You shower is one of the most utilized areas in the home. It is also one of the areas that is most prone to issues. You may have the perfect deign, curtain and showerhead, but that won’t necessarily prevent a leaky shower. In fact, leaky showers are some of the most common shower issues out there, and they can happen to virtually anyone.
A leaky shower isn’t just annoying either. Over time, it can have a major impact on your water bill and cost you a great deal of money. The good news is, while leaky showers can seem complicated to repair, they are typically quite easy for the average homeowner.
Instead of calling in and paying a professional for the job, there are ways that you can attempt to fix your leaky shower first so you can save yourself money and enjoy a properly-working shower that operates like it is supposed to.
There are two major places where leaks tend to occur in most showers: the faucet and the faucet handle. First, you need to locate the location of your leak, then you can start with your repairs.
Fixing a Leaking Shower Faucet
If the faucet itself, or the faucet head of your shower is leaking, then you will need to complete the following steps in order to repair your shower. First, collect your supplies. This includes:
- New rubber gasket
- Flathead screw driver
Then, follow these steps for a repair:
- Turn off the water valves. Depending on your setup, the valve to your water supply will either be located in your bathroom, or down in your basement. There will be a large red lever. Push it forward to turn off the water. If you cannot locate these valves, simply turn off the main water valve to your home—located outside your house.
- It is essential that your water is off before you start repairs, so make sure to test your shower and make certain no water comes out.
- Using your wrench or a pair of pliers, remove the shower faucet by turning it counterclockwise.
- Some faucets will have a screw holding the had in place. Loosen it with a flathead screwdriver if necessary.
- There will be some water sitting in the faucet, allow it to drain out completely.
- Open up the faucet and locate the rubber gasket.
- Purchase a new rubber gasket at your local hardware stores and put it in place. It is essential that you get the right size gasket, otherwise the leaks will only continue.
- Secure the gasket so it is as tight as possible and won’t move inside the faucet.
- Use your screwdriver and your wrench or pliers to fasten your showerhead back in place until it is secure.
- Turn the water back on and test your shower faucet for leaks.
If replacing the rubber gasket does not work, you may be dealing with a bigger issue and will need to call a plumber for more assistance.
How to Fix a Leaking Faucet Handle
Sometimes, a leaking shower head isn’t the cause of your leaking shower—it is actually the handle. When the handle of a shower is broken and cannot turn off all the way, then it may cause some leaks in your shower. You may notice this when the leaks are more prominent than the occasion drip, or if you need to press really hard when turning your showerhead off in order to get your shower to stop leaking.
If you notice these issues, or have attempted to fix the shower head with no avail, then you should consider fixing the shower faucet handles next.
Grab a flathead screwdriver, a cartridge puller and a pair of pliers and then you can get started with your repairs. If you don’t already have a cartridge puller, you will need one. It does need to work with your specific brand of faucet, otherwise it may damage the cartridge inside your shower. Just because you already have a cartridge puller, it doesn’t mean that it will work with this particular shower faucet. They are relatively inexpensive and can be found at your local home improvement store.
First, you will again want to make sure that you have turned off the water supply to your shower. This can be done either in the bathroom of the basement of your home. If you cannot locate the water valves, then turn off the main water supply outside your home.
Here’s how to repair your leaking faucet handle.
- Make sure that you test the water to ensure it is off completely.
- Remove the faucet handle that you use to turn the shower on and off by prying off the handle cap with your flat head screwdriver. If the handle cap is tight, you may need a utility knife.
- With the cap off, you will see an internal handle screw. Use your screwdriver to unscrew it.
- In some older homes, the handle may have gotten stuck over time. You can apply heat with a hairdryer, use a pair of pliers to attempt to loosen the handle or invest in a handle puller from your local hardware store to remove the handle completely.
- Locate the cartridge. It is a large ring inside the handle that is located next to the wall. You will see it once the faucet handle is removed.
- Take your cartridge puller, which can be purchased at a local home improvement store, to remove the cartridge.
- Take your cartridge to your local hardware store to find a new replacement that is the same size and style as your existing cartridge.
- Screw on the new cartridge in place of your old one.
- Replace the faucet handle and secure it with your screwdriver. Cover with the handle cap.
- Turn the handle to the “off” position and check for leaks.
These are the two main ways you can safely attempt to fix a leak shower at home, without the assistance of a professional plumber.