How To Fix Shower Faucet Drips When Turned off?

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The constant dripping of water from a shower faucet is the most irritating thing in the bathroom. At the night, its sound becomes louder and disturbs your sleep. If you don’t repair it on time, it will cost you more money with the passing of time and also waste precious water on the planet.

Leaks in the shower faucet are not good for you. It stains the shower and faucet surface, corrodes drains, and damages walls. If hot water drips, it also wastes energy and increases bills.

Below we look into why the shower faucet is leaking and what are step-by-step tips to fix shower faucet drips when turned off.

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Why is Water Leaking From Shower Faucet After Turning It Off?

A leaking shower faucet may cause dry rot, mold, and structural problems. With time, these problems grow big in the size and become expensive to repair.

So, you should fix the shower faucet drips when turned off issue as soon as it arrives. Here are some potential reasons for a dripping faucet.

Broken Washer

broken washer

A broken washer is another common cause of leaking shower faucets. Washers are placed against the valve seat.

With the handle, the washer also moves and friction generates around the washer which damages its body.

If you have recently changed the washer in the shower faucet and still water drops from it in the off position.

It means, either you have installed the wrong size washer or the washer is not installed properly.

Damaged Cartridge

Damaged Cartridge

The cartridge is found in two handle faucets. The cartridge in the faucet controls the flow of hot and cold water. It flows water according to the direction of the handle.

The cartridge works as a valve on the faucet handle. It turns on or off the water flow. It is made of plastic so with time it wears out. Its damaged condition can’t stop water and the shower faucet drips when turned off. You need to replace the cartridge of each handle to stop leakage in the shower faucet.

Damaged O-rings

Damaged O-rings

Some shower faucet works with O-rings. O-rings are located on the faucet handle. Their work is to hold the faucet handle in its position. It is attached to the handle with a stem screw. It has a disc size shape. With time, O-rings also get damaged.

Read also – Unveiling the Secrets of Replacing a Faucet Stem

How To Stop Shower Faucet Drips When Turned Off?

How To Stop Shower Faucet Drips When Turned off?

A dripping shower faucet is painful. With these DIY steps, you can fix shower faucet drips. Every drip increases the wastage of water. You’ve fully shut off the shower faucet but still water leaks from it. I fixed this issue earlier in my bathroom. So, here are the steps that I used to solve the dripping water issue in the shower faucet.

Step 1 – Turn off the Supply Lines

Find supply lines of hot and cold water faucets and turn them off. It will prevent any flooding in the bathroom when you open the shower handle.

Maybe you have shut off the valve for both lines in the bathroom or not. If not, then turning off the main water line is the only option you have.

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When you turn off the shut-off valve, either it will be turned off into a quarter turn or you need to turn it a few rounds until it can’t move more. Its rotation depends on its design. Now, go near the shower faucet and turn the handles on so all pressure and water from inside the faucet come out.

Step 2 – Take Out the Screws

On some shower faucets, screws are clearly visible. But some faucets have hidden screws. Screws are hidden under the cover. When you remove the cover, you will see screws.

First, check which type of screw faucet has. Most shower faucets have Philips screws. A star shape screw will be opened with a Torx screwdriver. Check the toolbox, in your house to find the perfect matching screwdriver to take out faucet screws.

Step 3 – Pry The Faucet Handle

Pry The Faucet Handle

Now, the handle is free to take out. Carefully, lift the handle and slightly move it out. Use light pressure on the handle to remove it. Now cartridge is clearly visible. The cartridge has different shapes such as hexagon, square, pentagon, and circle.

Step 4 – Remove the Cartridge

Remove Cartridge

The cartridge in the faucet keeps water flowing on and off according to the handle position. A cartridge is screwed inside the body of the faucet.

If you have separate hot and cold water handles, both will have separate cartridges. You need a spanner to remove the cartridge. Fit the spanner on the top of the cartridge. Now begin to unscrew the cartridge. Put a reasonable amount of force to remove the cartridge.

Step 5 – Check the Washer Condition

When the cartridge is removed from the faucet, you can see the washer. They need to be cleaned and free of major pitting. Maybe you haven’t checked it over years and its condition may be worn or corroded. Clean this part with water to remove debris.

Step 6 – Remove the Damaged Washer

The washer at the end of the cartridge is held with a brass Bibb screw. You need to do this removal process carefully. Brass is a soft material so high pressure will damage it.

The washer in the dripping shower faucet becomes hard and cracked. Use a spindle to remove the washer. Make a firm grip on the spindle and rotate it. When the screw comes out, pry the washer.

Step 7 – Reinstall Washer and Cartridge

shower faucet

Push the washer in its place. Tighten the screw to make the washer seal tight. If the cartridge is also not in the good condition, change it. Fit the new cartridge with the tap mechanism. Use plumber grease to decrease friction.

Safety Tips

When you open the shower faucet handle, make sure the drain plug is in and cover it with a cloth. So, any tiny part won’t go inside the drain. It happened to me, a screw by mistake fell down the shower drain and I went to the store to bring a new one.

The new Shower Head Drips After Shutting off

New Shower Head Drips After Shut off

If your new shower head is leaking after installation, it clearly means, you haven’t done installation properly. You have messed up in the installation. Follow these steps to find out the solution to the leaking shower head.

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Turn off the water supply. Grab some tools to open up the faucet handle. You need to replace or rearrange the rubber bushing in the shower handle.

Put a stopper into the tub drain so anything won’t go down into the drain.

Check the screw on the handle. Whether it will be on the front or on the side. The screw holds the handle into place.

Use a screwdriver to unscrew the screw. Your showerhead is new so it will easily come out.

Now check inside the handle what you have. Here you can see the cartridge and washer. To see the washer, unscrew the cartridge. It prevents water from getting back.

If the washer or cartridge is damaged, probably they won’t but somehow, if they are damaged change them. If their condition is well then fit them properly. Maybe at the time of installation, you made a mistake and their position changed and they failed to stop the water. Screw the handle and check the water drips in the shower.

How To Replace a Shower Faucet?

How To Replace a shower Faucet?

Sometimes after changing the cartridge, the washer, and O-rings drips won’t stop. It means it is time to remove the old shower faucet and replace it with a new one.

  • Shower faucets come in different styles. Maybe you want to try a new design in the bathroom but be careful all shower faucets are not interchangeable. You need to find and adjust the setting shower faucet. The best way to do it, take the measurement of holes and find the shower faucet according to it.
  • When you have a new shower faucet to install, you need to remove the old one. If you have an access panel on the wall opposite the shower faucet, you can remove it easily. The non-access panel users, need to make a cut on the wall to remove the shower faucet.
  • Use a pipe wrench to remove the base of the faucet. The pipe wrench does its work quickly and unscrews nuts faster.
  • Clean the shower faucet area with the cleaner to remove debris and water deposits.
  • Attach new shower faucet to supply lines. Lining it up with holes. Use a wrench to fasten the tightening process. Read the installation guide to get to know which wrench is useful for the faucet.
  • After tightening the whole screws and connecting the supply lines, turn on the water to the faucet.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix a Leaky Shower Head?

Leaks are a common problem we homeowners face in the bathroom. Over time shower starts leaking. But what is the cost to repair a leaky showerhead? People don’t know but a small leak can cost them too much.

The cost of fixing a shower leak depends on many factors such as a new shower head, plumber cost, and parts.

Generally, the cost of fixing a leaky shower head comes to around $50 to $200 with include a plumber charge. But if you install a new showerhead, this cost will increase. Also, plumber charges are different for all cities.

How Much Water Is Wasted By a Dripping Shower Faucet?

The noise of dripping water is enough to make you crazy. Constant dripping noise makes anyone irritated. But there is one more thing that is worth worrying about and that is the wastage of water.

A dripping shower head or faucet can waste more than 5000 liters of water every year. If you don’t repair a dripping shower faucet, you are increasing your water bill and wasting water which is precious. Water is important for the planet.

FAQ About Shower Faucet Drips When Turned off

Why Is My Shower Still Dripping Water When Everything Is Turned Off?

A damaged cartridge or washer is the main reason for a leaking shower. Due to friction, parts in the shower handle get damaged. Damaged parts won’t make a tight seal so water gets space to flow even its handle in the turn-off position.

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Do I Need To Turn off the Water To Change a Shower Head?

When I do any plumbing work in the house, I always turn off the water. It is not essential to turn it off but for precaution, you should turn off the water. It will save your bathroom from becoming a flood area when changing a shower head.

How Long Does It Take To Replace Shower Cartridge?

It depends on your experience. If you generally do plumbing work in the house, you replace a shower cartridge in about 30 minutes. But if you are doing it the first time, time may increase. Because you are not an expert in this work and you will do every step after reading any guide or manual instructions. So, it will take more than one hour.

Are Shower Heads Easy To Replace?

Not all shower heads are easy to replace. If you have a shower head that can be fitted by rotating and without any screws, it won’t take time. But some shower head has fitted with screws so they take time but with the right tools, you can do it easily.


A dripping shower faucet can cause many issues in the bathroom but by fixing its leak, you can save your money and your bathroom. When you know why the shower faucet drips when turned off, you can easily fix its leak. Follow the instructions in this article to fix the leakage in the shower faucet.

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