How To: Cleaning Your Shower Head

Reasons why your Shower is Squealing

Whether you like hot or cold, a nice shower at the end (or beginning) of a long day is a key zen moment for many of us. That is, as long as your shower isn’t screeching in your ears. If you can hear your shower squealing, it’s probably in need of some TLC. In this blog, we cover 5 reasons your shower is squealing. Read on to learn more about this pesky problem and what you can do about it. 

Reason 1: The Showerhead

A common issue, especially in areas with hard water, is the way mineral deposits can build up in your plumbing system and inside components like your showerhead. The tiny holes in your showerhead can become clogged with hard water mineral build-up over time. As your plumbing uses pressure to expel water from the showerhead, clogged nozzles can increase this pressure and cause a whistling or squealing sound as water tries to escape. This is a fairly simple and inexpensive repair homeowners can usually take on themselves.

Reason 2: A Faulty Shower Valve     

The shower valve controls the flow and mixture of hot and cold water when you adjust the corresponding handles. A worn-out or faulty shower valve can lead to the offending noises, and you may notice leaks around temperature control handles as well. In order to access this valve, you’ll probably need to get at it from the other side of the wall. Unless you are certain you understand what you are looking for, it’s probably best to leave this one to a professional.

Reason 3: The Diverter Valve

The diverter valve is the handy piece of equipment that allows you to switch water from the showerhead to the tub faucet. Pretty neat, right? As with the shower valve, which controls water flow, and subsequently, water temperature, the diverter valve can wear out over time. This can leave your shower squealing every time you shower. Homeowners can test this valve to see if it’s the culprit by checking if the sound changes or stops when pulling on the diverter handle.

Reason 4: The Showerhead Pipe

Similar to a clogged showerhead, the showerhead pipe can fall victim to mineral deposits and limescale buildup over time. As this buildup constricts the pipe, a whistling, squealing, or hissing sound may occur. The fix for this one is to remove the showerhead and attempt to clean the pipe. While this one can be done at home, a professional plumber will have access to specialized equipment that ensures the job gets done right and in a timely fashion. 

Reason 5: A Blocked Shower Cartridge  

The shower cartridge is located in the shower valve, and a blockage due to rogue debris here can certainly make your shower sing. This part is tough to get to and replace, so it’s wise to consult a plumbing pro to rid your shower of its whistling woes.

Ways to Fix it

There are many reasons that a showerhead could be whining. Discovering the source of the problem takes time but once the source is found, homeowners with minimal DIY skills and a few basic tools can often fix the problem themselves. Check out an older blog of ours here for different ways to stop your shower from squealing.

Get Super Terry!

If you’ve tried all of our suggested methods and the problem persists, call a certified plumber. Residents of the Pittsburgh area are welcome to call Terry’s Plumbing. With 30 years of experience and a 24-hour hotline, we’re here to help with all your plumbing needs.