How To Fix A Leaking Showerhead

leaky showerhead and how to fix it

When you step into the shower, the last thing you want to encounter is a leaky shower head. Not only is it annoying, but it can also lead to water wastage and inflated bills. It’s essential to know how to deal with such problems efficiently. In this article, we will guide you through the process of diagnosing and fixing a leaking shower head. From gathering the necessary tools to understanding the underlying causes, and even knowing when it’s time to call in a professional, this comprehensive guide has got you covered.

A leaking shower head means that water is dripping or flowing out of the shower head when the shower is turned off. This is not only annoying due to the constant dripping sound but can also lead to various problems, such as:

  1. Increased water bills due to wastage.
  2. Potential for mold or mildew development from constant moisture.
  3. Mineral deposits building up in the shower head.

Significance of Timely Repairs

Addressing a leaking shower head in a timely manner is essential to prevent further complications. The benefits of prompt repairs include:

Conserving Water: Small leaks can add up, wasting a significant amount of water over time.

Reducing Utility Bills: Prevent the increase in water bills by nipping the leak in the bud.

Preventing Further Damage: Continuous water leaks can cause damage to walls, floors, and lead to mold growth.
Diagnosing the Leak

Identifying the Source

Before you can fix the leak, you need to determine its source. Here’s how:

Check the Connection: First, see if the shower head is properly screwed on and the washer is in good condition. Sometimes the leak is simply due to a loose connection.

Examine the Pipe: If it’s not the connection, the leak may be coming from the shower arm or the pipe behind the wall.

Identify the Type of Leak: Pay attention to whether the water is leaking from the shower head itself or around the base where it connects to the wall. This can help you identify if the problem is with the shower head or the plumbing.

Understanding the Cause

Once you have identified the source of the leak, it is important to understand what is causing it. Common causes include:

Worn-out Washer or O-ring: Over time, the washer or O-ring can wear out and fail to create a tight seal.

Mineral Deposits: Hard water can leave mineral deposits that build up over time, affecting the shower head’s functionality.

High Water Pressure: Sometimes, the water pressure can be so high that it forces water past the seals even when the shower is turned off.

Fixing the Leak

Gathering the Necessary Tools

Before you begin, it’s essential to gather all the necessary tools and materials to fix your leaking shower head. You will need an adjustable wrench or pliers to loosen and tighten parts, Teflon tape to ensure a watertight seal, and possibly some replacement washers or O-rings if the existing ones are damaged. It’s also a good idea to have an old toothbrush and some vinegar on hand to clean away any mineral deposits that may be contributing to the leak.

Step-by-Step Repair Process

Start by turning off the water supply to the shower. Next, use an adjustable wrench or pliers to unscrew the shower head from the arm. Be gentle to avoid damaging the pipes. Once removed, check for any worn-out washers or O-rings and replace them if necessary. Clean the threads of the shower arm and the shower head with an old toothbrush and vinegar to remove any mineral deposits. Apply Teflon tape around the threads of the shower arm for a watertight seal, and then reattach the shower head. Turn the water back on to check if the leak is fixed.

Prevention and Maintenance

Regular Maintenance Tips

Preventing future leaks is as important as fixing current ones. Regular maintenance can save you both time and money in the long run. Clean your shower head monthly to avoid mineral build-up, which can cause leaks and reduce water flow. Soak the shower head in vinegar to dissolve any minerals. Regularly inspect the shower head for signs of wear, especially in the washers and O-rings, and replace them as needed.

When to Seek Professional Help

While many shower head leaks can be fixed with a simple DIY approach, there are times when it’s best to call in a professional. If you’ve tried the above steps and your shower head is still leaking, or if you notice water leaking from the wall or a sudden drop in water pressure, these could be signs of a more serious plumbing issue. In such cases, it’s advisable to consult a professional plumber who can accurately diagnose and address the problem.


In conclusion, a leaking shower head is a common issue that can result in the wastage of water and, if not addressed, lead to higher water bills and potential water damage. It’s crucial to diagnose the source of the leak, understand the underlying cause, gather the necessary tools, and follow a systematic repair process. Taking timely action to fix a leaking shower head is not only environmentally responsible but also economically prudent.

Being proactive in the care and maintenance of your shower head is an excellent habit that can save you from future headaches. Regular cleaning, inspection for wear and tear, and timely replacement of components like washers and O-rings are simple steps that can make a significant difference. So, keep an eye on your shower head, and don’t hesitate to roll up your sleeves to ensure it remains in top condition. And remember, sometimes calling in a professional is the best course of action for more complex issues.

John, Larry, Mike, owners of Western Rooter & Plumbing

Need expert plumbing help?

If you’re having plumbing issues or emergencies, contact Western Rooter & Plumbing online or call our dispatch center at (626) 448-6455. We are the Los Angeles County and San Gabriel Valley’s number one plumbers – don’t wait, call now!



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