Sump Pump Sounds Like A Washing Machine? (Possible Causes & Fixes)

The water flowing from the pump is why your sump pump sounds like a washing machine. However, sump pumps are not designed to sound so. This is why you need to find the exact cause which creates strange noises and eliminate the issue. Here we discuss what a defective sump pump will usually sound like and how to troubleshoot it.

sump pump sounds like washing machine

Common Sump Pump Noises and How to Fix Them

These are some of the most common sounds made by sump pumps. Knowing what type of sound your sump pump makes can help you figure out the reason and fix it quickly.

Slurping Sounds

You can identify this sound as it’s quite similar to someone sucking through a straw. It will usually occur when the pump dries. The sump pump should turn off before water moves to the intake point of the pump. Sump pumps make slurping sounds if the preset shutoff height is not set correctly. 

The solution to overcome this sound is to adjust the shutoff height. Contact a professional to inspect your sump pump and adjust it accordingly. They will set it to have a few inches of water inside, and you might even have to replace the valve if there are additional issues.

Gurgling Noise

Although you might hear gurgling sounds very often as water drains, it might be a sign of a problem in the system. This type of noise occurs mostly in standard sump pumps. To fix this issue, use a spring-loaded replacement valve. This ensures that water flows evenly through the pipelines. Also, adjust the pump switch so that water doesn’t empty the basin completely.

Vibration Sounds 

You may hear vibration sounds as the water passes through the pipeline if the sump pump discharge pipe is connected to the sewage line. You can reduce this noise by wrapping the pipe with rubber foam insulation. But some regions need the discharge pipe to drain water separately without directing it to the sewer line. Get help from a professional to redirect your discharge line to ensure that it complies with the local regulations.

Clanging Noise

Once the sump pump discharges water into the pipe, it will then produce a clanging sound as it contacts the floor, wall, or basin. You can find this sound easily as the sump pump sounds like the garage door. The solution for this issue is to cover the areas that come to contact with each other using rubber or suitable waterproof foam material.

You can also cover underneath the lid of the sump pump using rubber to eliminate any possible sounds it can cause when contacting the pump parts. Wrap the pipes with an insulator to reduce the noise level when the pump touches the basin or wall. If the pipelines are not correctly installed, have too many joints, or show signs of rust, you can reroute the pipes.

Motor Vibrations

You can figure out this sound easily since it is commonly found in old sump pump models of PVC build. They are very noisy compared to new sump pumps with iron cast. The reason for this is that modern sump pumps have self-lubricating motors that generate less noise. Regular maintenance and lubrication of moving parts will reduce noise.

sump pump sounds like washing machine

Why Does Sump Pump Sound Like a Washing Machine?

These are the possible reasons that your sump pump may sound like a washing machine.

  • The sump pump will be noisy if the sump pump extends above the pit. It happens when the noise echoes back into the basement. The noise will not disturb you if the sump pump system is inside the pit. 
  • A defective sump pump design could be another possibility that causes this sound. Avoid sump pumps with plastic designs as they heat up quickly and are not durable. 
  • You may hear unnecessary sounds if the sump pit is not covered. Cover the sump pit with an airtight lid to prevent noise from reaching your house. It will help you to enjoy some quiet time even when the pump is in operation.
  • Poorly installed discharge lines can also be the reason behind the sump pump sounds like a washing machine. Water causes a lot of noise when it flows at right angles along the pipe. So, adjust this by using two 45˚ angles separately to reduce the sound. 
  • Vibrations caused due to rattling as the water flows through the discharge pipe also cause a lot of loud noises. Install rubber insulation between the lid and the discharge pipes to absorb the vibrations and keep the sump lid sealed to the discharge line.
sump pump sounds like washing machine

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does a Sump Pump Sound Like?

Sump pumps may give off different sounds due to various issues. But generally, it may sound like hammering a pipe. It is caused by the check valve of the sump pump. This noise is loud enough to reach you when the surrounding is quiet, especially at night. A low humming noise coming from the sump pump when it is running is completely normal.

How Do I Quiet My Sump Pump Check Valve?

A check valve in a sump pump drainage line uses a check valve to stop wastewater from flowing back into the basin. When this valve shuts, it makes a loud thud that can be heard inside the house. You can quiet this by replacing the old check valve with a “silent” or “soft close” check valve.

What Does a Failing Sump Pump Sound Like?

A low continuous hum is the only sound acceptable from a sump pump in operation. But if it starts making loud and unusual noises, then it gives away possible signs of damage. A rattling or grinding noise indicates that something is wrong with the impeller or fan. 


If your sump pump creates unnecessary sounds, attend to it immediately to clear any defects. You can contact a sump pump professional to inspect it in case you cannot figure out the problem. They will determine the issue and even check the system for possible sump pump leaks and damages.

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