A leaking shower head is not only an inconvenience, but it can also be annoying and lead to paying more in wasted water. If you’re wondering what could be causing this nuisance and how to make it stop, then you have come to the right place. Here at Instant Plumbing and Rooter, not only do we enjoy solving our customers plumbing problems, but we also like to keep you informed and help educate homeowners on how to properly care for their plumbing. Read on to learn what could be causing your shower head to leak and how to make it stop.
There are a few different causes that can lead to a leaky shower head. Your shower head could be clogged with buildup, or maybe there’s a faulty part allowing water through after the water has been turned off. High water pressure or even an issue elsewhere in the plumbing line could all be possible culprits of that annoying drip. But not to worry, we are here to help determine the issue, and come up with a solution.
The first (and most common) cause of a leaking shower head is that there is mineral buildup clogging the shower head holes and not allowing water to come through evenly. Luckily, this is an easy fix! First, you will need a gentle all purpose cleaner (we recommend white vinegar), a kitchen storage bag, and a rubber band. Fill the bag partially full with the vinegar. Place the bag over the shower head and secure it with the rubber band. Allow the shower head to soak for a few minutes to help loosen up the buildup. Once you remove the bag, clean the shower head with a clean, wet rag or sponge to remove the loosened mineral deposits. Rinse well and turn your shower head on to see if the water is now coming through the holes evenly. Turn the water off to see if the leak has stopped. If not, proceed on to the next possible solution.
Another typical cause for a shower head leak is that the o-ring or rubber washer inside the shower head has deteriorated or torn and is not creating the necessary seal to prevent water from leaking. If you feel comfortable and confident, you can replace this o-ring yourself. Please be sure you are installing the new o-ring in the same fashion the original manufacturer provided one was installed, and be sure to correctly use pipe thread tape when reattaching the shower head. Failure to use the tape can actually be another cause of a leaking shower head.
If neither of these solutions has proven to be the solution, a faulty or worn out shower cartridge or valve may be the problem. A cartridge replacement is typically a pretty quick repair for our expert plumbers and can be done without disrupting the water usage in the rest of your home. Again, if you feel comfortable and confident, you can attempt to replace the shower cartridge on your own. However, we do recommend calling a licensed Plumber as a special tool may be required to remove the cartridge and incorrect removal can cause damage to the shower valve and lead to more costly repairs. In addition to the shower cartridge or valve, a faulty diverter can also cause water to leak from your shower head. The diverter is the control that directs water from one fixture to another. For example, if you have a tub and shower combination, you have a diverter (typically on top of or above the tub spout) that directs water from the tub spout to the shower head. If you notice the diverter has become difficult to engage, or that not all of the water is going to the shower head when the diverter is engaged, you may need a new tub/ shower diverter. Again, this is typically a fairly simple repair, but we do recommend calling a professional if you are unfamiliar with the steps to make the repair.
If you suspect the issue is caused by water pressure being too high, please give us a call as soon as possible. High water pressure can cause pipes to leak or even burst. Our expert plumbing technicians can check your water pressure and ensure that it is in a safe range that will meet your home’s needs. To schedule an appointment to have your leaking shower head fixed, give our office a call today at 480-354-7267.