Do you hear a squeaky sound when you turn on the faucet? Strange noises coming from plumbing fixtures always cause a new homeowner to worry. After all, nobody wants to deal with a complicated plumbing repair or a high plumbing bill. So, why is the faucet handle making a squeaking noise?
The faucet handle makes a squeaky noise when it’s turned on and off because there isn’t enough lubrication. There are threads on the handle stem and on the faucet. When they become dry, they will begin to wear down and make a squeaky sound. You can fix this problem by coating the threads with lubricant or petroleum jelly.
Are you tired of hearing the faucet squeak every time someone in the household washes their hands? Today, we’re going to discuss why this is happening. We’ll also teach you how to fix the problem before it causes further issues. Read on to learn more.
Why is Your Faucet Squeaking?
Dried-up threads on the handle’s stem can cause a squeaky noise when you use the faucet. Every time you use the faucet handle, the stem it’s attached to will rotate. If the threads on the stem and faucet are dried up, they will squeak as they rub against each other.
This is the main reason that a faucet handle will sound squeaky. However, there are a few other things that could lead to a squeaky faucet. This includes:
- Worn out washers
- Incorrect size washers
- Clogged aerator
- High water pressure
How To Fix A Squeaky Faucet Handle
Is that squeaky faucet handle driving you nuts? We have good news for you. Fixing a squeaky faucet handle is very easy. It’s also a quick task, which means you can get it fixed today. Let’s take a look at what you need to do.
Step 1: Understand Your Faucet
It’s important to have a better understanding of what type of faucet you have hefore you can fix a problem with it. There are 4 types of faucets commonly found in residential homes, ball, disc, compression, and cartridge faucets.
- Ball faucet- a single-handle faucet where the handle is sitting on top of a ball-shaped cap that connects to the faucet’s spout.
- Disc faucet- a single-handle faucet that moves discs to regulate the water flow.
- Compression faucet- a double-handle faucet where there’s a separate handle for cold and hot water.
- Cartridge faucet- can be single or double-handle. While these faucets don’t look very different from the ones mentioned above, they operate a lot smoother.
Step 2: Gather The Tools & Replacement Handle
You should be able to solve this problem with lubricant. However, if the problem continues to come back, then it’s time to replace the faucet handle. Don’t worry, you don’t need to have any plumbing experience to get this job done. First, you need to make sure you have the right tools and supplies:
- Plumber’s lubricant, silicone grease, or petroleum jelly
- Small screwdriver
- Standard screwdriver
- Allen wrench
- Small cleaning brush/old toothbrush
- Large crescent wrench
Finding a replacement handle shouldn’t be complicated. You will need to determine which type of faucet you have so you buy the correct replacement. Replacement handles can be found at most hardware retailers, such as Lowe’s, Home Hardware, or Home Depot.
It’s also important that you prepare the area you’re going to be working in. This isn’t a very messy fix. However, you will be dealing with small pieces that you could drop. For that reason, you will want to make sure you keep the drain closed. If you don’t have a plug, use an old rag or sheet or paper towel.
Step 3: Take The Faucet’s Cap Off
You’ll need to remove the faucet cap before you can remove the faucet handle. Before you do this, make sure you inspect the faucet. This is because some faucet caps will easily lift off, while others are screwed in place.
You can find the cap on top or in the very center of the faucet handle. This can easily be removed by prying it off with a small screwdriver. You may even be able to pry it off with your fingers.
The only exception is the glass compression faucet handles. You will need to be more patient with these caps so you don’t cause damage. Search for the seam where the cap has connected the handle and gently maneuver the small screwdriver in and work your way around the handle.
Step 4: Remove the Knob and Screw
You’re almost there. In order to get to the part that’s making the noise, you’ll need to remove the knob and screw that are holding the handle in place. Here is what you need to do.
- Locate the screw holding the handle in place.
- Use a standard-size screwdriver to remove the screw. Turn the screwdriver counterclockwise once you have it positioned in the screw.
- For handles held in place by a small screw, you will need an Allen wrench. If you have to remove the handle this way, we suggest turning the water off. This is because it will be easier for you to remove the handle if you turn it to the on position.
- Lift the handle off of the faucet.
- Inspect the area for any mineral deposits, limescale, or debris. Mix a 1:1 ratio of vinegar and warm water together. Use the small brush to clean the area. (Additionally, you can replace the vinegar water mixture with lemon juice or a household cleaner.
Step 5: Lubricate The Handle
You can lubricate the threads now that you have the handle removed. Here is what you need to do.
- Start by releasing the locking nut. Use the crescent wrench to loosen the nut, then remove it with your fingers.
- Remove the cartridge with your fingers and unscrew the cartridge sleeve.
- Carefully remove the spout with your hands. You may need to jiggle it a bit to get it loose. Set it to the side.
- The faucet’s o-rings will now be exposed. This is where the threads are located that are causing the noise. Apply a small amount of lubricant to these threads using your finger. Make sure you only apply a thin layer. Lubricate the top and bottom of this ring.
- If this problem isn’t ongoing, you can reassemble the faucet and handle. However, if you need to replace the handle, read on for further steps.
Step 6: Replace The Handle
Replacing the handle is a great way to prevent this problem from occurring again in a few weeks. It’s also a great way to improve the aesthetics of your sink. Let’s take a look at how you can replace the handle on your faucet without having to call in a plumber.
- After the threads have been lubricated, place the faucet spout back in place. Make sure the washer doesn’t come out of place when you’re putting the spout back. Then secure the cartridge sleeve by hand.
- Place the cartridge back in the faucet. Make sure you aren’t able to move it around. This is how you can tell that it’s secure in place. Once the cartridge is in place, you can secure the locking nut with the crescent wrench.
- Before you put on the new handle, you will need to put in the trim piece. This can be fastened in place by hand.
- Put the handle in place. Make sure it’s stable and in the right position before you fasten it in place. Use the Allen wrench to screw in the replacement handle.
- Test the movement of the handle to see if you have eliminated the squeaky sound.
Should You Hire A Professional?
A squeaky faucet handle rarely leads to a visit from the plumber. This is a quick and simple fix that most homeowners can handle on their own. However, we can’t guarantee that your problem will leave you without a plumbing bill.
If the problem persists after you have lubricated the threads, you may need a plumber. This noise could be an indicator that there are damages that need to be repaired. All plumbing damages should be addressed immediately before they get worse.
Is that squeaky noise still there even after you’ve lubricated the threads? Before contacting a plumber, we recommend inspecting the washers. If there is any damage done to the washer, it can cause a squeaking or squealing sound. However, if this isn’t the case, you should hire a professional.
How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Squeaky Faucet?
Squeaky faucets are generally very inexpensive to repair. This is because you don’t need a lot of tools or supplies to get the job done. Most homeowners already have the tools in their toolboxes. If they don’t there’s a good chance a nearby neighbor has what you need to borrow.
The only item that you will be required to buy to fix a squeaky faucet is the plumber’s grease. A bottle of plumber’s grease costs an average of $10 to $15. However, if money’s tight, you can use petroleum jelly, which you can find at a drugstore for around $3.
Now, things can get more expensive if there is damage done to the faucet. This will require you to hire a plumber. On average, it will cost $120 to $300 to have a professional fix or replace your faucet.
Is your faucet making an annoying squeaky sound? This happens because the threads have dried up. While this isn’t a problem you’ll run into often, it’s one that a homeowner could experience at any time.
We recommend keeping a container of plumber’s grease in your garage. This is because you will be able to address the problem asap. Any problem with a plumbing fixture needs to be fixed immediately to prevent more damage from occurring.
Ruben has a diverse background in the home services industry, with experience running a construction company, a kitchen and bath showroom, and a moving and relocation company. This breadth of experience has provided him with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in various areas of home improvement in general and specifically in the heating and plumbing niche.