A leaky shower head can be very expensive and irritating at the same time. A leaky shower head produces annoying noises every time the drops hit the floor. Apart from that, those drops could waste thousands of gallons of water every month.
If a leak is occurring on the hot water side of the shower valve, it will waste large amounts of energy since the water heater is continuously running to warm the water which is not being used accordingly. At the end of the month, a leaky shower head will double your water bills and triple your electricity bills. Sometimes leaky shower head can also flood your living spaces causing damage to property especially electronics.
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Reasons for a Leaky Shower Head
Water dripping or drizzling from a shower head means that the shower valve has a problem. This could be brought about by the following scenarios.
- Internal seals have been worn out.
- Parts have become corroded or clogged due to deposits of hard water.
- The rubber rings and gaskets have been worn out over time and use. When this happens, water starts squirting or dripping out.
Fixing a Leaky Shower Head
Make sure to turn off the water supply to your shower head. Mineral deposits and lime can build up in the holes over time and clog them. This can be one of the reasons for a leaking shower head. If you are not sure why your shower head is leaking, then you can start by unclogging the shower head holes.
Before you do this, shut off the water supply to the shower head to avoid inconveniencing the whole household, it is advisable to just turn off the water supply to the bathroom. You can find out the bathroom shut off valve in the basement or near the shower. This is a necessary step because the shower head parts that have the mineral and lime deposits have to be scrubbed and cleaned separately from the rest of the shower.
Steps to Follow
- If you can manage on your own, unscrew the face plate. If you cannot manage to remove the face plate alone, just disconnect the shower head from the rest of the shower. The make and model of your shower head will determine how you go about this.
- Look closely for screws that fasten the shower head or the shower head face plate and unscrew them. Once you have managed to remove all the screws, twist anti clockwise and then pull the shower head or the face plate to remove.
- Using a damp cloth to wipe lime scale deposits from the shower head. Soak the shower head in vinegar to remove the deposits.
- If the threads of the shower head or shower arm are worn, install a new shower head. If they are not worn out, then the leak may be resulting from the gasket.
- Looking closely at the inlet of the shower head, you should notice a small rubber disk. This is the gasket.
- You should replace the worn or torn gaskets. You should go with it to a hardware store so that they can sell you the one that matches your shower system.
- Using a Teflon tape, wrap the threads of the shower arm tightly. Wrapping should be done a minimum of five times in a clockwise direction. Do make sure to cover all the threads.
- Return the shower head back to the arm. Turn it in a clockwise direction and do not over tighten it.
- After re-installing the shower head, turn on the water supply to check if there are leaks. If there are no leaks, then you fixed the shower head. If it continues dripping, then the problem may be at the connection of shower arm and the pipe.
- Wrapping a piece of cloth around the shower arm, unscrew it from the wall. You can use an adjustable wrench to do this procedure.
- Soak the end of the shower arm that has threads in vinegar to remove build up the lime scale and then rinse thoroughly with clean water.
- Using Teflon tape, wrap the threads of the shower arm tightly and fix it back to the wall.
Fixing a leaky shower head does not require complicated tools or procedures. If you can manage to identify the problem, then it should only take you a few hours. After that, you have eliminated those high water bills caused leaking shower heads.
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