Shower Making Loud Humming Noise? (Possible Causes & Fixes)

Upgraded Home Team
by Upgraded Home Team

Showers are one of the few simple joys in the world. And they can be everything from a fresh wake to start the day to a great way to relax before bedtime. So the shock, disappointment, and need to get it fixed is understandable when something goes wrong with our place of momentary escape.

If your shower is making a humming noise then the culprits can include water pressure issues, shower head clogs, piping concerns (including leaks), and age. Fortunately, and in many cases, these problems can be resolved with a few basic tools, along with some time and effort. If the problem proves to be more involved, however, the services of a professional should be sought.

Here is a deeper look at the possible culprits that can cause showers to make humming noises, followed by a look at the fixes and solutions. Most problems can be fixed without seeking professional help, but a few problems will require contacting a plumber. Now, regarding those troublemakers (or should we say noisemakers?).

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The Water Pressure Problem

One of the most common causes for showers making a humming noise is related to water pressure issues. Generally speaking, this is a matter of having too much water pressure. The excess pressure causes the pipes to rattle and emit humming-like noises.

The Water Pressure Fix

Fixing the humming noise coming from your shower as a result of excessive water pressure (and theoretically low water pressure) is a matter of readjusting the water regulator.

What you will need:

  • Safety glasses
  • Bucket or large pot
  • Regular/flathead screwdriver
  • Two adjustable wrenches

This fix shouldn’t require a great deal of effort or time. Ideally, household water pressure ranges between 40 and 60 psi.

Step 1: Shut Off Water

It is important to turn the water off at the water main to avoid getting drenched and to prevent potential water damage. Simply locate the valve lever on the water main and move it to the off position.

Step 2: Adjusting the Water Pressure

Find the lock nut and bolt assembly on the regulator. Using a wrench loosen the nut, then use a screwdriver to adjust the pressure by turning the pressure screw in eighth-inch increments.

Step 3: Testing the Water Pressure

Before tightening the lock nut and bolt assembly, and backtracking it is a good idea to test the pressure. Simply run the shower for five minutes, and if the humming persists then more adjustments may need to be made.

When the pressure is properly adjusted, everything can be tightened and turned back on. If this doesn’t resolve the issue then the problem lies elsewhere.

The Shower Head Clog Problem

Another common reason that can be responsible for the shower making a loud humming noise is shower head clogs. This can be caused by residues such as limescale and hair follicles, among others.

The Shower Head Clog Fix

Fixing the shower head is another relatively simple operation. It may take an overnight soaking, but the work and effort invested in this solution are minimal.

What you will need:

  • A bucket or pot
  • Pliers
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Step stool

This fix has a few variations but the principles and the process is the same.

Step 1: Turn Water Off

Although this stop isn’t necessarily necessary, it is another safety measure to prevent any accidents or possible waterworks. Simply locate the water main and slide the lever to the off position.

Step 2: Remove the Shower Head

While this can often be accomplished by hand, sometimes some light assistance from a pair of pliers is helpful. That is also true for those shower heads that have been there since when? It is also important to be careful not to damage the shower head and using a step stool may be useful for easier and safer shower head removal.

Step 3: Clean and Soak Shower Head

Using a tool like a pipe cleaner the shower head should be manually cleaned. Then using white vinegar (or other preferred cleaning solutions) the shower head should be soaked overnight.

Simply rinse and carefully reinstall the shower head, and it should eliminate any humming as a result of clogging. If the humming from the shower persists, it means that the shower head wasn’t the problem – or wasn’t the only problem.

The Piping Problem

If your shower is making loud humming noises one of the more common causes for this issue can be traced to piping problems. In some cases, humming can be caused by the vibration being caused by loose pipes. The other most common pipe/plumbing-related issue is leaks in the pipes. Pipes that leak can also create an array of interesting noises, including humming-like sounds.

The Piping Problem Fix

If you have basic plumbing and home repair skills these fixes are well within the DIY category. It should be noted, however, that it may be advisable to reach out to a plumber if you don’t feel comfortable making these repairs.

What you will need:

  • Bracket and screw fixtures
  • Screwdriver
  • Sealant tape or self-fusing (silicon-based) tape
  • Basic plumbing knowledge

From loose pipes to leaks, many of these problems can be fixed with a little effort, time, and know-how.

Step 1: Locating Loose Pipes/Leaks

For those dealing with loose or rattling pipes, or humming caused by leaks, the solution begins by locating the problem. This may require accessing pipes behind a shower wall or even in the wall. Once the loose pipes or leaks are located, it is time to fix the problem.

Step 2: Securing Pipes and Sealing Leaks

It may require looking at the pipes before choosing the best types of brackets. Using those brackets, secure any loose pipes, just be aware of what you are securing or fastening those pipes to.

For any leaks that are located, simply clean and dry the leaking area and apply a quality sealant or silicone-based self-sealing tape product. If larger leaks are discovered it may be necessary to replace an entire section of the pipe.

In the rarest of cases, pipes can actually be too small to handle certain water pressure levels. When this is the case the aforementioned water pressure fix may be an option, in addition to also replacing the piping structure.

The Age Problem

How old is your shower and the plumbing supporting it? If that humming from your shower is destroying your evening respite or morning reprieve, then it could be an age issue. No, not yours, the age of your pipes. Over time (typically a very long time), pipes weaken, water erodes, and problems arise.

The Age Problem Solution

Unlike many of the other common reasons that cause showers to make humming noises and other sounds, the age problem isn’t as easy a fix. The good news is there is a solution but it more often than not exceeds the common homeowner’s area of expertise.

When it becomes a potential problem of aging plumbing, then it is advisable to replace the entire system. Due to the potentially extensive nature of the work, contacting a plumber in this situation can save time, headaches, and even money in the long run.

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Related Questions

That humming sound coming from the shower is not only a thief of the joy of taking a shower but it is also an aggravation that needs to be dealt with. Here are a few other frequently asked questions regarding shower-related issues.

Why Does the Shower Make Whistling Sounds When the Hot Water is Running?

It seems if it isn’t humming or rattling, then the shower is whistling. Another commonly asked question regarding showers is why does it make a whistling sound when the hot water is on?

This issue can often be caused by a loose or worn washer. Hot water can create these issues as it runs over washers time and again. The result is a whistling like sound as the hot water passes through the now loosened washer and out the shower faucet.

The simple fix for this problem is to simply replace the washer. If you aren’t sure how to access the washer then consult the owner manual for the shower head system. Now you should be able to enjoy your shower in peace without any humming or whistling.

Shower Making Loud Sounds but Hardly Any Water Comes Out?

About the only headache or problem worse than having a loud or annoying shower, is having a dry and loud or annoying shower. This is also another semi-frequent question posed by homeowners. So why does a shower make loud noises while making very little water?

Sometimes this can be the result of needing to clean the shower head itself. In most cases though, this is a diverter-related issue, and it is often easier to simply replace the diverter than attempt a repair. If replacing the diverter doesn’t resolve the issue then that is indicative of a potentially larger problem that may require professional plumbing services.

There are some instances where low water pressure may be the cause for not tripping the diverter switch. Although this is another one of the unlikely offenders, it isn’t out of the question either. Most homes should not exceed 80 psi. If your water pressure is low, however, then increasing it may result in the solution – or simply leave us high and dry.

Upgraded Home Team
Upgraded Home Team

We are a team of passionate homeowners, home improvement pros, and DIY enthusiasts who enjoy sharing home improvement, housekeeping, decorating, and more with other homeowners! Whether you're looking for a step-by-step guide on fixing an appliance or the cost of installing a fence, we've here to help.

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