After a relaxing shower, do you find your showerhead dripping? Is there a steady stream of water even after you’ve turned the shower off? You’ve likely got a busted showerhead on your hands. Whether it’s a slow drip or steady stream now and then, a leak can drive up your water bill every month and cost you extra money.
Finding and fixing the source of the leak is in your best interest! Before attempting any fixes for your shower, turn the water off completely. This can be done by turning off the water main and stopping the water supply throughout your home. Once your water is off, give some of these fixes a try.
Tighten the Faucet Handle
Often, the simplest fix is the first one you should try! In this case, that involves tightening the faucet handle. Pry the cover plate off the faucet handle; you should see a screw.
It may have come loose over time, so tighten it up a few times with a screwdriver. Replace the cover plate and test the shower again. If you still have water leaking after you’ve shut the faucet off, try one of the next fixes on the list.
Replace the Cartridge
Like any machine, your shower has many small components that can break and wear out over time. The cartridge is one such component! The shower cartridge is inside the valve that controls the water flow. When the cartridge becomes worn out, you may notice water leaking from the showerhead or handle.
If you think the cartridge could cause your shower not to turn off fully, consider replacing the cartridge. This repair is tricky for those without much experience, so leave this one to the experts if you’re unsure.
If you’re an experienced DIY handyperson, you can give it a try. Cartridges can easily be found at most hardware stores. Depending on your shower type, the replacement process might differ. Be sure to look up the specifics of the replacement for your specific shower. Otherwise, you may want to contact a professional plumber for assistance.
Check for Worn Out Washers or O-rings
Your shower has many moving parts to keep it running properly, including washers! Your shower likely has washers between the faucet handle, the wall, and the showerhead itself. These washers and the plastic O-ring form a watertight seal that prevents water from leaking.
Over time, washers can rust, and O-rings can harden or crack. This degradation of the materials in your shower will surely lead to leaks. If you suspect old washers and O-rings could be the source of your problem, try disassembling the showerhead and replacing the old components with new ones. Replacing the faucet washer and O-ring is a bit more involved but can easily be done with the right tools.
Make Sure the Faucet is Correctly Installed
A faulty installation job could cause your shower to leak even when it’s turned off. Remove the faucet cover and ensure the faucet is screwed on correctly. Also, ensure no gap between the faucet and the shower wall.
Replace the Showerhead
If the leak comes from your showerhead and not the faucet, the issue could be with your showerhead alone. If your showerhead is old, it could have worn out internal parts and simply need to be replaced. Changing your showerhead is an easy task that most can do without professional help. Showerheads can be purchased at most hardware stores.
Remove Mineral Buildup
It’s possible that your issue could be caused by not completely moving the faucet to the off position. A possible cause of this issue is mineral buildup around the faucet handle. In areas with hard water or high mineral content, leave behind a white, dusty residue that can become hard over time.
To remove mineral buildup, you can use an old toothbrush and vinegar. Simply spray the vinegar onto the faucet handle and use the toothbrush to remove the buildup. You may need to repeat the process several times before you’re able to remove all of the buildups.
You Need a New Aerator
An aerator is a component of the shower that mixes air and water. This conserves water and prevents splashing back. Sediment and minerals can build up in your aerator over time, leading to an irregular stream of water.
This could be the cause of your shower leaking and not turning off properly. Replacing an aerator is easy since most aerators thread onto the end of the faucet spout.
Call a Plumber
Despite your best efforts, maybe you’re unable to determine the cause of your problem. Give a professional plumber a call! They’ll be able to diagnose the issue and recommend how to fix it.