With everything that goes into owning and maintaining a home, it’s understandable that many homeowners ignore small problems, even if they are easily fixable. Oh, that’s happening, but I’ve got bigger things to deal with in my day, the thinking often goes. One of those small nuisances that might not be on your priority list is a leaky shower head or faucet. While you might forget about the rhythmic drip, drip, drip every time you leave the house, the fact is that those drips add up to a lot of wasted water. A showerhead that drips every 3 seconds, for example, can waste up to 700 gallons of water per year! The same goes for faucets.
It is definitely worth your while to carve out a couple of hours on a Sunday (or whenever your schedule allows) and address this small but significant problem. And with any luck, you won’t need to call a professional for help! Powell’s Plumbing is happy to assist with bigger plumbing issues, but there are many things we want you, the homeowner, to avoid spending your hard-earned money on. A leaky shower head or faucet is one of those things. Here’s how to fix it:
First, make sure your shower water is turned off. Next, unscrew the showerhead by hand—using a wrench here might be too much force and could break the showerhead. Then, take a look at the showerhead to make sure it isn’t clogged with calcification (especially if you don’t have a water softener) or other substances. If you want to clean it, you can soak the showerhead in a bowl of white vinegar for about an hour. The most important step, though, is to wrap (or re-wrap) the threads of the shower pipe extension with plumber’s tape. This is likely the source of the dripping issue. Make sure the tape is wound tightly around the extension in the direction of the threads. Then, screw the showerhead back on and test it out. Most of the time, this is going to fix the problem.
If this simple fix doesn’t do it and you have a single-handle shower faucet, you might need to replace the faucet cartridge, located behind the shower water controls. This small piece is responsible for regulating the water flow in your shower and may be creating a poor seal. This is a little more involved than applying fresh plumber’s tape, so you can always give Powell’s Plumbing a call! We are happy to provide resources for this type of repair, or we can come out and do it for you. Either way, we are here to help.