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Question DetailsAsked on 10/20/2016

How do I fix whistling pipes?

When I turn my faucet off , my pipes will make a whistling noise for a brief period of time

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2 Answers



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Answered 3 years ago by Member Services


Normally, especially if only making the noise at one faucet, that means either a deteriorated seal seal or washer (the rubber washer on the valve stem that seals against the metal "seat" to shut off the flow, or sometimes a worn seat due to long-term erosion from a prevalent leak, or from corrosion. Can also happen with single-handle faucets when the rubber seat ring or cylinder washer gets worn or the internal sping gets weak. The sound is caused by a very thin jet of water leaking past the seal for a bit after shutoff, which may or may not eventually shut off in a few seconds - as it deteriorates more eventually it will turn into a faucet drip with constant whine or whistle.

Rebuilding or replacing the faucet is the solution in that case - labor typically $75-200 depending on whether the sink/basin shutoff valves shut off fully or not or need replacement because they are corroded with long years of no use, and with whether simply installing a rebuild kit does it or the faucet seat needs regrinding (not all kinds can be). If parts are no longer available due to age (though many 100 year and older faucets can be rebuilt with currently available washer kit parts), then replacing the faucet commonly runs another $100-200 typically depending on how many places he has to go to to get one tht fits your configuration and is a general you want - plus the cost of the new faucet which is typically 25-120 for normal off-the shelf ones, $60-200 for better common off-the-shelf brands and single-handle faucets, and of course on up with fancy designs or finishes.

If this is a through-wall valve and needs replacing (usually applies only to showers but sometimes older or retro- basins/sinks too) then cost can be several hundred $ more depending on access and the amount of tile or surround repair needed.

Worst case for in-wall faucet replacement is usually showers/tubs where it cannot be replaced from the front and there is a back-to-back shower or tub preventing clean easy entry through the wall from the rear, and also the ones installed behind backsplashes and such that have to be pulled off for access - or require exterior wall entry after removing some siding in some cases. In extreme cases those types can run into the $500-1000 range to replace - but that is very rare and usually in high-end or very old houses.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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