Leaking Shower Head Repair
When a showerhead leaks, sometimes tightening the showerhead or the arm by hand can stop the dripping, but this doesn’t always fix the issue. If the showerhead is still leaking after attempting to tighten it by hand, there might be worn threads, a worn-out gasket, or the shower head might have been installed without pipe tape to seal the connections. Repairing a leaking showerhead that drips is an easy task that doesn’t require professional help.
Step One – Remove the Showerhead
The first step is to remove the showerhead from the arm by turning it counterclockwise, or to the left. Sometimes it might be necessary to use a wrench to turn the threads. Put a cloth over the showerhead and the arm to protect it from scratches while using a wrench to turn it.
Step Two – Wipe the Showerhead Clean
The second step is to wipe the lime scale or mineral buildup from the shower arm with a damp cloth. Soak the head in vinegar if the scale or mineral buildup is too difficult to remove. You can spray the shower arm with vinegar and allow it to soak into the mineral buildup, too.
Then wipe the arm and the showerhead with a damp cloth to remove the limescale buildup.
Step Three – Checking the Components for Wear and Tear
Once the showerhead is clean, and the parts are clean, inspect the threads of the shower arm and the shower head. If they appear cracked or worn, then the showerhead will need to be replaced. If they are not worn out, then the gasket may be the problem. Inspect the inlet of the showerhead. There ought to be a rubber disk mounted in there, and this is the gasket.
Replace a worn out gasket by taking the damaged gasket to a hardware store and finding a new one that matches.
Step Four – Wrap the Threads with Pipe Tape
Often known as Teflon tape, pipe tape is used to create a watertight seal. If the tape was not on the original threads of the arm insert, then this could have caused the leaking to begin with. Wrap the threads with Teflon tape by starting at the beginning of the thread closet to the outside of the insert and following the threads around. Be sure not to overlap the tape.
Reinstall the showerhead to the arm by hand-turning it into position using a clockwise direction, or to the right. Be sure not to overtighten it. Turn on the showerhead to check for leaks. If water is still running down the shower wall, then the leak could be in the connection where the shower arm joins with the pipe.
Wrap the shower arm in a cloth and unscrew it from the wall with an adjustable wrench. You can use a strap wrench, which will let you loosen the arm without scratching it. Soak the threads in vinegar to remove any limescale buildup. Rinse it with clean water and repeat until the limescale or the mineral buildup is gone. Wrap the threads of the shower arm with the same pipe tape in the same manner, and reinstall this back into the wall.