Are you constantly awake at night to the sound of dripping water from your showerhead? We believe it is time your dripping shower head gets a little servicing. These small leaks can often increase your water bills by nearly 10%, so it is in your best interest to repair the shower head. Repairing a shower head that drips water down its faceplate is quite easy, however, if your shower head is dripping while turned off, might require few extra tasks. But nevertheless, we will explore some simple techniques you could use to fix your dripping shower heads.
Water contains minerals, and oftentimes, these minerals get stuck in the holes of the shower head. Over time, these deposits build up and accumulate, which restricts the flow of water. This will force the water to be backed up and will come out the edges of the faceplate. This will cause the dripping shower head problem. In order to break up the deposits, you need a mild acid, and the best acid is right in your kitchen cabinet. It is Vinegar. Vinegar is mildly acidic, and it is a perfect tool to clear the deposits.
- Remove the dripping shower head by loosening the nut at the bottom
- Pour vinegar into a clear bag or plastic bag
- Ensure the bag does not have any holes so that the vinegar does not leak out
- Place the dripping shower head into the plastic bag with the vinegar, ensure the shower head is fully soaked in the vinegar
- Using a rubber band, seal off the bottom and secure the bag to the dripping shower head
- Leave it overnight, in the morning, scrub away the remaining residue
Every shower head has watertight seals using washers but sometimes, these washers can split over the years of usage. This crack can cause a dripping shower head. If you see a worn seal in your shower head, remove it and disassemble it to replace the washer. Always ensure you replace it with the same washer to form the proper watertight seal.
Replace the washer in a compression faucet
Compression faucets consist of two different handles: one hot and one cold. If you have a dripping shower head from a compression-style shower while turned off, the problem again could be a worn washer during assembly. Follow these steps to fix the issue:
- Find which handle, hot or cold, is causing the dripping shower head by feeling the temperature of the dripping water
- Then, turn off the water
- Remove the faulty handle by removing the screw below the handle
- Take the cover trim off to gain access to the faucet stem, which is secured by a hex nut
- Use a wrench to remove the nut, and you should find a washer
- Replace the washer and reassemble the faucet
In some cases, the seat where the washer sits can become damaged. Even after replacing the washer, it will not form the watertight seal to prevent the dripping shower head. If this happens, you will need to call a plumber for assistance.
Replace a defective cartridge
Newer shower heads come with a single handle that controls both hot and cold water. Behind the handle, there is a valve containing a cartridge. If the cartridge is damaged, water can drip out of the shower head even when it is turned off. This can lead to the dripping shower head. To solve this issue, you will need to follow these steps:
- Turn off the water supply to the shower
- To access the cartridge, remove the shower handle and take off the decorative faceplate
- Slide off the stem cover and it should reveal the end of the plastic cartridge.
- Cartridges are usually secured with either a twist-on nut or a clip.
- Remove the nut or clip, then use a pair of pliers to pull the cartridge out.
- Take the worn cartridge with you to the hardware store to get an exact match and then install the new cartridge and reassemble the faucet.
If the shower head continues to drip after replacing the cartridge, it is quite likely the valve body itself is likely damaged. Unfortunately, to replace a valve body, you would need a professional plumber’s expertise.
What to do if all the steps fail
If you tried out all the steps and cannot stop the dripping shower head, then you need a professional’s help. Feel free to call CJ Drain & Plumbing for professional guidance. CJ Drain pledges to customers that we will provide top-notch quality customized service for all your unique plumbing needs no matter how big or small the job is. Call now and eliminate your plumbing stresses.