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Thread: shower making high pitch noise

  1. #1

    Default shower making high pitch noise

    I have a shower that has only 1 handle to regulate the hot and cold water. when i just have the hot water on or just the cold water on there is no high pitch noise, but when I have then both on or have it just in the middle there is a horrible high pitch noise. I have another bathroom and it is setup the same way, but there is no noise when there is both the hot and cold water on. what is this from? and can i fix it myself or do I need someone to fix it for me?

  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    I would change the shower head.

    If the noise is still there, post back.

  3. #3
    Plumber plumber1's Avatar
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    Default noise

    What is the name of this faucet ?
    Last edited by plumber1; 10-23-2005 at 10:52 AM.

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    Plumber plumber1's Avatar
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    Default what

    What is the name on this faucet ?

  5. #5
    Plumber plumber1's Avatar
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    Default noise

    You could just take the head off and listen. While you have it off go ahead and clean the head.

  6. #6

    Default High-pitched shower noise woes

    I have the same problem with my shower - again, in only one bathroom and with the same circumstances, i.e., a single handle unit and only when water is being mixed.

    I cleaned the shower head but the problem is still there. Further, since the problem occurs only when the water is mixed, it can't be the shower head that is the problem.

    My shower head and mixer are a high-end PricePfister brass unit that is 14 years old. Seems to me I will have to replace everything, yes?

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member Pewterpower's Avatar
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    Is it only during a shower? It could just be the diverter.

  8. #8

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    Thx! It might be the diverter. A friend suggested I try changing the water pressure coming into the house. I reduced it an 1/8 turn but didn't notice a difference. I'll try another 1/8 turn to see if that helps.

    Can the diverter be replaced without replacing the shower head? Looking online, it appears diverters and shower heads are sold as a unit.

    BTW, the unit is Delta, not Price-Pfister as per my original post.

  9. #9
    DIY Senior Member Pewterpower's Avatar
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    If it's a tub spout diverter, then they sell universal fit tub spouts w/ diverters. It would be an easy fix.

  10. #10

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    Thx! The "diverter" is just for the shower so I guess it's not really a diverter as much as the hot/cold control. Still, that may be something I can change without too much difficulty. I'll ask at the plumbing store.

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mshandywoman
    Thx! The "diverter" is just for the shower so I guess it's not really a diverter as much as the hot/cold control. Still, that may be something I can change without too much difficulty. I'll ask at the plumbing store.
    If there was ever a time that you did not have this problem, then chances are you do not have to replace your whole shower manifold. Something must have changed over time to reduce the flow of water through the system.

    If it is a Delta unit, I would start by replacing the little springs and black rubber seats. The rubber may have deformed and is causing a reduction in the flow rate, which could cause the high pitch. Also, see if either of the holes (where the springs and rubber seats go into) are obstructed with rubber or minerals, and clean them out with a piece of wire.

    Also, when you take off your shower head, make sure that no pieces of rubber washer or minerals are blocking the hole and that the shower arm is not blocked by rubber or minerals either.

    Eric

  12. #12

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    Thanks, Eric. I cleaned the shower head very carefully. There were only a few small pieces of dirt on the wire mesh screen and those were removed. I didn't see springs anywhere - but can look again.

    What seems odd, however, is that the whistling doesn't happen when all hot water or all cold water are running through the shower head, just when it's mixed. Is it that there is less pressure coming through the head in those conditions?

    I still have another avenue to explore ...After installing a new dishwasher a few months ago, my plumbing developed water hammer and Reader's Digest repair book suggests that both water hammer and whistling can be corrected by installing a pressure-reducing valve. I don't know why this would suddenly occur, however ...

  13. #13
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Default

    The valve in the dishwasher turns on and off quite quickly. The water has inertia - it tries to keep going. This is what causes water hammer. A better thing is to install an arrestor. This is basically a small chamber with an air bladder in it. It absorbs the water sort of like an air bag. It still happens regardless of the water pressure. Now, adding a prv may still be called for, but it won't stop water hammer, it means it's using an 8-oz hammer vs maybe a 16-oz hammer - it is still there.

    Cheapest thing is to check your own water pressure. You can buy a gage for less than $10 at one of the big box stores or a plumbing supply. Screw it onto your washing machine supply line or a hose bib and see what you have. If it is maybe in the area of 80 pounds or more, then, it might be a good idea to lower it a little. Adding a prv also potentially calls for adding an expansion tank on the input to your hot water heater. These should always go hand in hand.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mshandywoman
    Thanks, Eric. I cleaned the shower head very carefully. There were only a few small pieces of dirt on the wire mesh screen and those were removed. I didn't see springs anywhere - but can look again.

    What seems odd, however, is that the whistling doesn't happen when all hot water or all cold water are running through the shower head, just when it's mixed. Is it that there is less pressure coming through the head in those conditions?
    To get at the springs and seats, you need to remove the shower handle, backer plate, retaining nut, and cartridge. You will need a Phillips screwdriver and a Channel Lock. (It's good to know how to do this, because the springs and seats need replacing periodically anyway.) Make sure you turn off the water to the shower first before removing these parts.

    I agree that this is simply a water pressure issue and with just hot or cold running at maximum pressure, the problem is alleviated. You might want to try replacing the shower head with one that allows a greater GPM (gallons per minute). You can always return it if it doesn't solve the whistling problem. Also, some "water saver" showerheads have a washer that restricts the flow, which can be removed. Maybe yours has one.

    Eric

  15. #15

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    Thanks, all, for your feedback. I finally phoned Delta and was told the shower head needs to be replaced. They said the whistle doesn't occur when either just cold or just hot water comes out because there is less pressure than when both pipes are being used (that was verified by taking the shower faucet off and observing the water flow at different temperatures).

    The guy I spoke with said the problem lies with the small knob on the side of the faucet that controls whether the spray is fine or coarse.

    I was impressed with the service rep's info and explanation and I will replace the shower head. I will not, however, buy another Delta product as this was an expensive polished brass unit that should not have to be thrown out after 14 years because of a small mechanical problem.

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