My Kitchen Faucet Makes a Hissing Noise

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Troubleshoot your broken faucet by listening to how it sounds.
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If your kitchen faucet makes an unusual hissing sound, take note. This may be one of several kitchen faucet problems. To identify the most plausible explanation for your broken tap, pay close attention to the exact quality of the hissing sound. Be alert for any other unusual signs that accompany the sound, such as a rattling, vibrating or change in the stream of water from the spigot.

Consider the following conditions when doing your kitchen faucet troubleshooting. Kitchen faucet issues resulting in hissing may originate from one of the following.

A Worn Washer Results in Hissing

The problem with your faucet may have virtually nothing to do with the plumbing system itself. As a matter of fact, some kitchen faucet problems are due to nothing more serious than a washer that is poorly attached or screwed on too tight.

Listen for the exact quality of the hissing sound when doing kitchen faucet troubleshooting. If the hissing is accompanied by a slight vibration, you probably have a worn washer. To replace the washer, first turn off the water from the source. Then remove the faucet by the stem by taking off the retaining nut and taking out the washer beneath. Replace the washer and make sure to properly tighten everything before turning the water on again.

Water Pressure is Incorrect

If changing your faucet's washer doesn't relieve the sound, your hissing tap may be indicating a water pressure level that's either too high or too low. If this is the problem, you will also see evidence of the pressure level in the manner that water runs out of the spigot.

For most effective kitchen faucet troubleshooting, compare your faucet's current pressure with that of the past. If you suspect that the water coming from the supply line needs to be readjusted, contact a fully-licensed plumber for an inspection and necessary repairs.

Water Filters and Attachments

Kitchen faucet issues may be as simple as a poor connection within the faucet assembly. If you extended the faucet in any way by adding a faucet-mounted water filter or a spray attachment, a poor connection may be producing a hissing noise when the water is flowing.

With the water on, pass your fingertips 360 degrees around the water filter or spray head. If you feel any fine spray of water or jet of air escaping through a crack in the housing, that is likely the cause of the hissing noise.

Watch for Other Faucet Noises

Another noisy problem that can affect kitchen faucets is called "water hammer." This name comes from the fact that the faucet makes a loud, percussive sound. According to Plumbing Supply.com, water hammer makes a banging or thumping sound in the water lines. If you hear this noise while the faucet is shut off, there is probably a pressure-related problem within the tubes of your plumbing. This generally occurs when the water supply has been suddenly cut off.

One solution to water hammer is to install an air chamber or a water hammer arrestor within the plumbing. This serves to relieve built-up pressure, quieting the knocking sound.

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Danielle Hill

Danielle Hill has been writing, editing and translating since 2005. She has contributed to "Globe Pequot" Barcelona travel guide, "Gulfshore Business Magazine," "Connecting Lines: New Poetry from Mexico" and "The Barcelona Review." She has trained in neuro-linguistic programming and holds a Bachelor of Arts in comparative literature and literary translation from Brown University.