A Quick Fix For That Squealing Faucet
There are different types of problems you might experience with your water system. One of the most annoying is the screeching, squealing sound that comes from a sink faucet. Most of the time, this ear-piercing noise comes from your faucet in your kitchen. It sounds like a high-pitched squeal of a baby. Here are some tips for water system repair to eradicate the squealing noise from a sink faucet.
- Locate the Problem
First thing is to try to narrow down where the noise is coming from. This is usually a rather simple process. If the noise is coming from above the sink, around the stem or from the knobs, you'll focus your attention there.
If it is coming from under the sink, then the noise is in the water line itself. Before you try to eliminate the squeal, it is important to know what is causing the problem. Locating where the noise is coming will help you determine what to do next.
The most frequent cause of this annoying sound is excessive air in the water line. It usually comes from the hot water line, since heating water tends to produce more air than standard temperature tap water. To remove the air from either line, turn on the water full force and then shut off the main water supply. Leave the line open for a few moments to clear the air.
If you have the convenience of a second person, have one person stand at the sink and listen for excess air to be expelled through the open line. If you hear a soft release of air that softens, eventually vanishing, odds are that was your problem. Do not shut off the valves at the sink. Turn the main water supply back on and see if your problem hasn't been silenced.
Your noise may be as simple as a loose or worn washer in the faucet. Most of the time, the problem is at the tip, in the aerator. Check this washer first. To pinpoint this as the problem, simply turn the water back on without the entire aerator cap in place. If the noise stops without the aerator in place, see if the washer is loose, or shows signs of wear.
These washers are a simple and inexpensive fix, so try a new washer here first, before venturing further into more detailed repairs. If the noise continues with the aerator removed, the next possible problem is in the knob washers. This is a little more difficult but can be completed with a pair of channel locks and screwdriver. Make the water is turned completely off. Remove the knob cap and take out the setscrew from inside the knob handle.
You will see the on/off housing. Use a piece of towel, or flexible rubber to protect the housing. You must have two pairs of channel locks to remove the house. Tightly hold one channel lock on the valve body housing and the other bonnet nut that holds the housing in place. Turn clockwise to remove the housing.
If you're having difficulty getting the housing to break loose, lightly spray around the edge with a silicone or lubricant spray.
Inside this housing, you will find a washer similar to the one in the aerator. See if it cockeyed, or loose. If there are any cracks or deterioration in the washer, there is a strong possibility this is the culprit behind your squeal. Since this step is a little more involved, it is recommended you trade out these washers for new ones no matter what. You can also change the entire housing. Set the new washers in place and reverse the process to put the knob housing back in place. Reattach the knobs and see if the noise has stopped.
If the noise persists, or if you think it is coming from the pipes and water line connections, you should consult with a water system repair specialist. If you're not experienced in removing and fixing water line problems, this can turn into a more troublesome project than you might want. However, forcing out any air in the lines, or checking the condition of washers in your faucet are doable projects. Try these tips before you call your neighborhood plumber.