There are 11 different reasons why your shower has started to make a loud noise. This guide is going to take a look at each one so that you can identify which is affecting your shower. After you’ve identified the cause, you can use my guide to fix the issue for good.
1. Loose Filter Between the Showerhead and the Shower Hose
The rubber gasket will get hard and crumble over time, and this will open up a gap between the showerhead and the hose. The gasket filter may also be bouncing around inside the head and making a noise.
How to Fix Loose Filters Between the Showerhead and the Shower Hose
The filter may be clogged up with debris or limescale, which you can also treat with vinegar. It is better to replace the part to prevent a leaky showerhead.
2. Air in the Pipes
The pipes leading to your shower can trap pockets of air, causing popping and spluttering. This can happen after the water has been turned off and air has leaked into the pipes. Air leaks make also cause your shower to sound like a kettle, but with no water.
How to Fix Air in the Pipes
Take the showerhead off and leave the shower hose to rest on the shower base. Turn on all taps in your home for a couple of minutes, both hot and cold, and you will see the water spluttering. When the flow is constant, it is a sign that you have gotten rid of all the air and that you can turn off the water.
3. Badly Installed O-Rings
The O-ring that sits between the showerhead and the hose may have moved or never been put in right. This can restrict the flow of water and create a high-pitch whistling noise.
How to Fix Badly Installed O-Rings
Locate the origin of the noise, which will be near a connection point. Take the connection apart and see if you can reposition the seal. You may need to replace the O-ring with a new one.
4. Leaking Pipes
The sound you hear may be a high-pressure jet of water shooting out from a damaged pipe behind your shower. You may notice that the paint or wallpaper is damp at the base of the other side of the wall.
How to Fix Leaking Pipes
You may need to break open the wall to find the culprit. The noise of a drip coming off a pipe will get noisier the further it has to fall. If you see the base of the wall is wet and the drips are loud, you can expect the leak to be high up.
5. Limescale Is Blocking My Showerhead
Limescale will block the nozzles of your showerhead, causing low pressure and the jets to spray water in random directions. Limescale will continue to block the nozzles and may damage the plastic or rubber if left untreated.
How to Fix the Limescale That Is Blocking up My Showerhead
The number one enemy of limescale is vinegar, and dipping the head in a warm bowl of neat vinegar for a few hours will dissolve all the limescale. It is better to unscrew the showerhead so that you can saturate the pores from both sides. Use white vinegar as brown vinegar may stain the head.
6. Faulty Shower Valves
The valves that control the amount of hot and cold water that comes out of the showerhead will clog up with dirt and limescale over time. Clogs will restrict the flow to the shower, making loud humming noises as the water struggles to pass.
How to Fix Faulty Shower Valves
It is often harder to fix a valve than it is to replace one. You need to make sure that the replacement has the same dimensions so that it fits onto the pipe.
7. Excessive Water Pressure
High water pressure can cause what is known as water hammering, which is when the water is traveling through the shower hose so fast that it cavitates. This can happen in big cities or where your home’s pressure regulator is broken.
How to Fix Excessive Water Pressure
Install a pressure regulator and if you have one, check it to see that it is set to below 5.5Bar (80 PSI). You can test it by turning on the shower without the head to see if it makes the same noise.
8. Broken Cartridge
Shower cartridges may contain three or more valves that control the flow rate and the direction of the water. These are often narrow passageways that are sensitive to blockages and limescale. The flow restriction can also cause conditions known as ‘showerhead squealing.’
How to Fix a Broken Cartridge
A shower cartridge is a bespoke component that is difficult and expensive to replace, and that’s even if you can find one. If you can, remove the cartridge and inspect it for damage. If the cartridge looks dirty, soak it in vinegar for a few hours, then rinse it through with clean water.
9. Faulty Diverter
If your bathtub faucet is making a loud noise, the flow diverter may have a blockage. When you turn on the shower, you may notice a strange noise coming from the tap or the head. The showerhead may also splutter as water comes out.
How to Fix a Faulty Diverter
See if you can find a replacement, as these have fewer components than cartridges, and a replacement should be easy to find. You can try to clean the diverter out, but if the air is getting into the showerhead, then it is the seal, and you should replace the unit.
10. Faulty Pumps and Heaters
Water pumps that pressurize your home’s water supply, or built-in heaters on your shower, may have issues. Bad wiring, broken impellers, and cracked heating elements can be the cause of strange noises. Electric Mira showers can make a terrible screeching noise if badly installed.
How to Fix Faulty Pumps and Heaters
Start by searching for the pump or heater that is causing the noise. Once you have found it, you will want to call in a professional to tell you if they can fix it or if you need to buy a new one.
11. Unsecure Pipes
This is more common behind drywall, but even with surface plumbing where the pipes are not secure. The pipes can vibrate against other pipes or wood uprights as the water flows through them.
How to Fix Unsecure Pipes
Use clips to secure the pipes to the wall, which will dampen out the vibrations. You can also buy clips that act as spacers so that the pipes do not bounce against each other or the wall.