Knowing how to fix a leaking shower head can prevent a visit from the plumber as well as save on water bills. Although there are several possible causes for leaking shower head, most can be identified and fixed by a careful homeowner.
Clean the Leaking Shower Head
Many would be surprised to find that many leaks are caused by a clogged head. When there is insufficient water flow, water can back up and be forced out of even the smallest openings. Therefore, the key to fixing this type of leaking shower head is too carefully clean it.
Start this fix by removing the leaking shower head. To prevent scratching, wrap the edges of a pair of pliers with masking tape before attempting to remove it. With the leaking shower head remove, examine the interior and exterior carefully. Sometimes the debris can be washed away. For more extreme cases of hard water deposits, vinegar or another solution used to dissolve these deposits could be used.
Once the leaking shower head has been cleaned, reinstall the fixture. Many times this is the only fix required. If you still see a leak, go on to the next step.
Fix a Leaking Shower Head by Replacing the Washer
The other common cause of a leaking shower head is a worn out washer. As the fixture ages, the rubber of the washer degrades, weakening the seal and causing a leak. Luckily, a new washer shouldn’t cost you more than a quarter at any home improvement center.
Start this fix by removing the leaking shower head. Disassemble it completely, using the pliers, noting how the pieces are assembled. Look for the rubber washer or O ring, depending on your fixture. Take that washer to the hardware store to make an exact match. While you’re at the hardware store, plan on buying some heat proof lubricant if you have an O ring to help increase the flexibility of the fixture.
To fix the leaking shower head, replace the washer and reassemble the fixture. If there is an O ring in your fixture, replace it, but use the heat proof lubricant to increase the range of motion of the device. Reattach the fixture and turn on the water to check for any other leaks. If you are still concerned about a possible leak, you can use plumbers tape on the threads of the fixture to create an even tighter seal.
These common fixes to fix a leaking shower head should clear up most leaks. After finishing this tutorial, if you still have a leak, consider buying a new fixture. Most are fairly inexpensive and can be installed by the homeowner.