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How to Fix a Leaky Shower Head

How to Fix a Leaky Shower Head


Why Is My Shower Head Leaking?

A shower head won’t stay pristine forever. Parts get worn out over time, hard water deposits can affect how the different parts of the assembly fit together, and before you know it, you’ve got a leak.

Not only is a leaky shower head annoying, but it wastes lots of water and, ultimately, costs you more on your water bill. If your shower head is leaking, you’ll want to fix it sooner rather than later.

You can call a plumber to handle the job, but if you’re at all handy and comfortable using a few simple tools, you can learn how to fix a leaky shower head yourself by following this guide.

How to Fix a Leaky Shower Head

  • Step 1: Turn off the water main to the entire house to help prevent water from gushing out when troubleshooting the issue.
  • Step 2: Unscrew and inspect the showerhead for potential damage, such as wear-and-tear or cracks in the fitting or seal; if you find damaged parts, visit your local hardware store for replacements.
  • Step 3: Carefully remove and check the faucet for damage to the valve, o-ring, or washers; these replacement parts can be found at a hardware store as well.
  • Step 4: Notice if your shower leaks when showering, which would indicate that holes may be plugged by hard water residue; if that is the case, a simple cleaning solution could resolve the issue.

What Items Do You Need to Fix a Leaking Shower Head Yourself?

You may already have some of these items, but be sure to pick up everything you need before you attempt to make a repair. There’s nothing like being in the middle of a project with something half-finished when you realize a tool or part is missing.

The parts you need will be more evident after you do an inspection of your showerhead, and you can pick those up from your local hardware store.

Parts you may need for your repair include:

  • Valves
  • O-rings
  • Or washers, depending on what seems to be an issue

Additional items and tools you may need:

  • Towels (to protect the floor)
  • Cleaning rags
  • Flashlight
  • Strap wrench, pliers, or crescent wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Pipe leak/Teflon/plumbers’ tape

Cleaning items:

  • Vinegar or CLR
  • Leak-proof plastic bag
  • And rubber bands

How to Stop a Leaky Shower Head

Turn Off the Water

Before attempting any plumbing repair, you’ll need to take a few precautions. First, turn off the water coming into your home. This will prevent any surprise gushes if you have to start taking parts of your showerhead assembly apart.

Next, make sure you’re working on a dry surface; this is especially important if you’ll be standing in your tub or shower to do these repairs. Once you’ve taken precautions to minimize hazards, you’re ready to get started.

Check the Showerhead for Cracks

Unless your showerhead is a specialty model, you can usually just unscrew it. Once you do, closely inspect the fitting and the seal; using a flashlight will help you see if there are any major wear or cracks. Any parts that appear damaged need to be replaced.

Take the damaged part and head to your local hardware store to find the correct replacement. If your showerhead and its fitting look OK, though, your leak may be coming from another spot.

Check the Faucet for Damage

Carefully take apart the faucet part of the shower to look for any wear and tear, particularly on the valve, the o-ring, and the washers. The valve may not close all the way, the valve seat may no longer fit tightly, or the o-ring and washers may be worn out and need replacing.

Any of these things, alone or in combination, can lead to a leaky showerhead. Again, replacement parts can be found at any major hardware store.

What to Do if Your Shower Leaks While You're Showering

If water is leaking out of other parts of the showerhead while you’re showering, you may have plugged holes caused by hard water residue; if the water can’t get out the way it’s supposed to, it will find another way.

How to Clean a Shower Head with CLR

To clean the showerhead, unscrew it and soak it in vinegar or a commercial product like CLR for 15 minutes, then rinse very well. If you can’t remove the showerhead, fill a plastic bag with either vinegar or CLR and rubber band it to the showerhead, making sure that the liquid in the bag makes contact with all the holes. After 15 minutes, rinse well and let the water run through for about 30 seconds to make sure the water is moving through the holes properly.

Good Clean Plumbing is the leading plumber in Lago Vista, TX. We serve Lago Vista, Cedar Park, Jonestown, the Lake Travis Area, and all surrounding areas. To schedule your bathroom plumbing service, fill out our online contact form or give us a call at (833) 963-4739.

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