How To Fix A Dripping Shower


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Leaking showers are a super common issue and are not something you should ignore for too long. For some people, the sound of the shower leaking drives them crazy and they react quickly to get it sorted out, but others ignore it thinking it is not a big problem. “My shower is leaking” is a common reason people call their plumbers and the fact is if ignored it can lead to larger issues and water damage.

If you see watermarks on walls around your shower or suspect water is leaking in the wall you may have a leaking or burst water pipe emergency on your hands. To minimise water damage, leaks like this need some prompt attention from a professional. For other shower leaks, before you call your plumber there are a couple of things you can look at to see if you can fix it yourself. The common places a shower leaks from is the showerhead or the shower valve and both could be an easy fix. That’s what we’ll take a closer look at today.

Checking out and fixing your showerhead

Having a leaking showerhead is a pretty common problem you will likely see more than once. It happens especially when the showerhead is older and parts are starting to wear down. Try the following and if you do not see improvement then call your plumber.

  1. Turn off your water supply – Before you do anything in how to fix a leaking shower you should turn off the water supply. Since water can still leak from what is left in the shower hose and pipes, also have a towel close by.
  2. Unscrew the showerhead – You need to unscrew the showerhead so you can examine it more closely. You might be able to use your hands, or if not, use a crescent wrench or pliers. Be careful that as you do this you do not move the shower pipe or bend it.
  3. Look inside – Then you can look in the showerhead at the plastic washer or rubber o-ring. This is the most common reason for a leaking showerhead and often the answer to how to fix a dripping shower is to replace a worn and brittle o ring. Replace that part.
  4. Give the showerhead a proper clean – You can also make a leaking shower repair with a good cleaning. Sometimes mineral deposits plug the holes in the head and that can affect the flow. It is especially an issue in areas that have hard water. While the showerhead is removed soak it in a solution of white wine vinegar and water for at least 20 minutes. Then rinse it and use an old toothbrush to clean inside and out.
  5. Tape it after replacing the washer – When the new washer or o ring is in use some tape around the threads to get a good seal. Put the showerhead back on.
  6. Test the results – Turn the water on and let the shower run for a few minutes. Then turn the water off and check that there is no more leaking shower head.

Checking out and fixing the shower taps

Apart from the showerhead, the taps are the next place to look at when concerned that your shower is leaking. Again that is oft due to a worn-down washer. The best shower mixer taps rarely leak.

  1. Turn off the water supply – Again your first job when looking at how to fix a dripping shower is to turn off your water supply before you start messing with anything. Then let the water drain out of the shower tap.
  2. Remove the faucet/valve – You will need to remove the handle of the shower valve and the metal plate to get inside of its guts. Use a screwdriver to remove the handle and then the plate. Take special care that the screws do not fall down the drain!
  3. Replace the seals and washers – Remove all the o-rings, washers and seals and replace them. Make sure there is no damage inside the stem. If there is you may need to call a professional plumber.
  4. Re-assemble the valve – Clean the pipes with the vinegar and water solution again and then put everything back together after your leaking shower repair.
  5. Test you are leak-free – Finally, in the process of how to fix a leaking shower, you again test your repairs. Put the water back on, let it run for a few minutes, then turn it off and check for a leak. If the issue is still not resolved, it’s high time to replace them. Why not update and change your bath taps at the same time?

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