Want to save some money and avoid calling a plumber? Why not try showerhead installation and repair yourself? Leaky low-flow showerheads and leaky faucets are waste water like you wouldn’t believe. Even the tiniest drip can be extremely costly. Luckily, these kinds of bathroom plumbing repairs are usually simple to address. Keep reading to learn more about how to make showerhead repair and replace a damaged, poor-performing showerhead.
How to Replace a Shower Head
Showerhead leaks usually form around the threads where the faucet attaches to the shower arm. Sometimes all you need to do to fix the problem is to tighten the head with your hand. If the head is particularly stubborn, use a pair of channel lock pliers. Take care, though, to cover the teeth of the pliers with tape so you don’t scrape the chrome finish on the head. Still leaking after you’ve tightened the head? Remove the shower head and wrap Teflon tape (available at home improvement stores) around the threads. Next, replace the head and retighten the assembly. Many times, this is sufficient to stop the leak. Is the shower head still leaking? If so, try cleaning the shower head.
Cleaning the Showerhead
A leaky shower head or a one that doesn’t produce a good flow could be the result of sediment/mineral buildup. This very common issue with residential showerheads fixes easily with a simple home solution. Boil three cups of vinegar and remove the pot from the stove. Next, soak the shower head for 20 – 30 minutes. When the shower head is done soaking, use a toothbrush to remove any remaining mineral deposits from the shower head’s many crevices. Replace the head and test out the shower. Did the leak stop? Is the flow better? If leaking still persists, you may need to replace a bad washer O-ring.
Replacing the Washer/O-ring
Grab some towels, have a bucket handy and turn off the shower valve for this repair. Cover the drain so you don’t lose any important parts. Either by hand or using a pair of channel lock pliers, unscrew the shower head. Once you remove the head, look for the rubber O-ring or plastic washer inside the threads. Do you see any damage? If warped, cracked, or severed, the affected ring or washer is most likely causing the leak. Replace this component (these parts are available for cheap at local home improvement stores) and put everything back together. Test the shower to see if the leak is gone. Still having a problem? The next part to consider replacing is the diverter valve.
Diverter valves are found in bathtub/shower combinations. The main job of this valve is to switch the water flow from the shower to the bath and vice versa. Over time, diverter valves weaken from wear and tear as well as mineral deposits. The diverter valve is housed in the bathtub spout. So, to get to the valve, you’ll need to remove the spout from the wall. First, check to make sure the valve doesn’t have any obvious signs of damage. If you don’t see any damage, try giving it a good cleaning. Do this by using vinegar and a toothbrush or wire brush.
After you’ve tried all these solutions, if you’re still having problems, call Wise Choice Plumbing & Rooter. We’ll send an expert plumber to your home today to take a look at your leaky showerhead.