Why Does My Kitchen Faucet Whistle?

A whistling kitchen faucet can be very disconcerting. The high-pitched sounds you hear when your kitchen faucet is running can be a result of a couple different issues. Regardless of the cause, it is an issue that should be addressed immediately.

In this article, we will review some of the potential causes for the shrill sound from your kitchen faucet, as well as a few tips to try to fix the problem.

How Do You Fix A Whistling Kitchen Faucet?

Fixing a noisy faucet comes down to determining the root cause of the problem. If you can correctly determine what is causing the obnoxious whistling sound, you may easily fix the issue.

However, if the problem is more serious, such as issues with the plumbing, you may need to enlist the help of a professional. If the pipes are what is causing the noise, it is crucial that the replacement is done sooner rather than later to avoid other issues.

What Causes A Faucet To Make Noise?

There are a few factors that may be contributing to the issue. Common causes include washer problems, issues with the valves, and pipe problems. Correctly identifying the cause of the squealing noise is crucial for fixing the problem.

Troubleshooting Washer Problems

A dislodged or loose washer may be causing the squealing of the kitchen faucet. If the wrong size of washer was chosen, this also might be the culprit.

Designed to restrict water flow, the aerator (which is the screen) fitted onto the tip of the spout may be clogged. Calcium deposits may be causing the water pressure to rise, in turn causing the internal washer to vibrate.

How To Fix Problems With The Aerator Or Washer

How To Fix Problems With The Aerator Or Washer

If an obstructed aerator or washer is deemed to be the issue, the fix is relatively easy.

What you’ll need:

  • Adjustable pliers
  • Rubber cleaning glove
  • Vinegar
  • Correctly sized washer (if the washer is the problem)

Make sure you turn off the faucet’s water supply before removing the aerator or washer. The shut-off valve may cut off water to the entire home, so make sure the household knows beforehand so nobody is left stranded in the shower.

To fix the aerator, try to unscrew it by hand. A rubber glove may help you get traction to grasp the aerator and remove it. If you can’t quite unscrew it, use adjustable pliers to remove it.

Once you have the aerator removed, soak it in vinegar overnight to remove the mineral deposits. If the washer seems to be the issue, replace or reseat the washer and then reinsert the aerator.

Issues With The Valves

If the washer and aerator were ruled out, the valves might be causing the whistling sound. If the noise is isolated to one of the handles, such as the hot water or cold water handle, start there. This would likely mean that the hot or cold valve is the culprit, not both.

Issues With The Valves

How To Fix It

What you’ll need:

  • Wrench or locking pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Replacements for rubber parts as needed
  • Replacements for gasket springs as needed
  • Vinegar

Ensure you have turned off the water supply to the faucet before disassembling. Use the wrench or locking pliers to remove the valve retaining nut. If the nut is loose, it could be the cause of the issue and simply needs to be tightened.

If the nut was not the issue, the rubber gaskets within the water inlet holes in the valve housing are likely the cause. Using the screwdriver, remove the valve.

Replace the gaskets, O-rings, gasket springs, or any other worn rubber parts you may find. If the valve has been overtaken by mineral deposits, soak it in vinegar overnight before putting it back together.

Problems With The Pipes

Another possible source of the whistling noise from your kitchen faucet may be the pipes themselves. If they have retained buildup of scale and rust, which is a common issue with galvanized pipes, the water pressure may be affected, causing the sound.

The water pressure should typically fall between 50 and 60 psi (pounds per square inch). If the water pressure is too high, the pipes may need to be replaced, or the pressure regulator needs to be adjusted.

How To Fix Problems With Pipes

How To Fix Problems With Pipes

If the pipes are the problem, the fix may not be as simple as some of the previous solutions. If the plumbing is causing the water pressure to rise, it is crucial to get it fixed as soon as possible to avoid a ruptured pipe or burst fitting.

What you’ll need:

  • Pressure gauge
  • Replacement pipe and parts

Start by checking the water pressure with the pressure gauge. You can buy fairly inexpensive pressure gauges at most hardware stores. To check the water pressure, screw the gauge onto one of your outdoor spigots.

If the water pressure exceeds the normal range, you need to adjust the pressure regulator or lower the pressure pump’s cut-off pressure. If you are not comfortable fixing issues surrounding the pipes and pressure pumps, call a plumber to fix it before the problem becomes much more challenging.