A squeaky faucet is a nuisance at best. While the squeaking itself might not indicate a major problem, hearing a tell-tale squeak can be annoying every time you use the tap. Most of the time, the fix is pretty straightforward and should only take a few minutes.
So, if a noisy faucet plagues your home, continue reading to learn how to cease the squeaks.
What Causes A Squeaky Faucet?
Generally, a lack of lubrication is what is causing your faucet to squeak. The handle rotates on the faucet’s handle stem every time you turn on the faucet. Your faucet might squeak when there’s no lubrication on the handle stem.
So, the good news: you might just need to lubricate the faucet handle stem. The bad news: if the squeaking isn’t isolated to when you turn the faucet on and off, there might be something else going on. However, before we jump to conclusions and immediately go all Negative Nancy, let’s start with the first possible solution.
How Do You Fix A Noisy Faucet?
If the faucet squeaks when you turn the handle, the problem likely lies in a lack of lubrication. The threads rub as the handle turns, causing the noise you hear. Luckily, the fix for a squeaky faucet handle is quick and easy. All you need to do is lubricate the faucet. So, how do you lubricate a tap?
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A screwdriver
- Allen wrench
- Wrench or pliers
- Plumber’s grease (or another lubricant)
If you want to expedite the process, use a drill or screw extractor instead of removing the screw manually. It shouldn’t take long to remove the screw by hand, so you should be just fine without any fancy tools.
Start by turning off the water to the sink you’re working on. While it shouldn’t be an issue, it doesn’t hurt to be on the safe side and shut off the water. Once the water is off and you have the necessary tools, take the handle off the faucet.
The removal process depends on the type of faucet you have. For example, most faucets have a set screw near the bottom or back of the handle. However, many brands like to hide the screw with a decorative cap, so keep your eye out for a random decorative piece.
If it has a decorative cap, use your fingernail or a flathead screwdriver to carefully pry the cap off the handle. Once you expose the set screw, remove it. Depending on the faucet, you might need an Allen wrench or Philips screwdriver.
After you remove the set screw, set it aside. Lift the faucet handle up and away from the counter or faucet body. With the handle out of the way, it’s time to lubricate the handle stem. You can use petroleum jelly on the threads, but we recommend using plumber’s grease since it’s designed for scenarios like this one.
Make sure you liberally apply the grease all over visible parts of the stem. After lubricating, the faucet, reattach the handle, then screw in the set screw. Replace the decorative cap if it has one.
Lastly, turn the water back on and check your handiwork. If it no longer squeaks, then you did it! If the problem persists, continue on to the following possible issues.
Other Potential Issues Causing A Squeaky Faucet
If the handle and faucet handle stem isn’t the problem, a few other things might cause the issue. Here are a few other potential problems:
In some cases, a clogged aerator can cause a squeaking sound. The aerator is the little screen at the tip of your tap. If this is the problem, the fix is easy. Start by unscrewing the aerator. With the aerator off, turn the tap on. If the noise is gone, you’ll need to clean the aerator or replace it.
To clean it, soak it in white vinegar for a few hours, then use an old toothbrush to scrub away residual deposits. Rinse it with fresh water, then screw it back onto the faucet.
Worn Out Washers
The washers could be the culprit as well. Incorrectly sized or worn-out washers can cause the squeaky noise. Start by turning off the water supply to the sink. To check if the washers are the problem, disassemble your faucet. Follow the steps we outlined above for removing the handle.
Once you have the handle out of the way, check the washers. If they’re worn out or don’t appear to be the right size, replace them with new, correctly sized washers. Reassemble the faucet, then check your handiwork.
High Water Pressure
In some scenarios, water pressure that is too high can cause strange noises coming from your faucet. Check the plumbing in your home with a pressure gauge. If the reading is higher than 80psi, that may be the problem.
Depending on the setup in your home, you may be able to easily lower the water pressure by adjusting our pressure regulator. To reduce the water pressure, turn the adjusting screw to the left. To increase the water pressure, turn the adjusting screw to the right.