Why Does Shower Head Squeal?

You wake up in the morning with a peaceful mind and go to take shower for starting your day. You turn on the shower and it is sounding like a toddler’s scream, bursting your brains off. The next thing you will do is run out of the shower and curse like hell. 

Shower squealing is one of the most unbearable plumbing issues, so might want to know the cause of this problem.

Here, we will go through every possible reason for which this problem may arise.


11 Common Reasons Why Your Shower Head Squeal

There are several occasions when you cannot find the reason for this problem. So, let us know the reason behind the shower head squeal.

  • Faulty or Clogged Shower Head
  • Low Force for Flow Restrictor
  • Too old Shower Valve
  • Jammed Shower Cartridge
  • Broken Diverter Valve
  • High Water Pressure
  • Leakage in The Pipes
  • Remove The Kinks
  • Fix The Water Heater
  • Remove the Shower Pump
  • Install a New Plumbing System
  • Faulty or Clogged Shower Head

With time, the nozzles of the shower head become blocked with the minerals and debris that flow with the water through it.

Therefore, there might be very little space in the nozzles for this reason water is hardly coming out and this makes the shower head squeal.

First, you have to unscrew the shower head to clean it properly by soaking it in a bowl of vinegar overnight and wash it using a spare toothbrush in the morning.

If it doesn’t solve the issue then you should buy a new one and replace it.

  • Low Force for Flow Restrictor

The Tiny hole in your shower head flow restrictor is not sometimes enough for the water to pass through.

Although, it saves your water bills but decreasing the high water pressure will make a horrible noise.

You can remove the flow restrictor by going back to your usual manual and follow the mentioned process on it. After removing it, screw it back to check that the squealing is not occurring anymore.

  • Too old Shower Valve

Shower valves are those that mix the hot and cold water to provide the best temperature for you.

It connects with the main handle of your shower when you move the handle the water comes out. If you do not change the valve for a long time then it might sound like a whistle while taking a shower.

It is highly recommended to hire a professional to change the shower valve if you do not have previous plumbing experience.

NB. There are different types of shower valves available on the market, to know more about them click here

  • Jammed Shower Cartridge

This is in the shower valve and it becomes blocked and might be broken. If this is the case, then there is a high chance of your shower head squealing. 

As it is behind the wall it will be difficult for you to change it on your own, you might need to hire a professional to do the task.

On a side note: If you are confused about the shower valve and cartridge, then read this article to get a clear idea.

Recommended Reading: Signs of a Bad Shower Cartridge

  • Broken Diverter Valve

Ever wonder how does the water that comes from the tub faucet passes through the shower head, well that is the function of the diverter valve.

When you pull the handle it stops the water from coming out from the tub faucet and pushes it to pass through the pipes to flow out of the shower head. 

A faulty diverter valve can cause the noise, you will have to change it to prevent the shower head from a squeal. 

To change the diverter at first unscrew the caps and remove them gently, you might have putty on the inner cap so take off the putty and pull it. 

Then use a wrench to unscrew the diverter counterclockwise and take it out, After that, clean the pipe using a handkerchief to push it inside, move it like a circle and pull the dirt out. 

Now, you can install the new diverter to end the shower head squeal for good.

  • High Water Pressure

Yes, having increased water pressure can also be a reason behind your shower head squeal. 

This is often an ignored fact but if there is already too much water in your shower head then you decrease it to eliminate the squeal. 

You can measure the water pressure at the PRV using a water pressure gauge, you can get one from the nearest hardware store. 

It is recommended to have 60 to 75 PSI (pressure per square inch) if it exceeds over 75 PSI then it can damage your Plumbing System, always try to keep it below that. 

If your PRV is already broken then your PSI is over the recommended scale which damaged the PRV, it is time to call a plumber for installing a new one and decrease the PSI, or else your house is going to be flooded with water. 

However, you can also adjust the water pressure by tightening the mains valve a little bit but don’t make it too tight as it will stop the water from flowing and you don’t want that.

  •  Leakage in The Pipes


Leakages can occur due to high water pressure and will make the shower head squeal, it can destroy the entire plumbing system in your house. 

The walls will start getting wet and will be visible to you that the paints of your walls are coming off and it can ruin your house. 

Whenever you see such a scenario do not wait, immediately shut off the mains valve, and call the plumber for a professional repair of your plumbing system.

  • Remove The Kinks

If your shower head is not connected to a straight pipeline but instead it is connected to a hose which is sort of a flexible pipe.

Then there are chances of it occurring a knot or a tangle while taking a shower. 

This might block the water flow which will create a screaming sound, so look for any kinks on the shower head hose if you hear any unusual noise and straighten it for solving the issue.

  • Fix The Water Heater


If your shower head squeals only when hot water comes out but not while the cold water then there is an issue with the water heater. 

Primarily, you can clean it and check whether the issue has been solved, if it doesn’t then call a professional to fix it. 

The plumber might eliminate the noise or suggest you install a new water heater

  • Remove the Shower Pump

Having a shower pump is a good option when there is low water pressure in your area but if there is already increased water pressure then it will cause the shower head to squeal. 

However, removing the shower pump will lower the water pressure and there will be no more noise. 

Although, it is only recommended if the problem is arising due to the high water pressure

Before doing this, you should check the PSI (pressure per square inch) to ensure the problem is arising from too much water pressure.

  • Install a New Plumbing System

So, you moved to an older house or it has been ages since you installed the plumbing system of your house. 

It is time to hire a plumber to discuss installing a new water system for the entire house. 

Older pipes are smaller in size and also can be blocked with mineral deposits and rubbles with time. 

It can also create rust on the metal pipes which might result in a leakage. This might stop the water from flowing properly and will cause the shower head squeal. 

It is quite an expensive process but if none of the methods mentioned above solves the issue, you should let go of your old and weak pipes and replace those with the new and long-lasting pipes available in the market. 

The plumber will recommend the best plumbing system that suits your budget. 

If you want to take a peaceful shower every morning and start your day with a refreshing mind then it is worth the investment for your house. 

Although, it will also save you more money which you could have lost if the pipes had burst out and destroyed your entire house walls, electrical appliances, furnishers, and even could have burnt the whole house.


To get rid of Shower Head Squeal, these are methods you can apply. However, keep that in mind to get the best results you need to be sure for which reason the shower head squeal.

And then try to solve this using the solutions mentioned above. 

Although it is recommended that you should only do what is possible for you if it is becoming hard then you can call an expert.

Before doing something on your own, shut off the main valve to avoid any unwanted water flow, after completing the work you can turn it on and see if the problem is still arising or not.

After one process fails only then go for the next one, do not try all at the same time as it will become a mess before knowing about the actual cause of your shower head squeal. 

Please, do call an expert in case of an emergency repairment of your plumbing system.

Now you know, why does shower head squeal and what necessary steps you should take to prevent it.

Was this article helpful?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *