Drip, drip, drip. Many homeowners are familiar with this sound, particularly at night! You can fix your leaking showerhead. You need not be a plumbing expert to do so. If you can manage pliers and a wrench, than you have the skills to fix this very annoying problem (and expensive!) problem yourself. Aside from the nuisance of the issue you can waste hundreds of gallons of water a month with a leaking showerhead.
Leaking showerheads are actually easier to deal with than leaking faucets. Often times it is simply a matter of replacing an old showerhead. Take a look at the unit, if it’s cracked, corroded or simply looks too old than unscrew It and run down to your local home improvement store for a replacement. This is actually not a bad thing because newer showerheads are more efficient which saves you on water and your water bill.
If the showerhead does not appear to be too old or in bad shape, than make sure that it simply has not become loose. Use a wrench to tighten it down. Turn gently clockwise until it is tight; do not over tighten as you may crack the pipe the showerhead is attached too.
If the showerhead appears fine, and it’s not loose from the pipe, than it is time to take the showerhead off and examine it to see what else could be causing the problem. So unscrew the showerhead with some pliers or a plumber’s wrench. Turn the head counter clockwise. We also suggest you cover the head with a rag so that the pliers don’t damage or mar the finish on it.
With the head off you will see a washer inside of it. This is likely the cause of the leak as it has worn out or cracked and is no longer an effective seal and water can get past it and then you have a leak. Replace the washer with an identical one from your hardware store, screw the head back on and see if the problem is fixed. Since you have the head off and also because you likely went to the hardware store to get a replacement washer, put some plumbers tape on the threads of the pipe before you screw the head back on. You can pick up this tape at the same store and the help at the store can show you how to apply the tape to the pipe. This is additional insurance against a leak.
Replacing the washer in the showerhead, or replacing the showerhead itself, typically solves the problem. However if you have tried both and you still have a leak, than it is time to call in a professional plumber and they can solve the issue.