8 Expert Ways On How To Fix A Leaky Shower Head

A leaking shower head is the most annoying sound you may have heard from your bathroom. It creates a constant drip-drip sound, which can be irritating and frustrating. Apart from the noise, a leaking showerhead can drain your money.

Imagine your showerhead is leaking water ten times per minute, which means four and a half liters of water are wasted daily. It is equivalent to 1600 liters per year. You will drain your money if you are charged for using water in your apartment.

You can easily fix a leaky showerhead at home without any plumber’s assistance.

The article discusses a step-by-step guide on how to fix a leaky shower head. So, you can keep reading this article to know the steps required to fix a leaking showerhead.

How To Fix A Leaky Shower head?

Your showerhead can leak for several reasons, like mineral deposits. Hard water usually contains different materials like calcium, magnesium, lime, and silica. 

These minerals can build up on the holes of the showerhead with time and cause dripping. Secondly, the inner seals or washers can get damaged with time.

However, fixing a leaking showerhead is quite simple. You need to follow a few simple steps described above.

1. Switch Off The Water Supply To The Shower Head

Your first duty is to shut the water supply to the bathroom. You can do it in two ways.

  • Find the shut-off valve of the bathroom and then switch it off.
  • Switch off the main water supply.

Closing the main water supply can affect the entire household. So it’s better to switch off the shut-off valve. It’s usually present in the basement or near the shower.

2. Remove The Complete Shower Head Or Its Faceplate

The showerhead is deposited with lime and different minerals, which clog the holes of the showerhead. It is one of the primary reasons for a leaking showerhead.

So, you need to remove the showerhead, soak it, and scrub it to remove all the minerals deposited in the showerhead.

Search for the screws that surround the showerhead face plate and showerhead. You can unscrew it and then rotate the showerhead in an anticlockwise direction to remove it.

3. Soak The Showerhead In Vinegar For A Few Hours

Take a container that must be large enough to fit the showerhead. Now, fill the container with a few drops of white vinegar and coarse salt.

The vinegar amount you will be using depends on the showerhead size. If it is large, add some extra dips of white vinegar for better cleaning.

Soak the faceplate or showerhead in the solution(white vinegar+water+corase salt) for almost 8 hours. During soaking, the vinegar will help dissolve the showerhead’s deposits.

4. Remove The Left Over Deposits Manually

After eight hours, almost all minerals would have been dissolved from the showerhead. Now, take a toothpick that will fit into the holes of the showerhead. 

You can easily stick that toothpick on all the holes and clean the dirt, debris, and minerals. You may also scrub it with a brush for proper cleaning.

5. Attach The Showerhead Back On Its Place

Attach the showerhead back to its original position and check whether you have fixed the issue.

Switch on the water supply to the showerhead and then check whether it leaks. If it is not leaking, then you have fixed the issue. But if it is still leaking, there are other possible reasons for leakage.

6. Replace The Damaged O Ring Washer

The O rings act as seals between the showerhead and the hose. It prevents the showerhead from getting leak. But when it gets damaged or cracks, then water starts dripping. You can replace the O rings to get rid of the solution.

Now follow the steps below to replace the O rings.

  • Switch Off The water supply.

Your first duty will be to switch off the water supply to the showerhead. You can do it by closing the water supply to the bathroom. It is usually located near the shower or basement.

If you have a separate faucet for controlling hot and cold water, feel the water dripping from the showerhead. It will help you to determine which faucet has a problem and needs to be fixed.

  • Determine The Rubber Washer Which You Are Going To Replace

If you have a single-handle faucet, the washer is inside the showerhead, which needs to be changed.

If you have a two-handle faucet, the rubber washer is inside the faucet, which needs replacement.

So, the faucet type will determine which rubber washer you need to replace.

  • Replace the Rubber Washer

To replace the rubber washer, you must first remove the showerhead. There are different brands of showerheads available in the market. 

But in most brands, a collar nut is attached to the shower arm. The collar nut looks quite similar to the regular nut but extends lengthwise. You need to unscrew it with the help of a wrench so that the shower head will separate from the shower arm.

Now, look for the metal fixture, i.e., a large nut with a metal ball at the end. Now rotate it, and then you find the rubber washer. Remove it and inspect it properly. If you find it damaged, replace it with a new one. You must look for a washer that looks identical to the old one.

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7. Replace The Malfunctioning Cartridge valve

If the cartridge valve is not working correctly, then it can be the reason for the leaking shower head.

However, you can replace the cartridge valve by following simple steps.

  • You need to close the water supply to the bathroom before beginning the process.
  • You have to find the faucet handle and then try to remove it. Sometimes, pulling the handle may be a bit complicated. You can use a hair dryer to warm the handle and then try to remove it. But if you do not have a hair dryer, you can use a handle puller and remove the faucet handle.
  • The method of removing the old cartridge differs by manufacturer. Holding the handle, you can take an Allen key and lose the set screw.
  • Remove the faucet handle and then trim the sleeve and spacer.
  • You will visualize the cartridge valve.
  • Now remove the bonnet nut by using a strap wrench.
  • Now remove the cartridge valve by holding it firmly and wrigging it back and forth.
  • Install the new cartridge valve properly and then return the bonnet nut.
  • Remember, the new cartridge valve should be similar to the old one.
  • Reassemble all the components back in their place and then check whether the shower head is leaking.

8. Clean Or Replace the Malfunctioning Diverter valve

A diverter valve will divert water from the bathtub faucet to the showerhead. They are very simple devices that can clog with sediments or malfunction with time. So you need to remove it and then replace it.

You can follow a step-by-step guide regarding the removal of the diverter valve.

  • Shut off the water supply to your bathroom.
  • Your next duty is to find the screws on the faucet handle. They are either located outside or hidden inside the cap. You can remove the cap with the help of a pocket knife.
  • Now unscrew the hexagonal nut and remove the diverter valve. Sometimes, you may find difficulty in unscrewing and removing the diverter valve. In such cases, you can wrap a vinegar-soaked cloth for a few minutes. You may also use WD 40 to get rid of the solution.
  • Once you remove the diverter valve, inspect it thoroughly. If you find that sediments have deposited on it, clean it with white vinegar and a hard, stiff brush. But if it is badly damaged, you must replace it with a new one.
  • Now, reassemble all the components back in its place. Turn on the water supply and then check whether the water is dripping from the shower head.
  • If you have tried all the steps described above and the water leaks from the showerhead, you need professional help.


If your showerhead is dripping continuously, it creates a lot of nuisance. Simultaneously, it drains your money. 

So you need to solve this problem as soon as possible. The best thing you can do is correct it without getting professional help. You need to have little time and patience in solving the issue.

In most cases, the sediments get deposited in the shower head for which water leakage takes place. You can clean it by dissolving it in white vinegar and coarse salt for a few hours. 

There can be other reasons too, like malfunction of cartridge valve, diverter valve and many more. You need to inspect it and replace it with a new one if required.

FAQ : How To Fix A Leaky Shower Dead

Q1. Why is water dripping from the showerhead?

Ans : The water may drip from your showerhead when sediments or minerals like calcium, lime, or silica start to build on it. Well, there can be other reasons too, like damaged o rings or malfunction of the cartridge valve.

Q2. Can a leaking showerhead be repaired?

Ans : Yes, you can repair a leaking showerhead. For example, if the minerals have been deposited in the shower head, remove them and clean them by soaking them in white vinegar for 8 hours. Additionally, if O rings are damaged, replace them with a new one.

Q3. Is it normal for the showerhead to drip a little?

Ans : When you close your shower, a few drops of water drip for a few seconds. But if you hear continuous water drip from the shower after coming from the bathroom, then there is some issue that you need to inspect.

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