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June 14, 2024
Why Does My Shower Whistle? 5 Possible Reasons + Quick Fixes

Is your shower making a weird sound? No, it’s not trying to join your 5-minute bathroom opera. Rather, something might be wrong with your shower head, pipes, or even plumbing system.

When that happens, it’s best to fix it as soon as possible, before your whistling shower turns into bigger problems that require thorough bathroom repairs.

But before coming up with potential solutions, first you need to find the culprit of why your shower squeals.

Why is My Shower Whistling? 5 Possible Reasons

A few possible reasons might cause a whistling shower – let’s break them down one by one.

1. Clogged Shower Head

Most of the time, your shower head whistles because of clogging. This is usually the case if you live in a hard water area.

Mineral deposits from hard water can build up over time, partially blocking the tiny holes in your shower head. As water struggles to pass through these narrowed openings, it creates a whistling noise.

Image of a shower head

Furthermore, if you haven’t used your shower for a while, mould can also grow and block water flow.

2. Damaged Shower Valve

A shower valve basically regulates the flow and temperature of water coming out of your shower head.

As valves age, they can become loose or damaged, leading to vibrations and sounds when water passes through.

So, how do you know if the valve is worn out? Here are some telltale signs:

3. Blocked Shower Cartridge 

If you have no clue of what it means, a shower cartridge is a key component of the valve. It controls how hot and cold the flowing water will be. 

A cartridge is another area that can suffer from clogging, mostly caused by mineral deposits.

It’s located inside the shower handle or control knob, so you need the help of a professional plumber to fix it.

Tired of Hearing Your Shower Whistling?

If you live in Melbourne or its surrounding areas, your friendly neighbourhood plumber in Melbourne is at your service.

4. Air Trapped in Pipes

When you turn on the shower, water rushes through the pipes and pushes air ahead of it. 

The problem is, if the water pressure drops due to low temperature or long inactivity, some air will get trapped in your plumbing pipes.

As such, this often creates turbulence and vibration, resulting in that high-pitched whistle.

Besides air, small particles like debris, sediment, or even gravel can also build up inside the pipes, restricting the water flow.

5. Loose Shower Parts

Like any man-made equipment, components inside your shower head or plumbing system will become loose over time, leading to whistling noises.

For instance, showers often rely on washers to create a tight seal between different components, like the shower head and hose. 

If a washer becomes loose or worn, water will leak or spray erratically, causing vibrations within the pipes.

How to Fix a Whistling Shower

Luckily, there are several quick methods you can try at home to fix a whistling shower:

1. Remove Trapped Air

Before committing yourself to more advanced solutions, try this simple one: turn on your shower and run both cold and hot water alternately for 10 minutes.

By doing so, you’ll remove any air bubbles trapped within your plumbing system.

2. Clean the Shower Head

If the whistling sound persists, try cleaning your shower head.

First, pour one cup of vinegar and one cup of warm water into a bowl. Next, remove your shower head and soak it in the mixed liquid, and let it rest for a few hours.

After that, scrub any stubborn deposits using a soft brush, and that’s it! Try attaching the shower head again and see if the whistling sound remains.

3. Tighten Up the Loose Parts

If you like fixing stuff, it’s time to put your mechanical talent on display.

Check the shower head connections and valve stem for any loose parts. If you find one, tighten it up using an adjustable wrench. 

Be careful not to over-tighten though, as it may break the component.

4. Replace Worn-Out Washers and Seals

Over time, washers and seals can wear or crack, allowing leaks and turbulence that lead to whistling. 

If tightening doesn’t solve the issue, consider replacing these parts with new ones from your local hardware store.

5. Call a Professional Plumber

In most cases, a little troubleshooting or cleaning should eliminate the whistling from your shower. 

However, if the problem persists or you suspect a more complex issue, it’s always best to call a qualified plumber to diagnose and fix the problem.

If you live in Melbourne, give our friendly Neighbourhood Plumbing a call, and our experts will be there to save the day.

How to Prevent Shower Whistles in the Future

To avoid future whistles, consider cleaning your shower head regularly with vinegar to prevent mineral buildup. 

In addition, make sure to turn off the shower properly when not used to minimise trapped air.

If you notice leaks around the shower head or valve, don’t ignore them. Leaking water indicates loose connections or worn-out parts, both of which can lead to whistling.

Instead, contact a professional plumber to fix the problem immediately. They know exactly how to check for worn-out parts, loose connections, and other issues that could lead to whistling down the line.

Even better, schedule regular maintenance every few months to identify potential issues before they arise.

Whether you need an urgent fix or want to book our plumbing services for future use, don’t hesitate to call us today at 0488 885 122.

Not a big fan of phone calls? We got you. Send us an email or use this contact form, and we’ll respond equally fast.

Don’t forget to check out other tutorials related to shower issues, like this one about removing shower mould.

About the Author

Ricky Rizz

From unclogging the toughest drains to repairing leaking toilets, Ricky is a seasoned plumber who has brought his craftmanship to homes across Melbourne. He is passionate about sharing plumbing tips just as much as he is about fixing your plumbing issues. So, when your taps or pipes begin leaking, you know who to call.

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