How to Fix a Dripping Shower Head

It might be a cliche, but everybody really does hate a leaky shower head. Not only is it annoying, it is also a waste of water and money.

How to Fix a Dripping Shower Head

But the shower head itself isn’t the source of the issue. The steady drip is caused by a fault in the faucet valve or its cartridge. Something is making it act as though the faucet is still a little open. Fixing it will require some DIY spirit and the following information.

What Tools/Materials Are Needed?

  • A bath towel
  • An Allen wrench
  • A screwdriver (a Phillips screwdriver works in most cases)
  • Replacement valve stem
  • This should include all necessary washers and O-rings
  • Replacement valve cartridge
  • (Optional) Cartridge remover
  • A rag
  • Cleaning solution (equal parts water and vinegar)

How to Fix the Leak

  1. Place the towel on the shower floor, covering the drain. This is meant to prevent any parts from the valve assembly falling down the drain.
  2. Shut off the water supply to the faucet. You may have to shut off the main supply to the whole house if there is no specific valve for the shower.
  3. If you have a two-valve system, determine which valve is causing the leak. If the dripping water is warm, the hot water valve is the one to fix.
  4. Remove the faucet handle and baseplate to reveal the valve.
  5. Following manufacturer instructions, take apart the valve assembly.
  6. Clean the valve parts and the faucet seat with the cleaning solution before reassembling the valve with the new cartridge and valve stem as per manufacturer instruction.
  7. Put the base plate and handle back in place as you found them.
  8. Remove the towel and turn on the water supply to test if the leak has been fixed. Run water through the shower for at least 30 seconds before turning it off and seeing if the leak persists.

Note that even after you shut off the water supply, as you’re fixing the valve, some water still residing in the pipes may fall down on you.

Plumbing issues can rob you of your peace of mind, and if you don’t have the time to fix them they can feel unbearable. But if you live in the Amarillo, Canyon, or Bushland areas, then you have access to professionals with over 50 years of experience at Pratt Plumbing services. Call them today at 806-373-7866.

Request Job Estimate