1. rickford66

    rickford66 New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Michigan
    [resolved] shower squeal

    Hello,
    I have 2 showers in my house. Both squeal when the shower is activated. The squeal only occurs when the diverter sends the water to the shower head. The squeal sounds like a balloon when you pinch the opening and slowly release the air, only it is very LOUD. This has been happening for nearly 10 years on both showers. The house is only 10 years old, so it started a couple months after we moved in. I have replace both shower heads with no luck. The replacement shower heads are different from each other, with one being a shower massage on a hose design, and the other being a cheaper 2 setting type w/o a hose. Both fixtures are Moen, single valve, turn (not pull), pressure balanced. The diverter is the standard pull the knob up on the tub faucet. If you're thinking of asking why I never got this fixed from the start.... I've asked myself that question many times and I don't have an answer. :O) It suffices to say, I am nearly to the point of opening the wall and replacing the entire system with a different brand. Can anyone please help? Thanks so much.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2006
  2. It most likely is the tub spout diverter itself; replace the tub spout and this should solve the problem.

    Proof of this should be that the noise disappears when you pull and hold up the diverter in the up position.
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,816
    Location:
    New England
    Mine did that too. If you fiddle with the divertor by pressing it down slightly, you can probably cause it to stop. Replacing it will solve it for awhile until the gasket gets hard. Depending on your water, that can happen quickly or take some time. Most of them can't be repaired, so you replace it.

    There are two types of tub spouts (well there are some weird ones out there too). They either screw off the nipple sticking out of the wall or, if there is a set screw on the bottom, are pushed on a bare pipe sticking out of the wall. Once you determine which version you have, the important part is how far the either threaded part or the nipple sticks out. If you don't get one compatible with what you have, you won't be able to get the back of the spout to be flush with the wall when it is tight on the pipe. So, you might want to take the old one with you when shopping for a new one.
  4. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    I'm curious.

    If you put up with it for 10 years what made you want to fix it now?
  5. rickford66

    rickford66 New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Michigan
    I've wanted to fix it for a long time. I was at the Home Depot Saturday getting some hardware for a sink drain and saw the diverters and cartridges. I wondered which was the problem and it made me a bit angry that I didn't know and the solution was probably sitting right there on the shelf.

    Jadnashua hit the nail right on the head. Yes, if I press it down slightly, it does stop for a few seconds. If it fails so often, perhaps I'll need to put in a ball valve. Oh, I'll buff it up so it shines pretty. :eek:
  6. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    They do fail but are easy to fix. Yours was bad from the get go. This one should last quite a while. What wears them out is pressing down while the water=pressure is on. If you turn the valve off first then the diverter it will last longer.
  7. rickford66

    rickford66 New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Michigan
    Ok, I installed the diverter. The noise is gone!! Whoohooo!!! BUT, the new diverter is leaking at the back. It is a slip on type with a set screw, designed for a 1/2" pipe. Mine is just a length of 1/2" copper and it as corroded a bit. I believe the leak is coming from the o-ring seal on the diverter that is supposed to seal around the pipe. Problem is, do I clean the copper and thus, reduce its' diameter a bit? Should I clean it, then wrap it with a layer or two of teflon tape? Please help. Thanks.
  8. Just clean the copper pipe, this is most likely the reason it is leaking.
  9. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    If the old diverter used a set screw and/or clamp set up it may have deformed the pipe this could cause the leak also.
  10. sgm50

    sgm50 New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Arizona
    Same problem in faucet

    I have the same issue (I think) with my faucet. I'm not sure if it works the same way because there's no diverter etc...

    Anyway, my bathroom faucet makes the same squeal when only the cold water is turned on. Also, it squeals only at a certain amount of pressure. In other words, I can stop the squeal if I either turn the knob to more or less pressure.

    Only an annoyance, nothing more. This faucet has another problem with the hot side that bugs me more.
  11. rickford66

    rickford66 New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Michigan
    I assumed I damaged the o-ring somehow, so I exchanged the diverter for a new one. Should I use the o-ring silicone lubricant to try to protect the o-ring as I slide it on? Thanks.
  12. rickford66

    rickford66 New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Michigan
    Well, to wrap this up for anyone who, suffering the same fate, may read this someday... I lightly sanded the corrosion from the pipe (800 grit) and made very sure the end of the pipe was smooth - free of burrs. Then, I coated the pipe with silicone o-ring lubricant... coated the o-ring too. I installed the new diverter, tightened the set screw and presto, it worked without a leak. Now, an editorial to the maker of the diverter. Since I'm not a plumber, and these are sold at HD for homeowner installation, a note on this issue would have been nice in the scant instructions provided with the diverter. Also, if I were designing one of these things, I would put 2 o-rings in, separated by a small gap. In the gap between the o-rings, I would put a hole in the plastic tube so that any water making it past the first o-ring under pressure of the shower would drain out the hole between the o-rings and drop out of the bottom of the diverter where the set screw is. I know it would cost a few more pennies for the extra o-ring, but it would greatly reduce the risk of getting water inside the wall. My 2 cents. Oh, I almost forgot, thanks to all who helped in this. It is so nice to finally have peace in the shower after 10 years. :O)
  13. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Normaly the bottom rear section of the diverter has a notch cut out for this purpose.

    When you caulk you caulk from the 8:00 position, clockwise, to 4:00 leaving the 8:00 - 4:00(counter clockwize) open with no caulk so leaking water will drain out but shower water can't enter.
  14. rickford66

    rickford66 New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Michigan
    Yup, I figured that out. I believe you also are supposed to caulk the stub where it exits the wall. Over time, the caulk can crack. Using 2 o-rings would force the water away from the stub instead of letting surface tension hold it to the stub. A crack in the caulk along the top of the diverter may be seen, but a crack in the caulk around the stub will not be seen. Water sticking to the stub may make it past the caulk and into the wall under the right conditions. A second o-ring would prevent that.
  15. ff3006

    ff3006 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    shower squeal too

    Hey Rickford, I too have a Moen shower set and it is squealing. I remodeled my bathroom a couple of years ago. At first it was fine, and slowly it began to squeal. Lived with it as you did for a while, recently it has become extremely loud and annoying. I could stop it by moving the pull knob around a bit. Now, I can't stop it. I contacted Moen, they sent me anouther spout. I simply removed the original and put the new one on. I turned the water and shower on probably a dozen times, everything was perfect. Later that evening when I took a shower, yup, you got it, it squealed. The only thing is with the new one I couldn't stop it. Not very happy to say the least. I contacted moen again, they sent me a second one. I now have my original and two new ones, all the same type. This time I took some plumbers sand paper, not sure the grit, very lightly cleaned the "lookout" as it is called by moen, went exactly by the directions, and still have the squeal. You mentioned leaking. Me too. I thought that when I cleaned the lookout and the O ring was now in place it would stop. It doesn't appear to be wet as of yet, who knows. It is definately coming from the diverter though. Doesn't the diverter simply shut off the spout to send the water up to the shower? I am going to remove the new and last spout. I then am going to take the lookout if you will and put a 1/2 straight sharkbite fitting on it with a shutoff and an elblow. I have a friend of mine that has the same problem, same brand too. I told Moen this and they told me to contact our water department to see if they have added anything that may do this. When I told them he has a well and I have a spring, I don't think that was it. They agreed, this was all before they sent anything out to me. I am glad you got yours solved, the only thing that I haven't done I guess is use the lube on the pipe as you did. I can see the lube stopping the leak, does anyone have any suggestions on my next move other than the crude way I am going to do it. Sorry for the length of the thread, just wanted to supply as much info as possible. Thank you in advance
  16. njfiddler

    njfiddler New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Oakhurst, NJ
    My symptoms are similar to those described above, with one difference. I too have a spout with a diverter, a pull-out/rotate valve midway up the wall, and the squeal only happens when the diverter is pulled up; also, the sound is sensitive to the intensity of the flow. However, if I remove the shower head, I can't recreate the squeal. Doesn't that argue for a new shower head rather than a new spout/diverter?
  17. Jim O

    Jim O New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    wisconsin
    I have a 13 year old house, and I have the same issue, It started about a year ago when we put a new shower head on. However, by slowly adjusting the spout diverter (lifting or lowering the knob) I can get it to stop. I tried another shower head last week with the same results. I called a plumber acquaintance, and the 1st question he asked was what brand and type of shower valve I had, I said a Moen posi-temp. He suggested checking the the valve 1st for crud and corrosion before I try another spout diverter, but I am concerned it may be to crudded up to remove without damaging it.

    I removed the tub spout (which was replaced 2 years ago due to corrosion) to see if it needed to be cleaned up, but looked OK. I then turned the water on, and held my hand on the pipe to force the water up to the shower, and there was no squeal. I will try what others have suggested with the spout, before I get into the valve, as I still believe it's the spout and not the valve.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010
  18. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,816
    Location:
    New England
    Unless the diverter is a true switching valve, a typical one in a spout just (tries) to stop the flow out of the spout, which then forces the water out the only other exit - the showerhead. That type of diverter can make all sorts of whistles when the seal wears. Replace the spout and it will probably go away. Look at the Delta tub spouts with the pull-DOWN diverter knob. They seem to work quite well and last a long time.
  19. Jim O

    Jim O New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    wisconsin
    Fixed it, i replaced the spout with a different design.

    I believe it was the design Moen has to install it to the straight non-threaded copper pipe. It is a slip on design that has 1 allen screw that tightened it on the copper pipe, and had 1 washer to seal it. Rather than cut the pipe (which was about 3" long) to accommodate the adapter that went from the 1/2 copper to the threaded pipe thread the new one had, I dremmeled the stop inside of the compression fitting so the fitting could slide along the copper pipe, to the length needed.

    Hope it lasts
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010
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