How to Repair a Noisy Shower

A noisy shower can be caused by a host of problems. At Terry’s Plumbing, we’ve seen it all and we know how frustrating it can be for homeowners who have to deal with noisy pipes and faucets. In this post, we’ll explore some of the main reasons that people experience noisy pipes in their showers.

Scale Buildup

One of the most common reasons that people experience noisy pipes in their showers is due to a buildup of scale on the shower head. Over time, scale that builds up on the faucet fixture can cause the holes in the shower to narrow and a persistent whine to develop. The only way to fix the noise in a case like this is to eliminate the scale from the faucet. While there are commercial scale removers that will work for a job like this, the most common and effective household cleaner is vinegar.

To clean the scale from your shower head, place a plastic bag filled with vinegar on your shower head, and use rubber bands to secure the bag in place. Leave the bag there for about an hour, then remove the bag, and use a toothbrush or a toothpick to remove the scale buildup from the holes in the shower head.

Rattling Pipes

Rattling pipes can be caused by a few different problems. If the pipes rattle when the water is running, the possible reasons include:

  • Loose pipe. A loose pipe that hasn’t been secured properly to the wall is often the easiest problem to fix. Frequently the pipes in the shower can be accessed by a wall panel. To find out if the pipe is loose, open up the wall panel and then turn on the shower. If the pipe is rattling inside the wall, use a clip to secure the pipe in place.
  • Air bubbles. Sometimes air bubbles in the pipes can make loud noises when the water is running. To fix this problem, turn off the main water supply to the house, then drain all the water from the pipes. Start by opening the faucet at the highest, farthest point from the water main. Continue to open up all the faucets all over the house, working your way closer to the water main as you go. Once all the faucets are open and the water is no longer draining, close the faucets in the reverse order and then turn on the water main once again.
  • High water pressure. If your pipes continue to rattle while the water is running, this could be due to high water pressure. You’ll need a pressure regulator, installed by a professional plumber, to fix this problem.

If your pipes only rattle after they’ve been turned off, this is likely because of a water hammer. Draining your pipes (as described above), could fix the problem. If draining your pipes doesn’t work, you’ll need help from a professional plumber.

Washer Replacement

When the washer in your shower valve goes bad, the handle that turns on the water can make a loud squealing or whining noise. To replace the washer, remove the faucet handle and the cartridge beneath. You’ll need some basic tools for this, like a screwdriver and a pair of pliers. All shower valves are different, so the exact tools and steps you take to do this may vary.

Once you’ve removed the cartridge, the washer will be on the end that was sticking into the wall. You’ll be able to see the damage to the washer, because it will be rough, scratched, scarred and may have some scale buildup on it. Replace the washer with a washer of the same size.

Contact Terry’s Plumbing

At Terry’s Plumbing, we have all the skills and experience it takes to fix your plumbing. We also sell products that can help you with your plumbing projects at home! To schedule an appointment or speak to one of our professionals, contact us today at (412) 364-9114.