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How to Fix a Leaking Shower Head

A refreshing shower is the best way to begin your day, but a leaking showerhead can ruin your experience and can be frustrating and annoying to deal with. 

Today we’re going to share with you a few simple tips so you can become a DIY plumbing expert when it comes to repairing leaky showerheads and save yourself a lot of time and money in the process.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Roll of tape

  • Teflon tape

  • Towel

  • Bowl

  • Crescent wrench

  • Pliers

  • Plastic washer and/or Rubber O-ring

  • Faucet Cartridge

  • Vinegar

  • Old toothbrush

  • Toothpick 

Let’s begin!

1. Turn off the water supply

Before you begin working on your shower head, you’ll need to shut off the water supply to the shower.

2. Prep the area

Cover the bottom of the shower with a towel so you can start working on removing the showerhead.

3. Protect the pipe

Wrap some tape around the pipe to protect the chrome coating from the pipe wrench and undo the showerhead by turning the wrench counterclockwise.

4. Examine the showerhead

Take a look at the washer and/or O-ring inside the showerhead and see if they look damaged or worn out.

5. Replace the washer and/or O-ring

If the O-ring or washer appear damaged or worn out, you will need to replace them. The best way to find the right size O-ring and washer is to take the old ones to the store and match the diameter and thickness of the elements. 

6. Clean the showerhead

Before you put in the new washer or O-ring and reattach the showerhead, you can use this time to give the showerhead a nice soaking and clean it thoroughly before you attach it back on. Pour white distilled vinegar in a bowl and submerge the showerhead inside it. Leave it sit in the vinegar for a few hours, rinse it off with hot water and use the old toothbrush to clean between the nozzles. After you’ve cleaned the nozzles, use a toothpick to remove any leftover debris in the showerhead holes. Clean out each hole manually, scrub the faceplate with the toothbrush and rinse the showerhead using hot water.

7. Reattach the showerhead

Push the new O-ring or washer into the showerhead. Wrap the threads on the pipe using Teflon tape to ensure a perfect seal. Reattach the showerhead screwing clockwise by hand and then use your wrench to tighten it. Be careful not to overtighten. This can damage the pipe and the fixings inside it and lead to an even more significant leak.

8. Test the shower

Turn the water supply back on and turn on the shower to see if the leak is gone.

9. Replacing the cartage

If the leak persists, you’re probably dealing with a malfunctioning cartridge that needs to be removed and replaced. Shut off the water supply again, drain all the water out, disassemble the shower handle by removing the shower cap, the handle screw and the retaining clip, and unscrewing the hex screw and nut. Remove the existing cartridge and replace it with a new one. Assemble the showerhead following the same steps in reverse and test the shower for leaks.

Benefits of Hiring a Professional Plumber

If you don't see yourself as someone who's particularly handy around the home and you don't particularly like the challenge of a DIY project, then you might benefit from hiring a professional plumber to get the job done for you.

Here are some of the main benefits of using professional shower repair services from a licensed plumber that might help you decide whether or not you want to tackle your plumbing issue on your own or hire a professional who can get the situation under control as soon as possible.

1. Get the job done correctly

While our detailed guide on how to repair your leaking shower faucet can definitely help you get the job done yourself, the process does require certain skills, tools and supplies which professional plumbers use to get the job done according to the highest standards. They have years of experience in the field and since leaking shower repairs are issues they address on a daily basis, you can rest assured that they'll get the job done right.  

2. Get additional issues fixed in the process

While your plumber is working on fixing your leaking shower, he or she can have a chance to inspect other areas of your bathroom and shower area that may require some touch-ups or repairs. Locating such issues while they haven't caused any irreparable damage can save you a lot of stress and money in the long run, which is why you can always benefit from routine inspections. Other than shower leaks, your plumber will be able to address a number of other issues along the way. Licensed plumbers can help you out with water damage repair, leak detection, tiling and grout cleaning, regrouting, re-tiling, applying sealant, waterproofing, shower sealing and similar bathroom repairs.

3. Experience in complex plumbing jobs

Although leaking shower repairs are among the easiest plumbing projects plumbers have to deal with, there are some plumbing issues that are harder to diagnose. They require specialized equipment and years of experience on the job in order to understand and detect the root cause of the issue and address it accordingly. In such cases, you should not hesitate to call a licensed plumber, since by attempting to do the job yourself you might end up causing more harm than good.

4.  Expedited services

If you're looking to get your leaky shower fixed as soon as possible, then you should consider hiring a plumber to get the job done for you in a fast and professional manner. This way you won't just be saving time and money, but you'll also get the best results possible for the fastest amount of time.

5. Focus on other tasks

While your plumber is hard at work on your plumbing issues, you can use that time to catch up on some of your other tasks from your to-do list, which has been growing longer and longer by the day.

Hiring a professional plumber ensures that you'll get an excellent result, without the hassle of doing any of the repairs yourself.