Shower head or pan makes popping noise: DANGER Ahead?

 It can be concerning when you are enjoying a hot shower and suddenly you hear a popping noise from your shower. This noise can come from your shower head or drains. Plumbers often get called out for this but you can examine the situation already. What is going on and how to fix this? Let’s dive in. 


Popping or squealing shower head

If you hear a pop in the showerhead, It’s likely that you have a defective cartridge in your shower head. These cartridges are made of small metal or plastic disks (called washers) that separate the water streams. Sometimes, one of these washers can pop out of place when you use the shower, which creates a popping noise. If you have a double shower head, then it is very likely that only one of the washers popped out. 

To remedy this problem, you start by closing the water supply to the shower. Once this is done, you simply need to open up the showerhead. This is done with a Hex key or Phillips screwdriver. The screw is often found on the underside. You might have to remove a piece of plastic before you can see the screw. Once you have removed the screw, you can slide the head of the head off. At this point, you should see the cartridges. 

It is a great idea to clean the cartridges with hot water (and some vinegar if you have hard water). You can also get new washers. These small rubber pieces are cheap and can wear out over time. 

You can then reattach them and close the showerhead again. This should do the trick. If the problem keeps reappearing, you can install a new head or ask your plumber to repair it for you. 

Other possible causes

Another cause is that the shower head is simply not tightened enough. You can use a screwdriver or hex key to make sure that it stays in place and doesn’t wiggle all the time. 

It is also possible that there is a problem with your pipes behind the walls. In some instances, they are not properly secured and can start to band against the wall. Copper pipes expand a lot when they get hot. Adding insulation between the pipe and the wall can quiet them down as well.

Dirt can get stuck in your drains and create a rattling noise as well. For example, a small piece can break apart from your water heater and get stuck inside your pipes. This is why it is important that you get your water heater maintained every few years. You will have to cut open your pipes to remove the dirt from them. 

A final cause of this could be water pressure that is too high for your pipes. Your pipes might not be wide enough for the amount of water that is pushed through them. This can make them tremble. Check the pressure in your system and adjust it if needed. In some houses, there is a valve that allows you to increase or decrease the water pressure. You can use this to adjust the water pressure in your home. 

Your shower pan makes a popping noise: what to do

A popping noise coming from your shower pan can indicate some serious problems. It can indicate that there is water leaking and this has to be examined further as water can cause a lot of damage and even create dangerous mold in your house.

Bad installation

When the pipes coming into the shower are not installed properly, the water can drip between the connections and can cause a lot of damage. Small leaks can already result in big water stains. The water from your shower can be quite dirty and smelly. For this reason, it is essential that you look around and under the shower to see if you notice water stains. We have discussed how you can detect water leaks in the wall HERE.

If there is a problem with the drain pipes, a plumber will have to check what is going on. The drains need to be correctly sized and the slope at which they are installed has to be correct as well. The connections between the different pieces of drain have to be without any leaks. A plumber can check this for you to make sure that there are no problems. This should fix the banging noises in your shower pan. 

Overheated drain pipes

It is also possible that your drains are not able to withstand the temperature of the water. Normally drains should be able to deal with this but it is possible that the plumber used the wrong materials. 

Item stuck in the drain

 It is also possible that someone dropped an item in the shower drain and that it has become stuck. Toys and soap bottles often get stuck in the shower as they get dropped. The water pushes the item around and this can make a loud noise. You can open up the shower drain by removing the cover. This is often done by lifting it up. If you are lucky, you can get the item out with your hands. If you can’t do this, you will probably have to call a plumber. Your plumber has a drain camera that allows you to see what is going on. This makes it easier to remove the item and get everything fixed up. 

Conclusion: fixing a noisy shower

As you can see, there are a few things that could be causing your annoying noise in the shower. In this article, we have outlined how to deal with popping noises in the shower pan and showerhead. These can take some work to fix and should be checked to avoid further damage. If you don’t want to do this yourself, you can call a licensed plumber to get help with it. 

Showers generally last about 10-15 years. After this period, problems can start to appear. If it is a new installation, your plumber might get it fixed for free as it is still under guarantee. Plumbers generally test their installation but things can go wrong. 

With this guide, you should be able to fix your shower and enjoy your shower routine.