Troubleshooting A Squeaking Or Rattling Bathroom Faucet

A dripping faucet might become one of the most annoying sounds in your home. But a drip isn't the only sound of trouble your faucet can make. If you suddenly have squeaks or rattles whenever you turn on the bathroom faucet, you need to perform some troubleshooting. Some causes you can fix on your own but others are best left to a plumber.

Squeaking Faucet

Does the faucet make a high-pitched squeak when you turn on the water that makes it sound like your faucet is giving a quick high-pitched scream? You might find the fix in the faucet handle.

On a compression washer type faucet – the type with separate handles for hot and cold water found in most bathrooms – first check to see if the squeak is happening on both sides or only when one temperature is running. Chances are good that it's only one side, which means the sound is due to stripped threads inside the noisy handle.

You can access the threads by removing the top cap on the handle then the handle knob itself. Under that knob, you should find a stem assembly that starts with a retaining nut that sits on a threaded spindle. Check the spindle for any signs of damage or buildups that could be causing the squeak and replace if necessary. If the spindle looks healthy but dry, apply a thin coat of plumber's putty around the threads then put the faucet back together.

Allow the faucet to rest for a couple of hours and then try the handle to see if the squeak remains. If it still squeaks, you can either replace the entire handle and try again or call a plumber for help.

Rattling Faucet

A rattle or clank that happens with either faucet handle turned can be a sign of problems deep in the piping of your home. But there is a chance it's only a broken part within your faucet. There's no easy way to narrow down which part or parts are causing the sound.

The good news is that replacing an entire faucet is fairly simple if you read the directions on the new model and have an afternoon to spare. But you could put in the afternoon of work and find out you still have a pipe issue. If you've wanted to install a new faucet anyway, go ahead and try this route first. Otherwise, save yourself the time and call a plumbing company like Ziegler Plumbing & Sewer, INC


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