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Thread: Noisy Shower control knob - really noisy.

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Bobrobert's Avatar
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    Default Noisy Shower control knob - really noisy.

    Hi all - brand new to this forum and will start out asking for help determining why my shower control knob is so darn noisy. I have two showers in the house and they both are the same. They are Delta's and they both have this high pitched water flow noise coming from the control knob area when you turn them on. This is a single knob that you turn left for hot and right for cold, and up and down for more or less water flow. There is also a push rod below the knob to start and stop the shower head. The noise only happens when you activate the shower and is actually so loud it's obnoxious. If you wrap a face cloth around where the knob is connected it knocks down on 50% of the noise.

    Has anyone run into this situation and can you tell me why this piece of equipment is so noisy? Is there anything I can do about it short of complete replacement?

    The shower and all plumbing is about 20 years old but has always worked just fine, but it also has always made this loud noise. We do have really good water pressure from the city water system, but not to the point that it would knock a glass out of your hand.

    Thanks in advance for any information on this concern…… Bob

  2. #2

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    Usually you get that sort of "whine" when the water pressure is low or there is some sort of restriction. It usually goes away when the water is turned on all the way. Have you tried turning the water up all the way?

    It might be that your showerhead is restricting the flow. Try removing the shower head and see if that helps. If it does, then it's time to get a new showerhead or clean this one.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member Bobrobert's Avatar
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    Eric - I have not tried turning the water pressure up high, or at least not in years, I will give that a try tonight. About 30% on is all the water we need, but that very well may be the cause of the noise, water flow restriction. I'll check the shower head as well, but I'm pretty confident it isn't that. I have had different shower heads over the years and the noise is always there. I'll bet you got it nailed with the flow restriction.

    Thanks for the reply.......Bob

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member Bobrobert's Avatar
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    Eric -

    Just in case you check back in here you are right on the money. If I turn the water flow to 100% the noise goes away. So now the noisy won't be so bothersome to me, because I would rather listen to the noise than waste a ton of water with the pretty high pressure I have.

    If you should read this; could I cut in a shut off valve "in line" just before I get to the tub, and close it down about 30% to 50%. In your opinion or best guess would that cut down on the noise? It would be easy to do, as the lines are exposed in my garage.

    Thanks again.............Bob T.

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Find a showerhead that has a lower maximum flow. Depending on how old yours is, it could have signficantly more flow than all of the newer ones on the market. The new ones are spec'ed at max of 2.5gpm at somewhere around 60 pounds of pressure. Most people want more, not less, but if that's what you wish. You could probably search for a stainless steel washer to put on the inlet to reduce the maximum flow a little. Not sure what that would do to flow dynamics and sound.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  6. #6

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    Buy a water pressure gauge from Home Depot that screws into your outdoor spigot. If your water pressure is over 80 psi, you should install a pressure reduction valve (PRV) on the resident side of the water meter.

    The water-saver shower head Jim suggested may work if your pressure isn't extremely high.

    FYI, you may already have an in-line shutoff valve behind your shower's access panel (if you have an access panel).

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member Bobrobert's Avatar
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    Guys - thanks for the help. Will look into a new shower head and maybe a water saving washer. My shower head is very old, (~20 years) and I have repaired it once because I really like the darn thing a lot better than a couple of others I have tried after my original head fell apart. Have always been curious about just what my water pressure is and didn't know about the water pressure gauge - will look into that as well.

    Thanks again.........Bob

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