Informational Guide

How To Fix A Noisy Faucet? (Complete Guide)

Do your faucets make noise when turned on? In this article, we’ll talk about some of the most common causes & what you can do to fix them.

by Holly Curell

Does your faucet make a loud noise when turned on? This can be incredibly annoying, especially early in the morning or late at night.

Fortunately, you'll be pleased to know it's not a ghost that's playing with your faucet or pipes. The cause of your faucet noise is usually down to plumbing and water rather than supernatural causes.

But what are your pipes trying to tell you? In this article, we will talk about some of the most common causes of noisy faucets and what you can do about them.

Why Does My Faucet Make Noise When Turned On or Off? (4 Common Causes)

1. Washer problems

One of the most common causes of faucets making noise when turned on or off is due to the washer being the wrong size or not held securely to the stem. You can resolve this problem by replacing the washer or tightening it.

2. Worn or binding threads

If you hear a squealing noise as you turn the handle of your tap, it might be because the metal threads of the stem are binding against the faucet's threads. Lubricating both sets of threads with petroleum jelly should get rid of the noise.

3. Residue issues

A whistling or chattering noise is usually caused by residue. Check the water seat as this can become partially closed due to residue, which in turn causes the water flow to be restricted, resulting in a whistling or chattering noise every time you turn it on or shut it off.

4. Pipe problems

Pipes can also cause noisy faucets. If your pipes are too small, for example, it can restrict water flow and cause noise.

Old houses can also have noisy pipes due to scale deposits in the plumbing. If this is the case, your pipes might need to be replaced, which can be a big job.

Faucet Makes Noise When Turned On

How Do You Stop A Noisy Faucet?

If your noisy faucet is getting on your nerves, you might want to do something about it. Many faucet noise problems can be fixed by yourself using tools you already have at home and do not need to be replaced. Here are some basic steps on how you can stop a noisy faucet.

How do you fix a noisy kitchen faucet?

Here are the basic steps on how you can fix your noisy kitchen faucet.

  • Unscrew the aerator at the end of the faucet and check the aerator for mineral deposits. Run the faucet without the aerator. If there is no noise, buy a new one. If the noise continues with the aerator off, you will need to take apart your kitchen faucet and check the parts.
  • Turn off water at the shut-off valve. This is usually located under the faucet or in the main shut-off valve in your basement or crawl space. Shut off the hot water in your water heater.
  • Unscrew the decorative taps. You might want to protect your fixtures with electrical or masking tape if you need to use pliers or other tools.
  • Lift the faucet handle off the stem and unscrew the packaging nut under the handle. Turn the stem towards open or on so that it can be unscrewed and come out. Wipe debris and dirt using a clean cloth.
  • Remove the screws that hold down the washer. Remove the washer and inspect it for signs of deterioration. If it is cracked, damaged, or loose, replace it with a new washer. You also need to check the screws for damage and deterioration and replace them with new ones.
  • Replace the stem and move it up and down to check for corrosion and wear. If you can move it, you will need to replace the stem.
  • If you need to replace the stem, take the old stem to the hardware store and buy the exact same stem.
  • Insert cartridge stem into the faucet body. Fit new o-rings for the threads at the bottom of the compression stems. Coat the top of the stems with plumber's grease before inserting stems into the faucet body. Install rubber seals on the bottom of the ceramic stem and then install them in the faucet body.
  • Secure everything with the provided nuts. Use pump pliers to tighten the nuts clockwise.
  • Install handles on the faucet stems and return the decorative handles in place.

How do you fix a noisy bathroom faucet?

Knowing how to fix your noisy bathroom faucet can help you save a lot of time and money. Here are the basic steps.

  • Listen to your faucet to determine what kind of noise it makes.
  • Turn off the water supply. Look under the sink and turn the valves clockwise until they are tightly closed.
  • If it is making a screechy sound, the problem could probably be solved by replacing the washer. Disassemble the faucet and check if the washer is worn out or damaged, or loose.
  • Replace the washer with a new one that fits.
  • Thudding noises are usually caused by a water hammer. You can correct this by draining the pipes or by installing a water arrester. You can install it on valves that are making the noise.
  • If there is no problem with your pipes or bathroom faucet, the noise could be due to water pressure. You can buy a pressure gauge from the hardware store and install it in your mainline. Pressure should be between 50 to 80 psi.

If noisy faucets and pipes persist despite your best efforts, perhaps it's time to call in the pros and have your faucet and plumbing assessed. Fill in the below form for a free quote for a plumber in your local area.

Most Common Faucet/Pipe Noises & Their Cause

As you can see, faucets can emit different kinds of noises. Listening closely to the different sounds they make can help you figure out what's wrong with them.

Here are some common faucet or pipe noises and their causes.

Whining noise

The most common cause of a whining noise that's coming from your faucet is a loose washer. If it's not the washer, the noise could be caused by trapped air that needs to be pushed out of the pipes.

Thumping noise

Common causes of a thumping noise could be an indication that your water meter is not large enough. The second could be due to the water pressure being too high, and you might need a water pressure reducing valve installed in your mainline. This kind of problem is best left to the professionals.

Humming noise

A humming noise is usually a good indication that there is water loss occurring somewhere along your pipes. It can happen two ways: water loss through a fixture (like your toilet or a faucet) or a loss through your actual plumbing systems, such as a break or fracture.

Groaning noise

This noise indicates that there is constriction somewhere in the waterline. When water flows through a narrow section, it will make a groaning noise. This usually happens when faucets, toilets, or washers wear out with age.

Knocking noise

This is usually due to a water hammer which occurs when the valve is suddenly shut off. All the water is rushing along the pipes and crashes on the closed valve causing it to shake your pipes and make a knocking noise. A strong water hammer can cause pipes to vibrate violently and cause them to shake loose of their joints which can cause leaks.

High pitch noise

High pitched noises could mean that something is loose along the section of your pipes. It could also be because of a slack washer or an untightened screw at the base of the faucet.

Vibrating noise

The most common cause of vibrations is water supply valves not being completely open. It causes the water flow to be restricted and vibrates inside the valve.

Noisey Bathroom Faucet


Why does my faucet sound like a jackhammer when I turn it on?

This sound is caused by a water hammer. This happens when water is suddenly turned off, causing it to crash into the valve and cause pipes to vibrate.

Why is my new tap so noisy?

A noisy tap is usually caused by debris in the aerator. Screw off the aerator and clean the debris or mineral deposits.

How do you fix a squeaky outdoor faucet?

Squeaky outdoor faucets can be fixed using plumber's grease. Apply a dollop of grease on the threads, and the squeaking should go away.

Can you use WD40 on a faucet?

You can use WD40 on aerators or screws that won't budge. However, applying it on faucet parts like o-rings and faucet seals as a lubricant won't be effective as it is too thin.


Noisy faucets can make you go crazy, but hopefully, with this article, you can at least diagnose the problem and say goodbye to those noises once and for all.

Holly Curell is the editor extraordinaire for Plumbing Lab. Having grown up in Michigan, Holly has spent time living in New York, Virginia, & currently North Carolina, where she lives with her husband & family. Holly loves DIY & has years of experience with at-home plumbing problems that arise from having 3 kids & living in colder climates. When she's not writing about her plumbing knowledge, Holly enjoys reading, hiking & relaxing with family.