Why Does My Bathroom Faucet Squeak? (Causes & Fixes)

Does your bathroom faucet make a squeaky noise whenever you turn it on or off? Well, a noisy faucet can be very disturbing. But don’t worry; the problem can be fixed without calling a plumber.

The task usually takes less than an hour to fix it.

So, if your bathroom faucet is making a squeaky noise then there could be many reasons such as loose or worn-out washers, clogged aerator, faucet stem, or high water pressure.

In this article, we explained the causes of a squeaky bathroom faucet and also gave the solution.

What Causes A Bathroom Faucet To Make A Squeaky Noise

Loose Or Worn Out Washers

Washers are located below the faucet stem and their main function is to prevent leaks when the faucet is turned on. Due to regular use, they get worn out or become loose.

They start flapping or vibrating whenever the water rushes through them or when the faucet is turned on. The rapid vibration causes a squeaky noise.

Other than that, if your faucet has the wrong size washer then also you will hear the same noise.

To fix the problem you will have to replace the worn-out washer (or wrong size washer) with a new one.

While purchasing the new washer make sure to buy the correct size or else you will again hear the squeaky noise.

If your bathroom faucet has a washer-less stem then check the seat washers. They can become partially clogged with residue, due to which the flow of water will create noise.

If this is the case, then you will have to clean the seat washer and if they are worn out then replace it.

Faucet Stem

If you are hearing a squeaky noise when you turn on the faucet handle then the faucet stem is responsible for it.

When the threads of the faucet stem and faucet, scrape against each other they create ear-piercing noises.

The problem can be fixed by applying petroleum jelly to the threads of the stem and faucet. To apply lubricant, you will have to remove the stem.

So, follow the below steps

First, turn off the water supply valve located below the bathroom sink. To close the valves turn them in a clockwise direction.

If there are no supply valves under your bathroom sink then turn off the main water supply valve of the house. It is usually located below the water meter.

At last, turn on the faucet to release the remaining water inside the pipes.

After that, cover the sink with a stopper or towel so that small parts do not fall into the drain.

Now, remove the faucet handle. To do that, you will have to remove the index button with the help of a flathead screwdriver (or a knife). The button is located at the top of the faucet handle.

Once the button is removed, you will see a screw, remove the screw with the help of a screwdriver.

If there’s a decorative cap at the side of the faucet handle then instead of a normal screw there will be a set screw.

You can remove the set screw with the help of an Allen wrench. Simply insert the Allen wrench and turn it in an anticlockwise direction.

Now, you will be able to see the faucet stem once the handle is removed. Simply remove the stem from the faucet and apply petroleum jelly on the threads of the stem.

Also, make sure to apply it on the threads of the faucet as well. If there is a cartridge instead of a stem then do the same with it.

At last reinstall the faucet parts and check if there is still noise coming from the faucet.

If the noise still continues that means the threads of the faucet stem are worn out and you should replace the faucet stem with the new one.

Clogged Aerator

The aerator can become clogged due to hard water. Once they get clogged, water flow gets restricted, and as a result high pitch sound comes from the faucet whenever it is turned on.

To solve the problem you will have to unclog the faucet aerator. So, follow the steps given below.

First, cover the sink with a towel or drain stopper to prevent small parts from falling down the drain.

Now, remove the aerator with your hand by turning it in an anticlockwise direction. If you are not able to remove the aerator with your bare hand then take the help of pliers.

Before using the pliers, make sure to cover the pliers’ teeth with plumbing tape so that scratches do not occur on the surface of the aerator.

Then, grip the aerator with the pliers’ teeth and turn it in an anticlockwise direction.

If the aerator is rusted and not coming out of the spout, then you can spray WD-40. But make sure to open all the windows before using the spray. Wait for a few minutes after using the spray.

If the aerator is hidden inside the faucet spout, you will need an aerator key to remove it.

Insert the key into the notch of the aerator and turn it in an anticlockwise direction till the aerator pops out of the faucet.

Now, disassemble the aerator parts with the help of a toothpick or needle.

Make sure to note down the sequence in which you’re removing or click photos of it because it’s mandatory to reassemble them in the same order or else the aerator won’t function properly.

After that, rinse the aerator parts with clean water. Take each part in your hand, turn on the faucet, and let water pass through them. This will flush out all the big sediments.

Then, take a small container, fill white vinegar in it, and submerge all the parts in vinegar for 10 to 15 minutes. The vinegar will soften the residue present inside the parts.

If the parts are really gunked up then leave them in vinegar overnight. The Next morning, take out all the parts from the vinegar and scrub them with a toothbrush.

Scrub the parts gently, or else they will get damaged. To check if there is still any debris left inside, hold the parts up to the light and see through them.

Now, rinse all the parts with water so that the remaining dirt gets flushed out. Turn on the faucet and make sure the flow of water is fast.

After that, reassemble all the parts in the same order. Take the help of pictures you took before so that you can put them back in the correct order.

At last, reattach the aerator to the faucet spout by turning it in a clockwise direction with your hand.

High Water Pressure

High water pressure causes vibration inside the pipes and these vibrations create squeaky or humming noise. That’s why you need to first measure the water pressure in your house to know whether it is high or low.

To measure the pressure, use a water pressure gauge tool. You can buy it online from the Home Depot website or from any hardware store near you. The price of the tool is around 10$.

Before measuring the pressure, make sure that no one is using the faucet inside or outside the house. Because the pressure gauge may give a low reading or false reading.

To get an accurate reading of the water pressure; you need to turn off dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerators with ice makers, or anything that uses water.

Now connect the pressure gauge to any male threaded faucet in your house.

Some examples of male threaded faucets are hot water drain valves, hose bibs, washing machine shut-off valves, laundry tubs, etc. Connect to any of the faucets and turn on the water.

For a plumbing system, water pressure between 40 to 60 PSI is considered normal. It is mentioned that water pressure should not be above 80 PSI.

So, if the water pressure in your house is more than 80 PSI then you need to lower the pressure. To lower it, you will have to use the water pressure regulator (also known as a pressure regulating valve).

The pressure regulating valve is located right after the pipe where the water meter enters the house. If you already have one in your house then try to adjust it.

How you can adjust the water pressure on the pressure regulating valve.

Step 1: Locate The Valve

To find the valve you need to first find the supply line that enters your house. Once you find the supply line, you will be able to see a water meter.

That’s where the pressure regulating valve is situated, right after the pipe where the water meter is located.

The regulating valve is bell-shaped in the center and has a screw & locknut at the tip of the bell which is made of brass.

Step 2: Adjust The Water Pressure

The pressure valve has a screw and locking nut system. The screw is your adjuster and to move it you will have to loosen the locknut. So, loosen the locknut with the help of a wrench.

Remember that tightening the screw will increase the pressure and loosening will decrease.

Step 3: Turn The Screw Slowly

Don’t be in a rush while turning the screw. Turn it little by little, in short quarter turns to adjust the pressure.

Remember that, tightening too much will increase the pressure which can damage your plumbing system. So, be careful while doing it.

Step 4: Recheck The Pressure

Make sure to check the water pressure on the pressure gauge after every turn. Keep it between 40 to 60 PSI.

Step 5: Tighten The Lock Nut

Tighten the locknut with the help of a wrench once the pressure is adjusted. So that the adjustment screw does not move from its position.