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How To Fix A Leaky Showerhead or Faucet

leaky showerhead
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Have you been hearing drip, drip, drip coming from your shower? Then you may have a leaky showerhead.

A leaking showerhead is not only annoying, but it also wastes a lot of water (and money). The constant drip is the literal sound of water and money going down the drain!

If you’d like to try and fix it yourself, a leaky showerhead can be a simple fix. However, when in doubt it’s always best to call a professional plumbing company like Art Plumbing, AC & Electric.

So, let’s go through the 6 steps needed to fix a leaking showerhead, shall we?

1. Make Sure the Water Is Turned Off

The first thing that you need to do is turn the water off. However, even with the water turned off, it’s a good idea to keep a dry towel nearby. Even though the water may be turned off, there will still be water in the pipes. In most cases, if the shower is regularly used, there will be water behind the showerhead. Thus, when you remove it, it’s likely to get the surrounding area at least a little wet.

2. Remove the Showerhead and Inspect It

You can now remove the showerhead by hand. You will turn it counterclockwise from the shower arm. If it’s tight, feel free to use pliers or a wrench to help loosen it.

Pro tip: If you do have to use a wrench or pliers to loosen the showerhead, one way to avoid damaging or scratching the pipe is to use a piece of packing foam or even a dry washcloth as a barrier between the wrench and the area you’re trying to loosen.

Now, inside the shower head, you should find a small plastic washer or rubber O-ring. Often, this is the culprit behind a leaky showerhead. The trouble with O-rings is that over time, they dry out and become brittle. This causes it to lose its ability to hold water, resulting in a showerhead that leaks. Luckily, this part is very cheap and easy to replace.

3. Clean the Showerhead with White Vinegar

While the showerhead is off, it’s a good idea to clean it. Often, hard water leaves mineral deposits and sediment inside your showerhead. This is especially true in South Florida where hard water levels are much higher than other parts of the country. You may not have known that the mineral build-up is there, but you may have been able to feel it. When minerals and sediment build up inside a showerhead, it can affect the water pressure or flow. This is another potential cause of your leak.

Next, to clean your showerhead properly, we recommend removing all the plastic elements and placing the showerhead in distilled white vinegar. Leave it there for one to two hours before removing it and rinsing it thoroughly.

4. Tape up the Shower Arm Threads

Before reassembling your showerhead, you need to tape up the shower arm threads. If the old tape is still there, remove it before wrapping a new layer. Plumbers recommend Teflon tape as the best option for sealing pipe threads. However, when it comes to wrapping your shower arm threads, you don’t need a lot. In fact, one or two loops of the tape should be perfect. Additionally, the tape should be wrapped in the same direction as the threads which is clockwise if you’re looking at it from the front.

5. Reassemble and Reattach

At this point, you’re ready to start reassembling your showerhead. Replace any rubber components that you removed and screw the showerhead tightly back on. Our plumbers advise tightening it by hand at first and using pliers or a wrench for the final turn. Tightening it too tightly will break the threads and leave you with an even bigger issue than before.

6. Turn the Water Back On

Finally, once you’re sure that the showerhead is secure, turn the water back on. To test your work, turn the shower on for a few seconds and turn it back off again. After a few minutes, you’ll be able to tell if you fixed the problem or if you need to call a plumber for help.

Ask Art to Fix Your Leaky Showerhead Today!

Art Plumbing, AC & Electric understands that life (especially around this time of year) is extremely busy. That means that you may not have the time to DIY your leaky showerhead. Moreover, you may simply not be comfortable doing it because you don’t want to risk making the problem worse. Whatever the reason is, Art Can Fix It!

Let our plumbers give you one less thing to stress about this post-holiday season. If you have a plumbing issue, call Art today at 1-800-475-1504 to schedule an appointment!

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