#David Arlington 17 Dec 2020
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Are you suffering from a dripping shower head? This is a common problem that could be as simple as a rubber washer or maybe something more intricate like a faulty shower cartridge.

How to Fix a Leaking Shower Head

If the incessant drip, drip, drip is a familiar nightmare keeping you up at all hours, then it is about time to get it fixed. The trickling noise will not only ring in your ears, but most certainly drive you crazy whilst burning a water-rate bill through your pocket.

No matter how seamingly small the drip, you can not afford to keep it unattended. The side effects could be the cause of built up limescale or damp. If it becomes of the latter, then you can rest assured of a hefty correctional cost.

A failure to fix the source of the leak can definiely ruin an otherwise decent day. That's why Bristol Plumber 24/7 would advise of a prompt shower head fix.

Fixing a dripping shower head is relatively a quick home maintenance task. On the otherhand, finding the source of the problem is 80% of the job. The actual fix should not take no longer than 10 minutes. Hopefully equipped with our self-help guide and a little bit of common sense, you will get the job conquered.

How Long Should Shower Sealant Last?

Issues such as these can be exacerbated by regular use, spoilt washers or poorly sealed edges. The quality of the sealant and how well it is maintained are all contributory factores. Poor-quality sealant will not usally last as long and may need to be resealed more often than is ordinarily necessary. A good sealant could last for ten years.

A very good practice is to ensure you wipe down your sealant after each shower or bath usage. It will ensure reasonable health and extend the life of your bath fixtures. If you are particularly conscientious, you could consider a dehumidifier. Ultimately our recommendations are on a case, by case basis, but you cannot go wrong either way.

Why Is Your Shower Head Leaking?

The functionality of most showers use a simple water cycling process. Water runs from an outlet to a shower head, where it then sprays out.

Reasons Why Your Leaky Shower Head Could Be Faulty:

  • * The shower head Alone
  • * A mixture of issues in the shower and the other features.

Locating your leak first and foremost is an essential step in being able to diagnose a suitable fix. Before attempting these practical steps, please ask yourself the following questions:

  • * Do you have a persistent leak after you turn the water source off?
    Does it get worse by having the water source running?

    If your shower head continues to leak when switched off, it is most probably a shower valve issue. Common signs can demonstrate as a wet shower stall, mouldy corners and droplets staining your walls. Not to mention, it can cause puddles if left unattended for a extended periods of time.
    Consider giving us a call if you get into difficulties, we will send out an expert Plumber to attend to your repair ASAP.

  • * Do you notice that Water continues to drip for minutes after you shut or turn off the tap? If this is your situation, the issue is usually in the shower head alone (within it's mechanism), you could simple buy another standalone shower head and replace the problematic one.
How to Stop A Leaking Shower Head?

We will go through the five most common shower head problems, plus walk you through a guide on how to rectify them:

Ensure to replace worn-out seals, sealant and shower head parts like the O-ring and washer. Like most things in life, they are all subject to wear and tear. More often, they break, crack, harden, or split. This will most certainly deteriorate the watertight seals between connected pipes and internal mechanisms. There is a high chance of leaks forming around the threads.

An adjustable and flexible shower unit with swivel connections are very good. However, over a number of years the seals behind the swivel assembly will start to wear out.

No matter what your shower type, with time, use and varible water pressure passing through it, you will eventually run into water seal leakages: water residue, puddles, condensation droplets, or slipery floors that can lead to injuries at worst.

If you suspect that you have a worn-out seal, you should look up your model type and find a corresponding rubber washer to replace it with. Heading down to your local ScrewFix should equip you with all the right tools to resolve the issue promptly.

Here's a list you can follow:

* Step One: Get new rubber seals that match the shower configuration. If you have any doubts when selecting a replacement, why not take the broken seal with you to your local hardware store.

* Step Two: Shut Off Your Mains Water Supply.

* Step Three: Disassemble the shower head and replace the defective parts. To avoid the hassle and nerves, it is advisable to replace the rubber washers together with all other seals.

Take Care of Your Shower Handle Issues

It should come as no surprise, but often the handle itself can be a reason for a leaky shower head. It is a typical problem for the compression faucets with two separate handles: one for hot and one for cold water.

The problem is that the seal behind them is much more vulnerable to breakages. It typically wears and then cracks. When a rubber washer or seal expires, the tap drools or drips from time to time and steadily gets worse as the total collapse of the seal insues.

If you experience the same problem, here is what you could consider doing:

* Step One: Bring your hand below the leaky tap and feel the temperature of each droplet.

* Step Two: When you single out the faulty handle, remove it and replace the seal, or washer with a new one.

Remove Limescale Debris From Shower Head Perforations

Clogged shower head holes are common and often overlooked. Over a long duration, it is perfectly normal for hard water, grime, mineral deposits and rust to cling to the tiny nozzles and cause esculating problems. As the drainage is slow, the water often keeps on dropping for a while. It is not directly harmful, more irritating and costly over time.

At times you may stand underneath your shower and feel a weaker thrust of water. This could also be a sign of blocked nozzles or a leak somewhere in your system. Your pipes could be too old and corroded, or alternatively, your shower head is too tightly attached and bursting through its seal.

If you are keen on Do It Yourself jobs, before you take any drastic action, try attempting to clean out the excess debris littering your shower head unit. Follow These Simple Steps:

*Step One: Turn off your mains water supply by rotating it fully clockwise.

*Step Two: Try to remove the shower head by hand or use a pair of rubber pipe pliers or crescent spanner and loosen the joint.

*Step Three: Inspect the disassembled shower head and soak it in a bowl with white vinegar or Coka-Cola to soften the sediments - it should be left to soak for a minimum of 24 hours.

*Step Four: If there are visible signs of rust and debris build-up around the unit, apply lime, calcium, or rust remover to the shower head and allow the shower head to sit for a few hours.

*Step Five: Use a scrubbing brush to fully clean up any remaining limescale and choose a suitable pin or toothpick to poke through stubborn hard to remove hard-water. Once complete, rinse it under running warm water and run another test to check you have done a stand-up job.

*Step Six: Make sure the faceplate is free of any obstructions before you reassemble it.

*Step Seven: Use plumber's or Teflon tape around the shower arm's threads to secure a better seal. Wrap it clockwise 2 or 3 layers deep to ensure against future leaks then re-attach your crystal clean shower head.

*Step Eight: Turn on your tap, check the water flow and joints for leaks.

If a deep clean doesn't work, it might be time to buy and install a new shower head replacement.

Replace the Defective Cartridge Valve

When your shower is constantly leaking, check the cartridge valve. The primary function of this shower element is to control the mixing of cold and hot water flow. Similar to other shower parts, it can wear out or crack.

There are many common issues valid for all sizes, brands, and types of cartridge valves. So, what can you do to replace the defective cartridge valve?

* First, stop the mains water supply.

* If you have a concealed unit, access its components from behind the recess wall.

* Unscrew and remove the handle, faceplate, and the cap over the valve body stem.

* You should now be able to reach the cartridge stem and remove the cartridge. Note: it is important to buy an identical cartridge valve matching the existing and expired components.

* Once you have the purchased a replacement cartridge, install it, and re-assemble your unit.

Is a Leaking Shower Dangerous?

A leaking shower can encourage mould and bacteria proliferation, which can be dangerous, In worst-case scenarios, structural damage. It is quite plausible for mould growth to occur beneath a shower door frame, but it can easily be viewed as a structural issue rather than a health concern. Leaks such as this could eventually lead to a lack of structural integrity or subfloor.

Replace the Defective Diverter Valve

The diverter valve is a fancy name for the lever that allows the switching of water flow to the shower head. Even if it's a sturdy part of your shower system, it is subject to the effects of time. The problem is that the loosen diverter valves can make it hard to turn the handle. This leads to subsequent leaking problems at the shower head or taps.

When you replace components on your own, prepare for a an enduring task. Before you do anything, stop the mains water supply, if you forget, you risk flooding your entire property. There are a couple of methods for you to try depending on the type of the diverter valve you have.

#1 Troubleshoot a lever-style diverter valve

First things, first, you need to remove the handle. It's simple, but when your handle corrodes, it often gets stuck, becoming troublesome. Next, disassemble the unit and take out the diverter valve. Now you can check for wear or inconsistancies. If it looks damaged, you need to replace the entire assembly.

Begin by unscrewing the plate located under the tap. Once you have removed the diverter valve, inspect its condition. Disassemble and check the rubber seal, clean any grime and deposits, or replace the diverter valve with an exact match. When you are ready, re-assemble any of the outlet parts you removed. If the leak stops, then the diverter valve was to blame.

Why Is It Best to Hire a Professional Plumber?

If you have already tried tightening the diverter valve or replacing the seals. You may need to take additional action. The problem could be a broken pipe or improper shower head installation. Leave it to a professional plumber who knows how to diagnose and repair the issue directly.

Tackling faulty valves and plumbing can cause you to lose a lot of water, energy. What's more; structural damage.

We hope this guide has assisted in the location of any faulty leaks and identified the source of its cause.

It's good to know that no matter how small the leak or drip, to not ignore the problem. Give Bristol Plumber 24/7 a call and let us attend to the issue quickly, safely and with the expertise to prevent further issues.

As a habitual practice, be sure to inspect your fixtures, fittings, seals and units every 6 months. You will be reassured especially when the winter months roll back through and such probelms become even greater. Remember, we are always here to help; Bristol Plumber 24/7.