After a long day, nothing feels as good as a hot shower, but what happens when the shower keeps dripping as long as you get out? A leaky faucet can be a big annoyance and can increase your water charge, but fortunately, this repair can be done simply, and often without the help of a plumber. Read on to learn more about repairing or replacing a showerhead.
How to Fix a Leaky Showerhead
Water can leak from your showerhead for a variety of reasons. The first-and most obvious-place to start is right inside the showerhead. For this and all shower repairs, turn off the water supply first. Then find the nut on the shower arm, right behind the head. You may need to use a wrench to gently loosen the nut, but if you are worried about curing or destroying the finish of the shower arm, you can put a rag on the nut as you change it. Then, rotate the shower head on the counter counterclockwise until it is removed.
When the showerhead detaches from the shower arm, turn it on to inspect the inside. The first thing you may notice is the buildup of ore on the screen and nozzles. If so, you can find instructions to unclog your showerhead in the next section. Otherwise, you’ll want to take a good look at the O-rings inside the showerhead. Over time, these rubber rings can break and eventually break down. If you find a broken O-ring, take it to a local hardware store to find a replacement of the exact size. Before you reassemble the showerhead, however, you may want to wrap the shower arm thread with water sealant tape such as Teflon tape. This will help to produce a tight water seal and reduce future leakage.
If the new O-rings and water sealant tape do not seem to stop leaking, the issue may be inside the faucet handle. Compression faucets have two handles, one for hot and one for cold, and a proper washer on one of the faucets can prevent it from shutting off, allowing water to rise to the showerhead. The first step in this repair is to determine which faucet handle is causing the leak. This can be done by checking the temperature of the water leakage from the showerhead. When you have figured out which faucet handle to fix, disassemble it by removing the small screw under the handle. Next, remove the nut and washer, replace the washer with a new one, and reassemble the faucet handle.
For showers with a single handle control, the issue may be caused by a broken cartridge in the valve body. Locate the small screw under the handle, and then remove the handle, decorative faceplate, and the cover that covers the valve body. Inside is a plastic cartridge. If it is damaged, first remove the nut or clip securing it, then use pliers to gently pull the cartridge. Replace the cartridge with a new one and reassemble the faucet.
How to Remove a Showerhead
Over time, mineral deposits in your water supply can create a buildup inside your shower head. This is especially true for homes with hard water. Mineral formation can reduce water pressure, clog nozzles, and eventually create a leak behind the showerhead, as the water must find another way out. Showering with reduced water pressure and listening to the showerhead constantly leaking is certainly frustrating, but fortunately, the solution is pretty easy. . Follow the instructions above to remove the showerhead. Then, soak the entire showerhead in a cleaning solution for at least an hour, or overnight. Often, a soak in white vinegar is only necessary, but occasionally, more heavy-duty cleaning solutions may be needed. If you can’t remove your showerhead, fill a plastic cleaner bag and attach the bag to the showerhead with a zip tie or rubber band.
After soaking the showerhead, remove the fixture from the cleaner and use an old toothbrush to scrub each nozzle thoroughly. You can also use a toothpick to gently remove the mineral settling inside each nozzle head. When the showerhead has no buildup, rinse it with clean water and reattach it to the shower arm.
Upgrade Your Showerhead
Even if your showerhead is working properly, you may feel like it's time for an update. Whether you want to update the finishes in your bathroom or you’re looking to create a more spa-like experience with a showerhead, replacing your showerhead is a quick project with big impact. First, turn off the water supply and remove the showerhead following the instructions above. You will probably need to remove the shower arm as well, especially if the ends are different. Just rotate the shower arm straight until it is removed from the wall pipe. Next, follow the directions to reassemble your new showerhead and enjoy the updated look and feel of your bathroom.
Repair or Replace Your Shower Head
A leaky showerhead repair may seem like a job for a plumber, but often, you can do the repair yourself fairly easily. First, remove the showerhead and replace any broken O-rings or unclog it if mineral deposits have formed. If this won’t prevent your showerhead from leaking, you may need to look down the river from the showerhead itself towards the faucet. For compression faucets, the problem may lie with a broken or worn washer inside the faucet handle. Single handle showers may have a broken cartridge inside the valve body. While these solutions will help most homeowners fix leaky showerheads, if you still see water coming out when the shower is off and you need a shower repair It may be time to call your local licensed plumber. A drip-free shower is just around the corner!
Alan Smith was the Marketing Coordinator of Spartan Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning . Spartan is a leading plumbing / HVAC company assisting all types of businesses and residences throughout the Washington D.C. region. and parts of Maryland. Spartan has an A + rating by the Better Business Bureau and was voted Best Plumber in D.C. for four consecutive years.