Asked on Sep 04, 2016

Plumbing that "whistles"?

Holly R
by Holly R
My master bathroom has been giving off a loud siren/whistling/alarm sound lately that goes away when you turn on the sink or flush the toilet. Happened once a few days ago and then twice last night while I was sleeping and again just now. Any idea how to remedy this and what it is? Not sure if this sound file I recorded will play here or not. Help?
  14 answers
  • William William on Sep 04, 2016
    Could not play the sound file. I would check the flapper in your toilet tank. It's possible that it is not fully seating and water is slowly passing past it. When the water level gets below the float, it turns on to fill the tank. When you turn on the sink, the water pressure is reduced and the sound goes away. When you flush the toilet, the flapper reseats and the noise goes away after the tank is filled. Flappers do age and get the rubber gets hard and stiff over time.
  • Ba.7905651 Ba.7905651 on Sep 05, 2016
    It sounds as if you have an air lock in your system somewhere. Have you recently had any plumbing work done?? Try "bleeding" the system, there should be a point somewhere in the system where you can undo a screw or valve to let the air escape, just like when you bleed the radiators of your central heating system. You should find that cures the problem.
    • Holly R Holly R on Sep 05, 2016
      No plumbing work done recently, but we do have 3 (of 3) toilets that CONSTANTLY clog themselves, very easily. I'm thinking air may have gotten trapped in there because of that. Ironically, this is the toilet that clogs the least often (but still does its fair share).
  • Armindo Pacheco Armindo Pacheco on Sep 05, 2016
    If the sound showed up after u had work done on your pluming make sure all the valves are open 100% hope it helps
  • Sophia,M.,McConnery Sophia,M.,McConnery on Sep 05, 2016
    The sound is air in the pipes.You have to turn the water off at the main,turn on every tap,and flush every toilet.
  • B B on Sep 05, 2016
    My parents had something very similar happen to them just recently. When I would visit I would hear this high pitch and need to flush the toilet. They figured out it was an inside valve issue which to replace was an astronomical amount and would be cheaper to buy a new toilet.
  • Florida mimi Florida mimi on Sep 05, 2016
    I recently had this same problem and it turned out to be an airlock in our deep well pump. Yes, I live in the country.
    • See 1 previous
    • DORLIS DORLIS on Sep 05, 2016
      Did you have to replace the pump or pull it to fix it? Would hate to have to do this as would be around $1500.00
  • Sue Parsons Sue Parsons on Sep 05, 2016
    find the leak
  • Ba.7905651 Ba.7905651 on Sep 05, 2016
    Hi there, it seems that you have a real problem are all the toilets on one level or over several floors? Sorry I cannot help anymore other than to suggest you call out a plumber and perhaps get him to flush the system.
    • Holly R Holly R on Sep 05, 2016
      Two floors but it's only happened on the upstairs master bath.
  • Monica Monica on Sep 05, 2016
    We had the same sort of thing happening., but it also affected our water pressure. Turned out to be pipes at the top of the hot water heater clogged with years of build up. Our plumber replaced the pipe & now we have water pressure again & the screech/whistle is gone. Only costed us $170 but we know we'll need a new water heater sometime in the near future.
  • Carolyn Wiegand Carolyn Wiegand on Sep 05, 2016
    Okay, what the whistle sounds can be coming from is the fill valve in the stool for one. When the stool tank is almost full from flushing it can drag and cause the whistle. It is not an easy fix, but not a difficult one either. You don't have to take the tank off the bowl to do, but shutoff the water to the stool. When you turn on the water in the faucet it takes some of the pressure off the stool. Second it could be a loose washer in the lav faucet, if you have that type of faucet not a cartridge type. Most of the time this happens when you turn on the faucet, but can happen when you flush the stool. It makes the washer rattle or whistle. Tightening the washer or replacing it might help. A house not on a well has a closed water system. You cannot get air into a water line because it is such. Now for your clogging stools. Let me ask you this. Are all your stools about the same age? Do you have hard water? When you flush does the water sit and swirl and then eventually go down without using a plunger? If you answer yes to these, especially the last one, try doing this before you call a plumber. In most stools, not so much in the brand new ones, you have three sets of holes. You have the exit hole for refuse to go out. You have the rinse holes up under the rim. You have in most, older ones for sure, what we always called the push hole. The last one you can see when you look down to the front of the bowl and it is the main one that the water from the tank comes into the bowl and pushes the refuse out and over the trap built into the stool. It is about the size of a Quarter to 50 cent piece. Hard water can fill in with lime/calcium deposits and not give a good push. Take a small tool, a screwdriver or pick of some sort or undone wire clothes hanger and poke in and up as far as you can to make sure there is no blockage. Also, make sure the rim holes are all open. I used to work for a plumbing shop and had to answer these questions a lot, and when all else failed they would call back for us to come, but if we could help over the phone or by them coming in and asking, we tried. One person said to check the flappers. You can do this by shutting off the water to your stool and seeing the water in the tank drops down. You can also put a little food coloring in the tank water and still having the water off to the stool, hopefully you have shutoffs to the stools only not shutoff the whole house. If the water in the bowl changes color then the tank water is seeping by. Easy fix. Changing flappers is not hard, water off to the stool and unhook ears of flapper from the flush valve and put new in and adjust chain to length of old. Now having said that, some of the newer stools of the past few years are brand specific to the toilet. Knowing the brand of your stool and model name is good or take in the old flapper to match up. The whistling is still in the fill valve. Hope some this helps.. Don't be scared to try on your own. You can save money and maybe surprise yourself that you can do it. The roof vents can also cause the problem like mentioned above or a sewer starting to plug like he said. A sewer will however, back up into the drain lowest in the house. A floor drain in the basement floor or the basement stool. You will notice paper around the floor drain if doing so. What happens when you do laundry, anything backing up then? Washers, like toilets force water out at great force and if something is starting to clog you will know when you do laundry.
  • Bernadette Staal Bernadette Staal on Sep 05, 2016
    When I was a child we had a similar problem and it turns out the entire street was getting the same problem and it all stemmed from the problem in our plumbing .... from memory we had a small hole in one of our copper pipes.
  • Af67452829 Af67452829 on Sep 05, 2016
    ALIENS! You have Aliens from 75billion light years invading your toilet! Just kidding, sounds like air in the water line. I recently tightened a leaky water faucet (outdoor) and I got some noises that were less high pitched, so before you get a Ouija board to find out what galaxy (Ford galaxy?) these sounds are emanating from, even a plumber/handyman friend wasn't sure if my tightening the nut on the faucet caused the noise, I asked him, rhetorically was the noise there before the nut was tightened? No. So tightening may have - in stopping the flow of water - introduced a small pocket of air (it could happen) causing the whistling aliens. (ok, I'm the only one that thought of aliens....)
  • Florida mimi Florida mimi on Sep 06, 2016
    We did not have to replace the pump. Had a very experienced plumber that knew how to fix it quickly. Your "right on" with the cost of replacement.
  • Ginger Dunham Ginger Dunham on Sep 06, 2016
    fill vavle in toilet needs replacing.go to u-tube for do it yourself instructions