After a long day, nothing beats a hot shower, but what happens when the shower keeps dripping long after you step out? A leaky faucet can be a major inconvenience and may increase your water bill, but fortunately this repair can be done simply, often without the help of a plumber. Read on to learn more about shower head repair or replacement. How to Fix Leaking Shower Water A shower head can leak for a variety of reasons. The first – and most obvious – place to start is within the shower head itself. For this and all shower head repairs, first turn off the water supply. Then locate the nut on the shower arm, just behind the head. You may need to use a wrench to gently loosen the nut, but if you are concerned about scratching or damaging the end of the shower arm, you can place a towel over the nut as you turn it. Then rotate the shower head counterclockwise until it is removed. Once the shower head is separated from the shower arm, flip it over to inspect the interior. The first thing you may notice is a buildup of metal on the screen and nozzles. If so, you’ll find instructions for unclogging your shower head in the next section. Otherwise, you’ll want to take a closer look at the O-rings inside the shower head. Over time, these rubber rings can wear out and eventually break. If you find a broken O-ring, take it to a local hardware store to find an exact size replacement. Before reassembling the shower head, you may want to wrap the threads of the shower arm with waterproofing tape such as Teflon tape. This will help to form a waterproofing and reduce leakage in the future. If the new O-rings and sealing tape don’t seem to stop dripping, the problem may lie with the faucet handle. Pressure faucets have two handles, one for hot and one for cold, and a faulty washer in one of the faucets may prevent it from closing, allowing water to reach the shower head. The first step in this repair is to determine which faucet handle is causing the leak. This can be done by checking the temperature of the water leaking from the shower head. Once you know the handle of the faucet to repair, loosen it by removing the small screw located under the handle. Next, remove the nut and washer, replace the washer with a new one, and reassemble the faucet handle. For a shower with one handle, the problem may be due to a broken cartridge in the valve body. Locate the small screw under the handle, then remove the handle, decorative faceplate, and cap covering the valve body. Inside a plastic cartridge. If it is broken, first remove the nut or clamp that secures it, and then use pliers to gently pull out the cartridge. Replace the cartridge with a new one and reassemble the faucet. How to Clear a Shower Head Clog Over time, mineral deposits in the water supply can lead to a buildup inside the shower head. This is especially true for homes with hard water. Mineral buildup can reduce water pressure, clog the nozzles, and eventually lead to a leak at the back of the shower head, where the water must find another outlet. Sure, showering with low water pressure and listening to the shower head continually drip is frustrating, but fortunately, the solution is pretty easy. This repair can be done without removing the shower head itself, but it is most effective when the head is detached. Follow the instructions above to remove the showerhead. Next, soak the entire shower head in a cleaning solution for at least an hour, or overnight. Often, all that is required is a white vinegar soak, but sometimes, more heavy-duty cleaning solutions may be necessary. If you cannot remove the shower head, fill a plastic bag with the cleaner and attach the bag to the shower head using a zip tie or rubber band. After soaking the shower head, remove the fixative from the cleaner and use an old toothbrush to scrub each nozzle well. You can also use a toothpick to gently remove the minerals that build up inside each nozzle tip. Once the shower head is free of buildup, rinse it with clean water and reattach it to the shower arm. Upgrade your shower head Even if your shower head is working fine, you may feel it’s time for an update. Whether you want to update the finishes in your bathroom or are looking for a more spa-like experience with a rain shower head, replacing a shower head is a quick project that makes a big impact. First, turn off the water supply and remove the shower head by following the instructions above. You will likely need to remove the shower arm as well, especially if the finishes are different. Simply rotate the shower arm counterclockwise until it is removed from the pipe in the wall. Then, follow the instructions to reassemble your new shower head and enjoy the updated look and feel of your bathroom. Repairing or Replacing a Leaking Shower Head Fixing a leaky shower head may seem like a plumber’s job, but often, you can do the repair yourself quite easily. First, remove the shower head and replace any broken O-rings or loosen them if mineral deposits have built up. If this does not prevent the shower head from falling off, you may need to look from the shower head itself to the faucet. For pressure faucets, the problem may lie with a broken or worn washer inside the faucet handle. Single handle showers may have a broken cartridge inside the valve body. While these solutions will help most homeowners fix leaky shower heads, if you still see water flowing when the shower has stopped and you need a shower repair, it’s time to call a local licensed plumber. A drip-free shower is just around the corner! Alan Smith is the Marketing Coordinator at Spartan Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. Spartan is a leading plumbing/HVAC company that assists all types of businesses and residences throughout the Washington DC area and parts of Maryland. The Spartan has been rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau and has been voted the best plumber in the capital for four consecutive years.