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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.
On 2018-11-01 by (mod) - creaking noises at the water tank
It's possible that a new water tank windforce heated might make some creaking noises perhaps due to thermal expansion of metal components.
I would not expect that to be unsafe. As long as you're starting water pressure is in the normal range for buildings which would be between perhaps 20 psi and 70 PSI you should be well within the pressure limits of any water heater.
Watch out: If you have higher building water pressure you could conceivably exceed the tanks rating and that would be unsafe.
So I suggest you start by looking at the water pressure in your building and then looking at the data tag on your water heater for the pressure range to which it can be subjected. Of course also your tank should be protected against over pressure by a pressure and temperature relief valve.
That valve also has to be matched to the tanks rating. If it came with the water tank from the manufacturer it's very likely to be correct.
if any of those safety parameters are violated you should shut off water to the tank and drain the pressure from an immediately as it is unsafe
On 2018-11-01 by ANDREW OSBORNE
we have just installed a 250 lt Rm Cylinder indirect tank this is the first time it has been filled and it is making a noise like the insulation on the outside is expanding, the tank is full of water is this Normal to make noises like this i dont want the tank to split.
On 2018-04-25 by Anonymous
Sure thing. I'll note the pressures as well but so far I haven't noticed any drop in water pressure and the trickling sounds always happens right before you here the switch turn on to kick the pump in.
I was changing the sediment filter today and was thinking that maybe I had air trapped in a pipe in the utility closet but when I flushed a toilet to get it to kick the pump on..
I verified for certain that it is coming from the pressure tank.
On 2018-04-24 by (mod) - trickling noise at the water pressure tank
Thanks for the interesting question. If the trickling noise is truly coming from inside of the pressure tank I'm a little stumped as well.
I suppose it's possible that there is a leak in the internal bladder but even though I can't quite describe or picture what would cause a trickling noise. Keep an eye on this and let me know what else you observe.
On 2018-04-24 by MJ
Just recently I have noticed that when we draw water we hear a trickling noise coming from the pressure tank and then the pressure switch kicks in and everything seems to get up to pressure fine. Not sure if that trickling sound is a sign of the tank or bladder getting ready to fail?
On 2018-03-24 by (mod) - outboard motor noise and banging at the water tank
Please try the diagnosis and repair suggestions at WATER HAMMER NOISE DIAGNOSE & CURE and let me know if that leaves you with success or with aggravation and more questions.
On 2018-03-23 by Terry
Water well tank sounds like sn outboard motor starting up. Also periodic BANGS!
Air in lines also. Its a nightmare!
On 2017-12-12 by (mod) - hissing sounds at the water tank
let's start by finding out where the hissing noise is coming from.
If you inspect the area around your water pressure tank and pump control or the incoming water piping you might be able to tell us if you're hearing the hissing sound coming from an air vent on the piping, or on the tank, or on the water pump. If so that may be as you said a normal condition.
On 2017-12-11 by shelley
I read your dagnosises of hissing sounds. I just bought my house which has well water. The first time I heard the noise I thought a clock alarm was going off. What makes it go away is turning on the water so I assume it is some sort of pressure build up. I don't k me anything about this system. Suggestions?
On 2017-11-26 by (mod) -
Please use the search box just above to find our article series on WATER HAMMER to see the causes and cures for what you describe.
On 2017-11-26 by n de graw
I replace my holding tank an the hole kit my tank still bang when when the pump kick on what my problem thank you
On 2017-10-10 by (mod) - banging noises at the water tank
at WATER HAMMER NOISE DIAGNOSE & CURE we explain the causes of and cures for banging water pipes.
The problem wont' be the switch or the tank, it's the water velocity, perhaps affected by water pressure, and perhaps affected by some change in the size, shape, position, of a valve, elbow, or other fitting through which water is flowing.
Low pressure has nothing to do with the tank directly: without a pressure booster pump you won't see pressure higher than that provided by either your building's incoming water pressure regulator valve or by the pressure in the municipal system itself.
See also WATER PRESSURE REGULATOR ADJUSTMENT - https://inspectapedia.com
On 2017-10-10 by Fred Yockers
I have the same Pressure Tank as pictured above. I get my water from a community system, but the pressure is very low. I have put 2 new 40/60 pressure switches on the water pump and when the pump cuts in or off, the pipes bang. I've had this pressure tank for years and never had this problem. Any solutions?
On 2017-09-20 by Frank
I have tried tried this. Others can hear the noise including neighours. Once the power is back on it is ok for hours then starts up again.
Hot water system makes a groaning noise. It occurs at odd intervals even 3am in the morning.
Turning the tap on or off makes no difference.
This noise is quite loud. It is irregular. Any suggestions. Thanks
On 2017-04-28 by (mod) - low decibel (maybe 10dB) continuous humming vibration noise with some irregular pulsing
First confirm that others can hear the sound - that plus your doctor can rule out a physiological or neurological worry.
Then try turning off electrical power to the systems that you suspect. If you do that while you are hearing the noise and the noise stops that will be diagnostic.
Tell me what happens and we'll continue from there.
And see these sources of plumbing noises
On 2017-04-28 by prengerbr
My home is a small 2-bedroom ranch with a partial basement.
I have a low decibel (maybe 10dB) continuous humming vibration noise with some irregular pulsing that appears to come from outside my windows,
but I hear it through most of the house and I don't hear it anywhere outside my house.
I thought that it might be in my head, but I don't hear it anywhere else (including outside my home) or in any other domicile; like if I stay in a Hotel, I'm fine. I had my hearing tested, and it's great!
Based on what I gathered so far, I think that maybe there is a connection problem failure between my Water Pump (I have a well) and my Oil Burner. Maybe there is some kind of strain that is creating a noise in my water pipes (copper) and I'm hearing it through my baseboard radiators?
I often hear banging as well, but I accepted that as being normal (expanding and contracting of pipes) when the heat kick on per the control of my thermostat.
The noise seems worse after my burner has fired to heat my hot water supply. Maybe there is a restriction in my water line?
The water pressure is not great; relatively weak(especially the hot water) but good enough.
My Burnham Oil Burner, is relatively new (2011) and I have it serviced every year.
My water pump came with the house, never replaced or serviced other than regularly replacing a filtration filter. The water appears to be fine.
My water pump is in the basement, not too far from my Hot-water Oil Burner. (25 feet apart; approximately)
I don't have a hot water heater tank, per se.
Any Suggestions would be tremendously appreciated!
The only good news is that the sound is at a low frequency (but may be getting worse, lately), and is easily drowned by TV or Low Radio; which is how I have been attempting to deal with it up to this point.
On 2017-02-24 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 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 by mikeMy water tank has a knocking sound when the water shuts off
On 2016-11-10 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 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 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 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 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 by (mod)Try slightly closing the water supply valve into the water heater.
On 2016-07-02 by AnonymousWe 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 2016-03-24 by Will - in
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 by (mod) - how to eliminate noise from within the well tank
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 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.
- 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
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