What Causes Your Shower Head to Drip?
Although you’re aware that your home needs some repairs, there’s always something new coming up, right? And your bathroom isn’t the exception. You recently noticed mold on the ceiling, so you replaced your old roof with a roof type that keeps your home cooler.
Then, you look at your old, stained carpet and start wondering if steam cleaning is good for your carpet. After cleaning it, looking at your renewed carpet makes you feel inspired to change your lifestyle as well. Just when you start thinking about getting in shape and setting up your home gym…your bathroom shows another issue.
Now it’s your shower head. Do you have problems with a leaking shower head? It’s important to find out what causes your shower head to drip, and by following these easy tips on how to fix leaky shower heads, you’ll avoid the annoyance of a dripping shower head, high utility bills, and a possible shower leak.
What Causes your Shower Head to Drip When It’s Not Being Used?
When you take a shower, you might notice that more water drips and runs out from behind the shower head faceplate than out from the spray holes. Besides, it’s also common that you notice a dripping shower head when water is off. What causes your shower head to drip? How to fix a leaky shower head?
If your shower won’t stop dripping, it’s time for a little servicing. Consider that those droplets can increase your water bills and even stain the interior of your shower if this situation is left unattended. Fortunately, we’ll tell you how to fix a dripping shower head without requiring special skills or tools.
However, fixing a dripping shower head when water is off is more difficult, and depending on what’s causing it, you might need professional help.
How to Fix a Leaky Shower Head
Try Soaking the Shower Head in Vinegar
Due to water deposits building up in the holes of the shower head over time, the spray can be restricted and may force the backed-up water out from the junction of the shower head and the arm, or around the faceplate. All you have to do is break up the hard water deposits. To do so, remove the shower head by loosening the nut that secures it to the shower arm, and soak it in white vinegar all night to soften the mineral deposits. Then, scrub away any residues with an old toothbrush before installing it again.
Replace the Seal
Over time, O-rings can harden or split and allow water to leak out between connections on a shower head, which is particularly common in shower heads with swivel connections with a seal behind the swivel assembly. If you suspect a worn seal, remove the shower head to replace the O-ring. To make sure you get the accurate seal, take the old one with you when you go to the hardware store to buy the replacement. A faulty O-ring can be what causes your shower head to drip. Replacement should be easy enough though, no worries.
Replace the Washer in a Compression Faucet
When it comes to compression faucets, they use a hot handle and a cold handle. If this is your type of shower and it leaks when turned off, it’s possible that the problem is a worn washer in the assembly. To fix this, you must determine which handle is causing the leak by feeling the dripping water’s temperature. Afterward, turn the water supply off and try removing the faulty faucet handle (the screw that keeps it in place is either below the handle or hidden under a pry-off cap). Then, slip off the cover trim to have access to the faucet stem, which is secured with a hex nut. After removing the hex nut with a deep socket wrench, you’ll find a rubber washer. Get a replacement for the rubber washer and reassemble the faucet.
Despite it’s not common, the seat (small curved area behind the washer) is sometimes so damaged that a new washer won’t seal properly to prevent water from leaking out of the shower head, it’s possible that you need to call a professional plumber to replace the entire assembly.
Replace a Faulty Cartridge in the Valve Body
In newer showers, there’s a valve body with a plastic, cylindrical cartridge in the wall behind the single handle that controls cold and hot water flow. Water can seep through if this cartridge becomes cracked or worn, even when the handle is in the “off” position, which leads to dripping or tricking water from the shower head.
To replace the damaged cartridge, it’s necessary to turn the water supply off. By removing the shower handle, access the cartridge and take off the decorative faceplate and the cap that covers the valve body stem by removing a screw. To reveal the end of the plastic cartridge, slip the stem cover off. Usually, cartridges are secured with a clip or a twist-on nut that you’ll have to remove. Then, use some tweezers to grasp the stem of the cartridge and pull it out. To make sure you get the right one, take the worn cartridge to the hardware store to get the right replacement. If replacing the cartridge doesn’t stop the shower head from leaking, chances are the valve body is damaged. If so, you’ll need to contact a professional to replace the valve body.
Although shower plumbing works similarly, the way shower heads, faucets, and valve bodies are connected vary with each model. Therefore, consider consulting the manufacturer’s manual before trying to fix anything or contact a professional to do the job for you. Whatever you choose to do, make sure to address the issue as soon as possible to prevent all the damage a leaking shower can do after a while.