How to Fix a Leaky Shower Head

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Getting tired of hearing that ‘drip, drip, drip’ for hours after you get out of the shower? Although not always serious, leaky shower heads are annoying and wasteful. Surprisingly, the issue isn’t always the shower head. It’s a good idea to understand what could be causing the leak before you try to fix it – it will save you a lot of time.

Need bathroom plumbing in Cedar Hill, TX? Call for the best plumbers in the business, Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling and Heating, at (469) 518-2809.

If you’re ready to stop the drip, read on. 

What Causes a Leaky Shower Head?

There are two common causes of leaky shower heads and two methods of repair. The first cause is an old shower head. As component parts get older, they become rusted, corroded and dysfunctional. If corrosion occurs at the base of the shower head or near the nozzle, it may result in leaks. There is an easy fix to this problem: replace the shower head. Skip ahead to the next section to learn how to replace your shower head. 

The second cause of a leaky shower head is a faulty faucet valve. There are two main parts in faucet valves that can cause leaks if broken: the stem and the cartridge. The shower faucet valve regulates temperature and water flow. If it is faulty, water may flow freely to the shower head, resulting in leak. Read on to learn how to repair a shower valve. 

How to Replace a Shower Head

Water leaks are no fun to deal with – especially when they come from your shower head. A leak is a great excuse to replace your shower head, maybe with an upgrade or just a newer model. 

Follow these steps to change your shower head:

  1. Turn the shower head counterclockwise to remove it. You may have to use a towel to get a good grip on it. If that still doesn’t work, grab a clamp and start turning. You’ll want to remove it so that you can see the arm. 
  2. Clean any rust, water deposits, mold, mildew or gunk using a rag and bathroom cleaning solution. For heavy water deposits that won’t budge: add some vinegar to a spray bottle, spray it onto the deposits, wait a few hours and wipe it off. You’ll want to get the arm as sparkling clean as possible (this could recover any lost water pressure).
  3. At the end of the shower arm you’ll notice some linear grooves. These are called threads. Apply a few rounds of plumbing tape over the threads – this acts as a seal and prevents leaks. 
  4. Screw the new shower head on clockwise until it fits nice and snug. Read the instructions on the shower head packaging in case there are manufacturer-specific tasks you need to complete. 
  5. Check for any leaks. When the coast looks clear, turn the water on. If any leaks come out, unscrew the shower head and add more plumbing tape in the areas that are leaking. Repeat this process until you can turn the water on without leaks occurring.

Once installed, enjoy a relaxing, leak-free shower with your brand new shower head. 

How to Fix a Shower Head Valve

Although valves can be fixed by the DIY aficionado, not everyone will feel comfortable doing so. Valves are part of a relatively complicated system with many small parts. If you aren’t comfortable fixing your shower valve, call for bathroom plumbing services. 

Ready to attempt a repair on your own? Follow these steps:

  1. Remove all trim pieces using a screwdriver. This includes the faucet handle, handle cover and trim around the handle. Essentially, remove all cosmetic parts of the faucet. Because each faucet is different, you may have to do some research to find out where the screws are to remove these pieces. 
  2. Gently remove the valve collar. This part is the shiny, metallic cylinder that sits around the valve. All you have to do is pull it off. But, you need to leave the gasket on the valve. Try your best to move the gasket back and then pull the valve collar off.
  3. Now that the collar is out of the way, you’ll notice a brass bushing around the valve. You’ll have to use a rubber strap wrench to remove this, as it is fitted on pretty tight. You need to pull the bushing off very slowly. Some water will come out when you do this, but it’s important to let it out a little at a time. If you pull the bushing off too quickly, the springs and other small parts may come out as well. 
  4. Remove the plastic valve. Now, peek inside of the faucet. You should see two holes: the left is for hot water and the right is for cold. Inside of the holes are some grommets and springs, and around the hole is a gasket. The best way to remove these is by using the eraser end of a pencil. The grommet, spring and gasket should all come out on the pencil when you pull it out.
  5. Now that you’ve fully disassembled the valve, you have to decide whether you want to fully replace the valve or simply replace the gaskets, grommets and springs. Sometimes, it’s easier to replace the entire valve so that you don’t have to continuously assemble and disassemble the faucet. 
  6. Once you have all of the parts that you need, assemble the faucet and test for leaks.

This can be a long and complicated process, especially if you don’t have the right tools. You may want to leave this one up to the plumbing repair experts. 

Reliable Plumbers in Cedar Hill, TX

Feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of repairing your own leaky shower head? Don’t worry – you’re not the only one. Instead of wasting your time searching for ‘plumbers near me’, choose the experts that Cedar Hill residents know and trust: Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling and Heating. Our team of plumbers are ready to take on your leaky shower head and any other plumbing problems you may have.

To schedule an appointment with our team, give us a call at (469) 518-2809 or contact us online. 

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