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Facing leakage in the showerhead but don’t know how to fix leaking shower head, here is a detailed step-by-step guide to fixing a leaky shower head.
Dripping water from the showerhead is irritating and also increases your water bill. If you pick a cheap shower head then it is a strong possibility that after a year you may face a leakage problem in the showerhead.
As soon as you see leakage in the showerhead, fix it, otherwise, it will damage the shower head over time, and at last, you will need to install a new shower head and it will become an expensive task.
Fixing a leaky shower head is not a hard task. In this article, we are showing the DIY process of how to fix a leaking shower head. Follow all the steps, so without taking the help of a plumber, you can fix leakage in the shower.
Reasons for Leaking Shower Head
Showerhead leakage is not a big problem. If your shower head is old then leakage in the showerhead is a common issue. There may be different reasons for a leaky shower head. When you get the actual reason for the leaking shower head then it becomes easy to fix the leakage. Let’s see possible reasons for leakage in the showerhead.
1) Thread Issue
All shower heads get connected to the pipe through threads. In most shower systems, the shower pipe is bent at the top so the showerhead gets fixed at an angle. Most of the time leaks occur from this joint.
Thread provides an effective seal to the showerhead but over time. This seal becomes loose and a small gap is created and this gap becomes the reason for the leaking shower head.
The thread issue is not a big problem and it can be solved within a few minutes by using Teflon tape.
If water is dripping from the showerhead, when it is off then the cartridge is the main reason for leaking in the showerhead. The cartridge in the showerhead is not useful anymore and needs to replace.
The cartridge is responsible to maintain water pressure in the showerhead. The cartridge is placed at the shower handle and when it has been torn out, a small amount of water still flows even handle is in a turn-off position.
To fix this issue, you need to replace the cartridge. Once you insert the new cartridge into the shower system, leakage from the showerhead stops immediately. Good thing is that it is a DIY process so you can do it yourself.
3) Clogged Holes
The showerhead consists of many small holes. When the shower handle is in position, water flow from these holes. To get a better shower experience, the showerhead should have plenty of holes.
Every area has different types of water. Hard water consists of different minerals and these minerals clogged holes of the shower head over time. Apart from hard water, well water or municipal water that has debris, is the reason for clogged holes. See the solution to get rid of brown well water.
When holes become clogged then a small amount of water comes out from the showerhead, so in the shower head water pressure becomes high in the shower and when it doesn’t get the path to come out then it comes out from the different joints of the showerhead and become the reason of leaky shower head.
Clean holes regularly to avoid clogged hole problems or use a shower faucet that is compatible with hard water.
4) Loose Connection
This is one of the common reasons for a leaky shower head. With time connection of the shower head becomes loose and starts leaking. Whenever anyone faces a leakage issue in the shower head, at first, they tight the connection of the bathroom shower head.
Most of the time this solution works and there is no leakage in the shower faucet. If after tightening the connection still there is leakage in the shower head then try the other solutions that are given in the next segment of this article,
Tools You Need to Repair Leaking Shower Head
To make any repair work easy, you need some tools. Right tools always help to do any work in less time and without any extra effort.
- Teflon tape or thread seal tape
- Crescent wrench
- Plastic shower washer
- Pot (To fill wastewater)
- Old Toothbrush
- Channel locks
- Waterproof grease
- A pair of needle-nose pliers
- New Showerhead (If the old one needs to replace)
How to Fix Leaking Shower Head?
If you have a shower in the bathroom then at some point in time, this problem is going to happen. In the shower, there are some parts that wear down over time so you have to face leakage problems in the showerhead.
The leaking shower head is the most common problem in the bathroom. Most of the time cartridge is the reason for this problem.
Cartridge wears out just like anything else so you need to replace it and it is not an expensive fix. Especially when you compare it with the expenses you have to do on the plumber. This is a DIY solution for how to fix a leaking shower head so do it yourself and save money.
Step 1 – Turn Off the Water
Before starting the process of fixing the leaking shower head, make sure that you have turned off the water. Without turning off the water if you pull anything, water spray will be all over the bathroom.
Those people who have a well, just need to turn off the power supply to the well, and those people who are using city water, need to turn off the water supply of the house so no water can be coming into the house.
Step 2 – Shut The Drain Valve
This step will save the faucet parts or screws from falling into the hole. Shut the drain valve so any screw that you take out while fixing the leak doesn’t do down into the drain. Instead of shutting the drain valve, you can put a towel on the shower drain.
Step 3 – Remove Handle
Now first, you need to remove the handle. Most handles are fixed with screws. Use the Allen wrench to pull out that screw. Some showerheads may be having Philips screws so use a Philips screwdriver to unscrew them.
Step 4 – Remove Trim Piece
Now there is a white piece back that stops the handle from coming out. Pull that white piece out. Now you can see the shower cartridge but can’t take it out.
There is actually a clip that holds a cartridge. To remove that clip, you need to take the trim piece. So now after removing the trim piece cartridge is fully exposed.
Step 5 – Pull Out Cartridge
To pull the cartridge out, you may use a cartridge puller. It will make the whole process easy. If you don’t have a cartridge puller then use a wrench or channel locks.
Don’t yank too hard because high pressure on the wrench may damage piping in the wall. Too much pressure and pulling up and down can damage the joints of the piping. So put low pressure on it and just kind of pull it out. Slowly it will come out.
Step 6 – Insert New Cartridge
Before inserting a new cartridge put waterproof grease on the rubber part of it. Waterproof grease helps it to work last longer and it’s also going to make it easier to slide the cartridge back into its place.
Don’t use Vaseline or anything that is made of petroleum because it will degrade the rubber and is also not good for the performance of the cartridge. So, make sure that you use a silicone-based lubricant to grease the cartridge.
After lubrication, now put the cartridge back in the shower and make sure that the hot and cold setting of the cartridge is right. Place cartridge according to the H and C mark on it.
Step 7 – Insert Shower Handle
Now we can take the shower handle and slide it back into place. Once you slide it, make sure that you push up against it and get it seated. Now take that screw and put it back into the hole. Also, use Teflon tape on the faucet supply line thread for a leak-free connection.
All right so now everything is back in its place. So, let’s go ahead and turn the water on and test it out. If you don’t have water flying all over the place so that’s a good sign that everything’s back together at the right place.
How to Stop Shower Tap From Dripping?
Here is a simple hack to stop the shower tap from dripping. For this process, you need Teflon tape and a wrench. These 2 things are enough to fix the shower tap drip problem.
First Place the wrench on the shower tap. Wench can damage the shine of the showerhead so use a rag between showerhead and wrench.
Now move wrench into the anti-clockwise direction. If you haven’t opened the shower head since it’s installed then you need to put little pressure on the wrench. Once it is loose, you can move it by hand easily and pull out it.
After removing the showerhead, you can see that the threads on the joint are not in good condition so it is the reason for the leaking shower head. Take Teflon tape and put it on the thread. Wrap tape around the thread 3-4 times.
Put shower head back to its position and tighten it through wrench. Turn on the water and check there wouldn’t be any leakage in the shower tap.
How to Fix a Shower Head That Is Leaking?
A leaky shower head has various reasons for leaking and a damaged diverter is one of them. The main work of the diverter is to maintain the flow of the water in the shower. With time it gets loosened or worn and becomes a reason for leaky showerheads,
When the diverter is loose then you need to put more effort to turn the handle off and as the result, you get a water drip issue in the showerhead.
- As always first turn off the water supply to the shower.
- To change the damage diverter, you need to open the handle of the shower.
- After opening the handle, pull out the diverter.
- Sometimes diverter is not damaged but due to hard water, residue builds on the diverter.
- To clean residue, use white vinegar. Put diverter into vinegar for a few hours and then clean it with water.
- If the diverter is worn out then change it with a new one.
How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Leaking Shower Head?
The cost of fixing a leaking shower head depends on whether are you going to replace any part in the shower or not. Many times, without replacing any part, the leakage problem can be fixed in the showerhead.
By using vinegar or Teflon tape, you can fix leakage and it cost nothing because vinegar and Teflon tape are found in most houses.
If you need to replace any part in the shower then the cost to fix a leaking shower head may vary from $50 to $150, it depends on the part price.
Now you know step by step process of how to fix leaking shower head. We have covered all different options to fix the leaky shower head. Good thing is that all solutions are DIY processes so you don’t need to take the help of a plumber.
We have also mentioned reason for leakage is the showerhead, so you can apply a solution according to the problem. Don’t ignore the drip from the showerhead. People think that a small drip won’t harm the shower but with time it creates rust on the shower body and decreases the life of the shower. By using the DIY methods of this article, you can easily fix the leaking shower head.
Hi, I am Ralph Matthews. I have been doing plumbing work for the last 20 years. I have created FaucetShowerGuide blog to share my plumbing experience with people. My main moto to create FaucetShowerGuide blog is to give the right guidance to my reader so they can select the best faucet and other products for the kitchen and bathroom.