Clunking sound when turning on the heat

When homeowners turn on their heating system for the first time in the fall, they often hear a groaning sound. You should also expect normal clicking and knocking noises with your hot water system. However, the system pump must be silent. If you hear a knocking sound in the boiler itself, contact a repairman immediately!

Scratches from behind the walls

Have you ever heard strange noises coming from the attic, or scratching and scraping noises coming from the wallpaper? Chances are, you may have mice, raccoons, or even squirrels in your home.

Running water

If no one is using the running water, you definitely shouldn’t hear the water running. The sound could indicate a burst pipe somewhere in your home—even inside a wall or under the floor. Unless you have special skills, call a plumber as soon as possible.

Bubbles from the water heater

A water heater works like a pot of boiling water, after the fire is lit, the water inside is heated until it is ready for use. Sediment tends to accumulate at the bottom of a hot water tank. The strange cracking noise you hear is due to bubbling sediment, which could be a sign that the tank may be failing. To prevent this situation, flush your hot water tank every few months.

Furnace whistling

This could mean your filter needs to be replaced, causing the furnace to overcompensate and ultimately suck exhaust fumes into the home. You should change your filters monthly.

Turning the switch on and off

If you have a well for water, you have a water pump—either in your home or in your yard. It works by drawing water into a holding tank where it is stored for use. If you hear it turn on every time you turn on the faucet, there’s a problem. Turning the well pump on and off so often causes premature wear. There is probably a leak in the system. Check your fittings for leaks and call a plumber if necessary.


If you have gas in your home, a hissing sound may indicate a leak. You will also often smell gas when there is a leak, but if you hear a noise near the gas meter or at the outdoor gas station in your home, vacate the premises immediately and call the gas company.