When you are finished having a shower, you normally turn off the water and step out. Because the shower area is wet, a small leak is barely noticeable as you rarely stop to inspect the faucets and showerhead.
However, a leaky shower faucet is an issue and can waste a significant amount of water. Even worse, your water bill can skyrocket without you even realising.
A leak may seem like a small issue that doesn't need your attention - but the longer you leave it - the worse it gets. In some cases, it could be an indication of a more serious problem with your plumbing systems.
The constant moisture caused by a dripping tap or showerhead can create mould and water damage to tiles and other surfaces in your bathroom. It is important to fix a leaky shower faucet or head to prevent further plumbing complications and water wastage. So, the first step is to understand why you have a leak.
Why is my shower head dripping water?
A leak in your shower could be caused by a number of things. Depending on where the water is dripping from can also determine the source of the issue, making it much easier to fix. On some occasions, even when the water is not in use, the showerhead or faucet may still leak.
Below are some common reasons for your showerhead or faucets to fail:
- A worn-out rubber, washer or o-ring or valve. If you have an older shower, the faucets may begin to deteriorate over time.
- A build-up of mineral deposits. Over time, your shower fittings can start accumulating with limescale and minerals from water and other debris.
- Old fittings or incorrect installation. A fitting may be loose or not connected properly.
Of course, the best plan of action to fix a leaking shower head is to determine the style of shower head and taps you currently have installed. This is to ensure you are buying the correct tools and replacements for your shower.
How do I stop my shower head from dripping?
Shut off the water supply to the shower. Carefully remove the shower head by unscrewing it counterclockwise. Search the area for any signs of accumulated mineral deposits. You can soak the showerhead in white vinegar for up to 8 hours.
Inspect the showerhead and pay attention to the water holes. Brush over the holes with an old toothbrush or alternatively, you can use a pin to remove limescale and scum. Once this is complete, reattach the fittings.
Make sure the main water is still shut off. Remove the faucet handle by using a deep socket wrench. You can purchase a washer kit at most home improvement and hardware stores in your area. Using this kit, replace all rubber washers and valves in one go. When buying the kit, remember what type of faucet you currently have in your bathroom.
A diverter valve changes the direction of water from the tap to the shower. To find this, detach your current tap handle. You will need to first remove and inspect your current diverter valve. If it is worn, replace it with a new one. You can find these at most hardware stores. If your current one is still in good condition, you can clean it with white vinegar.
A cartridge valve is what controls the change of water temperature from hot to cold, and also the water pressure of a single-handled tap. To replace this is fairly simple. Start by disconnecting the tap handle to expose the valve. Remove the old one and instal the replacement.
Turn on the water to the entire house back on and see if the dripping has stopped. If you can still see the faucet or showerhead leaking with water, you will need to contact your local licenced plumber.
Do you need a plumber?
A professional plumber will have the tools and expertise to save your water supply and fix your water leak issues. You can still do the first steps of turning off the water, removing the showerhead, changing the rubber washer and replacing the shower valve. However, there may be further investigation needed and only a professional plumbing team can do that for you.
That’s all for now - best of luck!