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How to Stop a Noisy Tap.

Jul 07, 2017 | Helpful Tips, Plumbing

Things to check before calling a plumber. 

1. Check on the aerator

Often a noisy tap is the result of mineral deposits inside the aerator which is the small screen that is screwed into the tap’s tip. This plumbing repair is simple, so it should be among the first things you check. Unscrew your aerator and then run your tap. If you don’t hear any noise, you just need to buy a new aerator, install it in the tap, and that’s it.

2. Check the washers

Washers that are worn out or are sized incorrectly are another fairly common cause of noisy taps. If you want to replace the washer yourself, first you need to turn off your water supply at the mains tap and then take apart your tap. Once you have removed the tap handles, swap the old washers for new ones and make sure they fit properly and are in good condition. This might rid you of your noise issue.

3. Check your water pressure

High water pressure can also cause strange noises or sounds in your taps. You can use a pressure gauge to test the plumbing. If you get a reading greater than 80 psi, this could be the cause of your problem. To correct this, your plumber would need to install a good pressure regulator. By having a regulator in your main water line, you can stop the noise and protect your appliances and pipes at the same time.

4. Check for a new system

In older homes, the pipes can sometimes be too small or they can become blocked by debris or scale which makes it hard for water to get through. If this is the case, you might need to replace your plumbing completely. This is a complex job which is far beyond the skill of an amateur plumber, so if this needs to be done, call a professional.

Some of the sounds you might hear that indicates there might be something wrong:

If your tap is making an annoying squealing, whining or screeching sound, you may have a minor problem that will be easy to fix. We will explain to you why and how to fix these issues with your tap of faucets.

Squealing & Screeching

If you turn on your tap and its making a squeal or a screech, its most likely that the washer, stem or both need to be replaced. These parts can become warn over the years making the washer inside the stem that vibrate around as water runs by it. Usually, replacing the stem, which includes a few parts including the washer, solves these issues with squealing and screeching.


Whining can usually occur from for a couple of reasons and are easy to fix. Whining happens either when you have air in the pipes or when the pipes have a dent. The best way to fix a whining tap is to turn off the main water supply either from outside or if you have, under the tap. Next, turn on the taps hot and cold water to full making sure all the water has flown through and hopefully removing the air pockets. Turn the taps off, turn the mains back on and test you taps to see if they whine.

If your taps continue to whine then you will need to check the pipes for dents and have them fixed.

Why faucets whistle ?

Why a faucet whistles can have several different causes. Something loose in the water stream can vibrate as the water runs by it causing a whistling noise. The whistling sound can also be caused an unusually high velocity flow of water passing through a restriction. The problem does not even have to be in the faucet itself but instead may be in the pipes or stop valve installed below the faucet feeding the faucet with the sound transmitting up to the faucet. It may help if you know whether the whistling happens only with the hot or, the cold or, both. This can steer you to whether the problem is before or, after the two different water temperatures are mixed.

Problems in the faucet after the water is mixed may include things like debris in the aerator, a bad cartridge on single lever or, handle faucets, side sprayer diverters on kitchen sink faucets, and on tub/shower mixers loose washers on the shower diverter valve or, debris caught in the restrictor for the showerhead. Basically troubleshooting would involve taking things apart and looking for the problem and sometimes flushing the faucet out with things like the aerator or, showerhead removed.

When the sound is on a single temperature in most cases you can eliminate the area where water is mixed. Instead you can concentrate on the side where the problem exists. On faucets where a single lever or, handle is used the problem can still be a bad cartridge, while on faucets with two handles you can go right to the side causing the problem. Shut off the water and remove the stem. Look for things like a loose or, deteriorated washer or, a badly worn stem. If the problem is on the hot side and your water is extremely hot sometimes the extreme heat can soften a faucet washer. Extreme heat can also affect rubber parts down stream from where the water mixes such as the diverter on a kitchen faucet. You may also have to chase single temperature noise problems further down the supply side including the stop valves and their washers and the supply lines and pipes.

Unusually high velocities can also make a whistling noise. This can be caused by high pressure being supplied to your home. The pressure should be less than 80-psi and can often be measured with an inexpensive gauge, which can screw onto a hose bibb. I like to use gauges that have a lazy hand, which will record the highest pressure reached as long at it is attached and water is turned on to the gauge. If the pressure is over 80-psi a pressure-reducing valve should be installed and in most cases thermal expansion tank would be required to be installed on your water heater too. Sometimes pipes may have restrictions, which can cause noise such as a build up of scale or, rust in the case of galvanized pipes.

Finding the source of your whistling noise in the faucet is not always an easy task and in some cases like with the cartridges may require replacement without ev

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