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Leaking Shower Head – A Concern

Does the constant water dripping in your bathroom keep you awake at night?

Do you get startled by the wet surface of your bathroom every time you go in for a shower?

Chances are you have got a leaking shower head.

Very often, leaking showerheads go unnoticed. They are hidden behind a shower curtain or a glass partition in a specified shower area where being wet is normal, so it is often not bothersome for homeowners.

But do you know that a dripping shower head is the second leading cause of water waste (following running toilets). A leaking shower head that leaks around ten drip per minute can lose 2 gallons of water every day.

If your leaking shower head continues to drip for the entire year, you could lose 1,000 gallons of water. Moreover, if you have a fast dripping leak that drips 60 times a minute, you can end up losing 5 gallons of water every day and 2,082 gallons a year.

And you may not realize it as a concern until it reflects in your water bills.

The Solution – 4 Ways to Fix Leaking Shower Head

Fortunately, this common plumbing problem comes with a solution. Find out four ways to fix a leaking showerhead so you cannot only save the environment but your wallet as well.

#1. Unclog the Shower Head

Perhaps the most common cause of leaking showerhead is lime and mineral deposits in the shower holes. The problem is more prevalent in Arizona, where groundwater is highly contaminated.

As a result of mineral accumulation, your shower head cannot drain quickly and holds water, which later continues to drip. Moreover, you will also notice a decrease in the flow of water as you shower.

If you suspect that your shower head is leaking due to blockage, here is a simple way to fix it without much hassle.

  • Shut the water supply and remove your shower head. You can easily remove your shower head by unscrewing it from the pipe by turning it clockwise.
  • Take a look at the holes in your shower head. Are they clogged with white material? Moreover, inspect the pipe that holds the showerhead. Is it leaking? What about the washer at the back of your shower head? Is it worn out?
  • If your pipe is not leaking and your washer is in good shape, and you notice white mineral deposits in your shower head, then all you need is to unclog your shower head.
  • Unscrew the front plate of your shower and soak it in white vinegar for 6-8 hours.
  • Next, you need to manually clean the holes of your shower head using a brush or toothpick.
  • Now reinstall the front plate of your shower head and turn on hot water for some extra cleaning.
  • In case you cannot remove the front plate of your shower head, you will need to soak and clean the entire head.

#2. Replace Damaged Washers in Shower Head

Another potential cause of a leaking showerhead is damaged washers. A washer is an "O" shaped rubber ring right behind your shower head, which gets worn out over time. When it cracks and is damaged, water seeps into these cracks resulting in leaks even when the shower is turned off.

To fix a leaking shower head resulting from a damaged washer in your shower head, you need to take the following steps.

  • Unscrew the showerhead. You may need to use a wrench to loosen the nut and separate the showerhead from the arm.
  • Locate the rubber washer and pull it off.
  • Replace with a new washer with a similar size and style.
  • Make sure you get a washer with the same thickness.
  • It is a good idea to take a look at any other washers and seal and replace them all simultaneously.
  • Now fix your shower head, and you are good to go.

While this method of fixing a leaking shower head is relatively safe and simple, it is still a technical task best performed by plumbers. If you have a worn-out washer in your shower head, it is always a good idea to call a professional plumber who can fix your problem in no time.

#3. Replacing a Faulty Cartridge Valve

A defective cartridge valve is another potential reason for a leaking shower head. When the cartridge is damaged, water seeps through the cracks and cause leaks even when the water supply is shut. However, leaks resulting from malfunction cartridge valve can be fixed by removing and replacing the cartridge. Here is how you can fix a faulty cartridge valve.

  • Turn off the water supply in your shower and remove the faucet handle.
  • Once you remove your faucet handle, you will expose the cartridge stem.
  • Next, you have to remove the cartridge stem.
  • Different brands recommend different methods for cartridge removal so make sure you follow the manufacturers’ instructions.
  • Insert the new cartridge (similar to the one you have removed)
  • And reassemble the faucet handle.

While you can replace a faulty cartridge valve DIY, it is best to call a professional plumber for such technical repairs. You may end up getting a wring cartridge stem, which will not only cost you in terms of money but also in terms of inconvenience and hassle.

#4. Replacing the Diverter Valve

A malfunctioning diverter valve can also lead to shower head leaks. Simply put, a diverter valve is the lever (or knob) used to switch the direction of the water from the showerhead to the faucet. Different styles of bathrooms have different diverter valves. In some cases, the valve is on the faucet and appears as a rod that you pull up when you need to change water flow. Replacing your diverter valve may be slightly technical, and the technique may vary depending upon where the diverter valve is located.

For Lever (or Knob) For Lever (or Knob)

  • Remove the faucet handle...
  • Disassemble and remove the diverter valve...
  • Check for signs of wear and tear. In case your diverter valve is in good shape, you can simply clean and assemble it. However, if it is damaged, you will have to replace it.
  • And lastly, reassemble the faucet handle.

In case your diverter valve is located at the faucet, you have to unscrew the plate right under your faucet and remove the diverter valve. In some cases, you may be required to unscrew and remove the entire faucet.

Call a Professional Plumber

In most cases, fixing a leaking shower head is easy and convenient, but the job may get tricky, and you can have to go through a lot of hassle before you can finally fix the problem. So why take the risk. Call the professional plumbers at Mesa Plumbing to fix all your plumbing problems in no time. To find out more about our services, contact us now.

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