modern showerhead

Is Your Shower Whistling? Here’s Why

Contact Us

As showers age, it’s fairly common for them to start making some sounds you didn’t hear from them before. One of the most typical sounds we get asked about are whistling or squealing showerheads. Just a heads up: you may need a professional plumber to discover the problem’s cause because sometimes the showerhead fixture needs to be disassembled for a correct diagnosis.


These are the typical reasons why showerheads make a whistling or squealing sound.

1. Your showerhead needs to retire.

Nothing lasts forever, and that goes for showerheads. After a while, the inner workings can wear out from use and limescale buildup. Depending on the mineral content in your water supply, the same showerhead may not last as long in your home as it would in a completely different area of the country.

2. Limescale is clogging your showerhead pipe.

Limescale doesn’t just get inside your showerhead—it can also accumulate in the pipe leading to your showerhead. The more mineral buildup occurs, the narrower the pipe’s interior becomes. The movement of water pushing through this narrow passage at a high speed can cause a high-pitched squeal.

Solve this problem by removing your shower head and cleaning the pipe with a solution that will dissolve the minerals without harming the metal. White vinegar usually does the trick.

3. The valve connected to the handles is worn out.

Your shower contains a valve that you adjust with the faucet handle(s). The valve controls how much hot and cold water mix together and allows you to achieve a temperature that’s pleasingly hot without being scalding. This valve can wear out over time and result in whistling.

4. The diverter valve needs to be replaced.

If your shower doubles as a bathtub, it probably has a handle that you turn to switch between the bathtub faucet and the showerhead. You can tell this valve needs to be replaced if you hear a squeal when adjusting the handle.

5. Debris is in the shower cartridge.

Your shower might contain a cartridge, which is a type of valve that you can find inside a faucet. Cartridge valves have holes for precise control over water flow and temperature, which are both essential for a safe and comfortable shower. Sometimes, debris can end up blocking the cartridge holes, and that can produce a whistling noise.

While removing limescale can often be a DIY project, getting to your shower’s valves to inspect and replace them can be difficult. These parts are located in the wall behind your shower, and any mistakes made there can cause a leak into the floor below. To avoid water damage down the road, you’ll want to consider hiring a trusted plumber to complete these repairs.

Call The Rooter Works Plumbing and Drains at (614) 412-3324 or contact us onlinefor same-day plumbing repair in Columbus.