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How To Fix A Leaky Shower Head

By: Darion Robinson

Taking a shower and experiencing the massage of the water is an experience we have all enjoyed. I know that I’ve always tried to find an excuse to get under the rain at any time of the day or night. It was an experience that was pleasurable and left me refreshed for whatever else I had to do.

After I finished showering, I always made it a point to turn it off knowing full well I could be liable to pay extra money if I didn’t turn off the shower appropriately. I was however surprised a month ago when I observed late in the day that the shower in my bathroom was leaking. It wasn’t leaking the day before, and therefore I was confident it was a recent development. I wanted to understand why the shower was leaking even after I had turned it off fully after I used it in the morning. The easiest option available to me was to call in a plumber who would bring some expense on me. Rather than spend money to fix a leaking shower, I decided I would do it myself by gathering information from different websites

Why Does A Shower Head Begin Leaking?

I was aware I could get my hands dirty trying to fix a leaking shower head. However, I was determined not to waste money on the repairs when all I had to do was fix a leak. However, I still had to understand why the shower was leaking. I began realizing that shower leaks usually start with the shower head or the faucet. The cause of the leak wouldn’t be visible until I attempted to fix both the head and the faucet of the shower before calling in a plumber.

The research conducted over the Internet led me to a couple of reasons which could be the prime reason why the shower head was leaking. I gained information that the process for fixing a leak is constant regardless of the type of shower heads I was using. The reasons though looking simple and likely to be overlooked by most people who face a similar problem in their bathrooms. I was determined not to make the same mistake and gathered information that may shower head was leaking because of any one of the following reasons.

  • – The shower head was clogged.
  • – The O-ring had worn off.
  • – The diverter valve was either malfunctioning or needed cleaning.
  • – A malfunctioning cartridge valve needed replacing.

Irrespective of the problem I was facing it was sure I needed to have a set of tools in my possession before I could even consider fixing a leaking shower head or even looking into the actual reasons why the shower head was leaking. This information set me on the path of collecting the tools which included a towel, plastic washers, rubber O-ring, pliers, a large bowl, distilled white vinegar, a crescent wrench, an old toothbrush, and some Teflon tape. I could begin my task of fixing the leaking shower head once I had the tools mentioned above in my possession.

Given below is what I learned when I eventually got information on how to fix a leaking shower head. But if you’re looking to simply replace the shower head, you can check out these top 10 handheld shower heads.

Stopping A Leak In The Shower Head

I first began by trying to shut off the water supply to the shower head. I was hoping I would be able to do so just to the shower head, but unfortunately, I could not and therefore had to shut off the water supply to my entire place. I then covered the drain and the bottom of the shower with a large towel. Then came the tricky part of removing the shower head which I tried to unscrew with my hands. 

I did not succeed, and therefore I had to use the pliers and the crescent wrench to remove the shower from the wall. Initially, I checked to understand whether the rubber washers or O-ring had worn off and needed replacement. Fortunately, they were in good shape, and I only had to re-wrap the threads on the pipe with the Teflon tape to seal any gaps with the shower head and piping.

As the washer or the O-ring were in good condition, I began paying attention to the showerhead. I had been living in the same place for quite some time and was sure that it could be clogged with lime and mineral deposits that may have built up in the holes. I had a solution to fix this problem as well as I just needed to submerge the showerhead in a bowl of vinegar and leave it there for approximately eight hours. I could either submerge the entire showerhead or remove the showerhead faceplate. 

I managed to remove the faceplate but decided to immerse the whole shower head to ensure I did a thorough job of stopping the leak in my bathroom. After eight hours I used the old toothbrush for scrubbing between the nozzles and then dried the showerhead with a clean towel. After completing the cleaning, it was time for me to reattach the showerhead back to its position. I tightened the showerhead with my hand initially and then with the pliers and wrench. However, I did not fasten it too tightly as I had decided I would never again submit myself to the luxury of viewing a leaking shower head.

As I turned on the water to understand whether the shower was still leaking, I was disappointed to observe the leak hadn’t stopped which was an indication I had a bigger problem to deal with. It led me to believe that the faucet cartridge may need replacement and I set my mind on completing this job as well.

Replacing The Faucet Cartridge

As it was the case with cleaning the shower head, I had to shut off the water supply of my place and again had to cover the drain and bottom of the shower with a large towel. Initially, I removed the handle cap with a tiny pocket knife. I had to apply a little pressure before it came off to show me a screw. After that I had to remove the handle screw with a screwdriver along with the retaining clip. It appeared like a small metal horseshoe on top of the cartridge. It was necessary for me to remove the retaining clip for replacing the cartridge. I lifted it with a tiny screwdriver before removing the washer surrounding the bar in the middle.

The next step for me was to unscrew the hex screw and nut with the wrench. I had arranged for a replacement cartridge which was the same as the one I removed. I just had to align the new cartridge in its place and complete the installation by using the steps in the reverse order. After I was done with this job, I merely had to turn on the water and the shower to ensure I had taken care of the leaks.

Fortunately, it was one of those days when things worked fine for me because I had done everything in my power to fix the leaking shower head. I was given information that any further problems would have required help from a plumber which would have cost me some money. At the end of it, I got into my favorite pastime to have a luxurious shower all over again content with the knowledge that I had learned how to fix a leaking shower head.

DIY Fixing Your Leaky Shower Head

Article Name
How To Fix Your Leaky Shower Head (Causes & The Best Fix)
(2019) Why Does A Shower Head Begin Leaking? How Can You Stop A Leak In The Shower Head? Check Out This Illustrated Guide On The Best Fix With DailyUsedTools.
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