While it may not seem like a big deal, a leaking shower head can be a huge problem in many ways. Not only can it cause rust and corrosion in the connection of the shower head, but it can also lead to loss of water (costing a lot of money), as well as loss of water pressure, which is more than an annoyance when you’re trying to rinse soap off or get shampoo out of your hair.
How can you repair a leaking shower head without having to contact a plumber? Here is a step-by-step way to attempt to repair it yourself.
- Start by removing the shower head from the pipe. Usually, it’s removable by hand, though you might have to find a wrench, pliers, or a screwdriver, depending on how it’s attached.
- Check the threading inside the shower head fixture. If the O-ring (a rubber piece) or the washer (usually a plastic piece) are even slightly damaged, they should be replaced. This may fix the leak altogether. Be sure you use the correct type of O-ring, washer, or gasket, as different types of showers require varieties of parts. For example, a ball socket may require a convex rather than concave part.
- Get Teflon tape. Before replacing the leaking shower head, wrap the stem and possibly even the pipe threading with the tape. This will help to seal the connection better once you piece it back together. Don’t be sparing with the tape; it’ll create a good surface to connect. However, if you overcompensate, you could have trouble getting the shower head screwed back in.
- When you replace the shower head on the pipe, don’t tighten it too much, as this can strip the threading. Rather, just hand-tighten for best results.
- Turn the water on, then off, just once. After a few minutes have passed, see if there are any drips coming from the connection. If the leaking shower head persists, it’s likely not the shower head, but rather an issue with a water control valve. Only then will you need to get help from a plumbing expert.
A leaking shower head doesn’t need to be a problem that could cost you hundreds of dollars in water waste or damage, and you shouldn’t have to call a plumber on the first round. However, consider getting help if you aren’t able to fix it yourself so you don’t have bigger problems later!