Day-to-day life requires paying attention to certain things — such as deadlines at work, picking up the kids from soccer, and buying groceries — while placing others on the back burner, such as buying more hangers, cleaning the garage, and remembering a slight sound coming from your bathroom faucet. But when that sound becomes annoying enough to disturb your thoughts (or your sleep), you may start to worry. What’s causing your faucets to make unusual sounds, and how can you fix it?
Why is my faucet noisy?
There are several reasons why a faucet may be whistling or chattering when you turn it on or off. The most common are:
- A partially closed shut-off valve
- Expanding pipes
- Pipes banging against objects
- The water heater temperature is too hot
- Scale buildup restricting the flow of water
How To Fix a Noisy Faucet
If it’s vibrating, fully open the shut-off valve.
If you open your cabinets under the sink, you’ll see several pipes. Both the cold and hot water lines connect to a shut-off valve attached to the faucet. If the shut-off valve is not fully open, the water coming from the pipes will constrict as it goes through the smaller space. This can cause a vibration — which you’ll feel and hear when you open the faucet. To figure out where the problem is coming from, turn on the cold water and let it run for a few seconds. Do it again with the hot water. If the faucet only vibrates and becomes noisy when either the cold or the hot water is turned on, you’ll know which shut-off is partially closed. Turn the valve — up to — four turns, then try running the water again.
If it’s squealing, replace the pipe brackets.
Pipe brackets are metal anchors designed to support the pipes. If you can hear a squealing sound coming from your faucet only when you turn on the hot water, the issue is likely caused by the rise in temperature causing the metal pipes to expand. This, in turn, causes them to push against the pipe brackets, which results in short, squealing sounds.
If you hear a banging sound, pad the pipes.
To find out what’s causing the problem, turn on the water, and open the cabinets under the sink. You’ll be able to see which pipes are banging against what. If they’re hitting items stored under the sink, rearrange them. If they’re hitting other pipes, sides of the cabinet, or the wall, pad them with foam insulation — or by wedging a wood block between the pipes and wall/cabinets, then fastening the pipe to the wood block with pipe brackets.
If you hear a knocking sound, reset the water heater.
If you hear knocks when you turn on the hot water, it means that too much steam is rumbling through the pipes. The ideal temperature range for your home’s water heater is between 115 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit (46-48 degrees Celcius). This is hot enough to heat water efficiently while at the same time it avoids overheating the tank and your water system. How to adjust it depends on whether you have a gas or an electric heater. You can read our blog about resetting either type of heater in five easy steps.
If it’s whistling, check the aerator for mineral buildup.
The aerator is a small screen located at the opening of your faucet. You can remove it from the faucet by loosening it with a wrench. Once lose, unscrew it clockwise. You’ll be able to see all mineral buildup and debris inside. Cover the drain with a rag, and open the faucet to flush the spout. Soak the aerator in vinegar overnight, then remove the mineral buildup with a toothbrush. Screw it back again into the faucet, first tightening it as much as you can by hand. Use the wrench to finish tightening — if necessary.
Call Plumbing Professionals in Broward, Palm Beach, or St. Lucie
At Sansone Air Conditioning Electrical & Plumbing, we are always ready to help you. If you live in Broward, Palm Beach, or St. Lucie, we’ll make sure your faucets are in optimal condition.
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