When you want to relax and have a refreshing shower, it is a little unnerving to be interrupted by a squealing noise. Depending on the noise and when it happens, a few different problems might be at the root of the unpleasant noise. Here are some potential causes to investigate by yourself or with a plumber.
1. Clogged Shower Head
Probably the most common reason a shower squeals continuously is the showerhead has become clogged. Harmless minerals in your water will slowly collect on any surface they touch, and this includes the showerhead. When it does, it blocks the flow of water and can create a whistling sound.
The solution is simply to take the showerhead down and soak it in vinegar for a few minutes. Run the showerhead again, and the mineral build-up should be flushed out. Your showerhead will stop making noise, and it should also deliver more water at a higher pressure, making for a better shower.
2. Broken Shower Head
What if it is certainly the shower head making the noise, but cleaning it out with vinegar didn’t work? You can try a more serious demineralizing solution. But, it’s also possible that the showerhead is simply broken, and some internal component is making the noise. In this case, it will need to be replaced. Very rarely is it worth the cost to repair a showerhead over simply replacing it.
3. Broken Shower Valve
When you turn on your shower, you’re turning the shower valve, an interior part beneath the handle that controls the flow of water in the shower. This valve can develop issues where it squeals. You may also notice that it is hard to turn or doesn’t open fully. A valve with these problems is probably ageing and may even be leaking behind the wall, so it is important to get a plumber to inspect it and replace it, if necessary, as soon as you can. Or, you’ll risk water damage to the interior of the wall and whatever is beneath it.
4. Shower Cartridge Issues
The shower cartridge is just behind the shower valve, and it also helps regulate the flow of water to the showerhead. Specifically, they control the speed of water flow. The shower cartridge is exposed to water and is therefore liable to hardwater build-up as much as a showerhead is. This build-up can make it squeal or cause other issues. A plumber can replace a faulty shower cartridge.
5. Diverter Valve Issues
The diverter valve is the valve that you control to switch between the tub and the showerhead. As it deals with such high water pressure and is typically used multiple times per day, it’s common for the diverter valve to develop problems that may lead it to squeal. A plumber can fix or replace this critical part.
Not sure which of these issues is causing your shower to squeal? Reach out to a professional plumber to get to the bottom of the issue.