Check the actual water pressures at different times using a gauge. Check for varying municipal pressure. And check for a sticking pressure control switch at the pressure booster pump and tank. The tank itself won't cause high water pressures.
WATCH OUT: if the water pressure tank lacks a pressure relief valve your system is unsafe.
(July 6, 2014) Joe said:
I have a question, 2 years ago I changed from a pressure tank to a bladder tank. The two systems were just swapped. 1 year ago I noticed a small leak coming from the well cap and hissing noise.
Now it seems to have gotten a bit worse were you can see the water coming out and hear the hissing noise louder. Was their something that needed to be adjusted at the well cap when switching over? What do you believe the problem is? Thanks
Often an older non-bladder water pressure tank, IF in use with a submersible pump, included a snifter valve in the well and an air vent near the tank that needed to be removed when you converted to an internal bladder type tank.
See SNIFTER & DRAIN BACK VALVES - what are the drain back valve & snifter valve used on a well water system and how do they work? Hidden & antique air volume control valves can explain well pump rapid cycling or air discharge problems.
(Oct 25, 2014) Kris Tuttle said:
I've got a terrible groaning noise coming from mine. It's been installed a long time and often groaned when you turned off the water or flushed the toilet but just for about 30 seconds. Now it's groaning loudly all the time *unless* I turn the water on.
It stops after a couple seconds. But then when you turn the water off it starts up again. Our place is small and the noise is too much.
Often we hear a "groaning" noise at a water tank when there is an obstruction at the bladder or tank inlet causing vibration of pipes or bladder when water is entering the tank.
Is it true that Preasure pumps fitted in a house with one floor only spoils the washing machine,water heater etc and presure pumps should not be used for such one floored house. - K Sriram
14 Feb 2015 Doug said:
When checking or adding pressure to bladder style tank should the pressure be set a few pounds below the set on pressure (40-60) switch (38) or should it be set at the higher level around (58) ?
Seems to be a water hammer effect as pump shuts off at (58)
I cannot undertand any reason why a well water pump would damage plumbing in a one story house in some way related to the house height. The pressure operating range - 20-40 psi or 30-50 psi is within the normal operating range of plumbing fixtures and appliances. In other words, No not in any way I can see. Maybe there is some condition someone knows about that we've never come across??
Watch out: other water pressure variations such as that caused by water hammer can indeed damage appliances, piping, controls, valves, etc. Details are at WATER HAMMER NOISE DIAGNOSE & CURE
Doug, in addition to looking into and addressing the water hammer noise, you want to see
WATER TANK BLADDER PRESSURE ADJUSTMENT
Continue reading at WATER HAMMER NOISE DIAGNOSE & CURE to diagnose clanging banging water pipe noises traced to well pump turning on or off, or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES.
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