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Blocked Drain In Shower

How to Fix a Leaking Shower Head

A long, hot shower is a favorite choice for most of us, but a leaking shower head is enough to be the most irritating, annoying, and expensive thing and can easily spoil our mood. The drip, drip, drip sound behind a curtain or any sort of glass partition can waste gallons of water every week.

Sometimes, the leaking shower head remains undetected just because this area of the bathroom is considered to be wet most of the time and there’s no apparent sound of dripping water, resulting in a huge loss of water. The worst thing about leaking shower head is the loss of energy, as the water heater has to work more for constantly heating water as water is being wasted in every single minute.

Leaking water, constantly dribbling into the wall may cause fungal growth, there may be seen dry root and molds, sometime structural problem does occur, that may be proved to be hazardous. You have to pay attention to this issue timely, before calling out a plumber you can resolve this issue within a single hour, and here are very simple and fruitful tips from The Belfast Plumber.

Required material

For fixing the leaking shower head, you need a material that is easily available in every home. All you need is

  • Screwdriver or Allen wrench
  • Rubber strap wrench
  • Replacement valve or new gaskets and grommets
  • Masking tape

Methods to fix leaky shower head

The leaky shower head is fixed by simple methods, depending on the cause of the leak. There are four common methods to fix a leaky shower:

  • To unclog the showerhead
  • Replacement of worn washers
  • Replacement of the diverter valve
  • Replacement of damaged cartridge valve
  • Replacement of faucet

How to unclog the showerhead

There is a possibility that minerals or lime may get deposited in the showerhead and clog holes in the shower. This issue is manifested as a weak outflow of water or dripping of showerhead after turning off after but after a few minutes’ water stops from dripping. So, it can be suspected that water may get accumulated within the shower as it is unable to drain instantly. Following instructions to get rid of this situation:

  • Turn off the water supply, with the help of any piece of towel get the showerhead dried to remove water that may get trapped and can drip even after turning off the water supply.
  • Remove the showerhead by simply twisting it, or if it is tight then use a wrench, and then inspect the shower head carefully. There are threads of a plastic washer or rubber O-ring, that are often found damaged, replace it if it looks damaged.
  • Inspect the shower head carefully, if you find deposited material in it, then soak the showerhead in white vinegar for 8 hours or so, and then with help of a needle or brush, clear off and open all the holes in the showerhead.
  • Now reattach the showerhead carefully and turn on the water.
leaking shower head

Replacement of worn washers

If you’ve unclogged the showerhead and still leakage persists then leakage of the shower can be caused by worn washers, even the best rubber or O-ring washers may get deteriorated and need to be replaced. It can be seen along with clog in showerheads or can occur solely. Steps involved are:

  • Shut off the water supply.
  • Remove shower head, by twisting or with help of a wrench.
  • Carefully inspect washers, if found worn out, then replace.
  • Reattach shower head.
  • Turn on the water.
fixing a leaking shower head

Replacement of the diverter valve

The diverter valve is a knob or lever, that plays a role in directs water from the faucet to the showerhead. The diverter valve may be located on the faucet and can be seen as a rod that gets pulled up to allow water to flow through the showerhead. So,

  • Turn off the water.

To fix lever or knob style diverter:

  • Removal of the faucet handle
  • Removal of the diverter valve
  • If the diverter valve is damaged, replace it.

To fix diverter located on the faucet

  • Untwist the underplate of the faucet and remove it.
  • Observe the diverter valve.
  • Replace it if found worn.

Sometimes, you have to detach the entire faucet to inspect the valve.

  • Fix faucet again.
  • Turn on the water supply.

Replacement of damaged cartridge valve

The cartridge valve is located either within the water faucet or in the arm handle that works to switch cold to hot water and allows water flow. Due to the variety of faucet, we just enlist basic steps that are:

  • Cut off the water supply.
  • Detach faucet handle, and cartridge stem is exposed, if found worn, replace it.
  • Fix faucet again.
  • Turn on the water.

Replacement of faucet

If none of the mentioned methods are fruitful enough to get the leaking shower head fixed, then there’s the last option to replace the faucet. But this project may be more time taking and needs more involvement but this is the last method to get your ailing shower cured. It is difficult for a layman to do and mostly licensed plumber can fix this. There are different types of faucets and involve different replacement methods. But there are a few basic steps that can mostly be applied for all types of faucets:

  • Find a faucet replacement.
  • Detach old faucet with help of a wrench, unscrew all nuts carefully but avoid twisting of water pipes otherwise, it can lead to serious complications.
  • Carefully install a new faucet.
  • Turn on the water.


The leaky shower head is a common issue that results in not only wastage of gallons of water every week but also wastage of energy reserves. To fix this issue, simple, easily available material is required, and fixing methods vary depending on the cause of leakage.

There may be clogged in the showerhead, so removing the showerhead and unclogging is done with help of white vinegar and then needles. If there is any damage to the washer, diverter valve, or cartridge valve, then replace it carefully. If still leakage is not fixed, then you have to replace the faucet, but the process is a little bit complex and can only be done by a licensed plumber.

But if you are fixing the issue by any method, be careful about turning the water off before the start of work and don’t twist pipes as it can cause serious complications.

Learn More:

How to remove stains from the shower and bathtub