A leaky showerhead can keep you awake with its rhythmic drip-drip. But the problem isn’t just one of annoyance. Though a single drop of water may not seem like much, a showerhead that drips every three seconds wastes nearly 700 gallons per year. If your community charges for residential water use, your money is literally going down the drain. So, fixing your leaky showerhead eliminates aggravation and saves valuable resources and money.
Although it’s possible for a showerhead to leak because of a bad joint at the shower arm—the angled pipe that holds the showerhead and leads into the wall—it’s much more common for the problem to lie either at the showerhead itself, or with the faucet valve that controls the shower.
Before You Begin
When a showerhead is described as “leaking,” it can mean one of two things. First, you may have a shower where the water stream just dribbles out of the showerhead when the faucet is on, rather the spraying out in a strong stream. When you witness this, it’s usually because sediment or lime buildup have clogged the holes in the shower head, preventing water from flowing smoothly from the many port openings in the shower head. If this is the issue, the problem usually builds gradually over a period of weeks. The water stream gradually weakens until it’s more a dribble than a spray.
Strictly speaking, this isn’t a leaking showerhead, but one that doesn’t flow properly anymore. The repair here is a simple one, involving removing and cleaning the showerhead. Or, you can simply replace the entire shower head, a fairly easy repair.
But showers can also leak—allowing a small amount of water to flow even when the faucet is in the OFF position. Leaking showerheads are caused by problems with the cartridge insert in the faucet valve—the component that controls the flow and mix of hot and cold water through the faucet body and to the showerhead or tub spout. The fix here is to disassemble the faucet and replace the misbehaving cartridge that controls the flow of water. This, too, is an easy DIY task, and one that sooner or later will be needed for just about every shower.
Start your repair on the shower faucet by examining the showerhead itself, then move to the faucet cartridge if necessary.
Source: The Spruce