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How To Fix A Leaky Showerhead

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Leaky showerheads can be a hassle. Not only do they create a lot of noise, they will increase your water bills and increase your environmental impact. Thankfully, fixing a leaky showerhead is a fairly simple process that will only take a few minutes of your time with the right tools and know-how.

Before You Begin

You'll need several towels, a commercial cleaner (or white vinegar), plumbing tape, and an adjustable wrench or pair of pliers, all of which are available at most hardware stores if you do not already have them at home.

It's a good idea to place a towel in your tub while you're working, in case you drop a tool on the porcelain.

Fixing a Leaky Showerhead

Turn the water off for your whole house – the shut off valve is commonly located in the basement, but will vary depending on your home.

Remove the showerhead from the shower arm by turning it counter clockwise with your hands. If it won't budge, place tape on the jaws of the adjustable wrench, and use that to turn the showerhead counter clockwise. It may take a little bit of force to work.

Look inside the showerhead – there should be a small plastic washer, known as an O-ring. If your showerhead has been leaking, damage to the O-ring is the most likely cause. If it is damaged, take it in to a hardware store to find a replacement to install in the showerhead.

Fill a bowl with commercial cleaner (or vinegar), and place the showerhead inside to soak for an hour or two. This will dissolve any minerals that have built up on the showerhead, which can block water inside the pipe and slowly allow it to escape over time, causing a leak.

After you've replaced the O-ring and soaked the showerhead, you should scrub away any visible deposits of minerals on the surface of the showerhead.

Then, wrap the threads around the showerhead with plumber's tape, pressing the tape down firmly so that the threads show through. This helps prevents leaks and rust from developing.

Screw the showerhead clockwise back into place, first by hand until you can't tighten it anymore, and then take the adjustable wrench and use it to turn the showerhead another half turn.

Turn the water back on and make sure that it is flowing properly. Check to see if there are any leaks. If there are, even after replacing the O-ring and cleaning the showerhead, you may have to replace your showerhead, as the issue may be with the head itself. For professional help with this task, contact a company like Belanger Plumbing & Heating Plumbing Service.