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A leaky showerhead – or, even worse, one with abysmal water pressure – is not only annoying but wasteful. Noisy drips keep you up at night, and a low-flow leaves you feeling more frustrated than rejuvenated every morning. Luckily, this is a pretty simple repair task:
When leaks occur in your shower head, sometimes hand-tightening the shower head or the arm can stop the dripping, but this may not always solve the problem. If your shower head still leaks after tightening, you may have worn threads, a damaged gasket or the shower head may have been installed without using Teflon tape to seal the connection.
Before you call the plumber, try the following:
- Remove the shower head from the arm by turning it counterclockwise. Use a wrench to turn the threads, if necessary. Place a cloth over the shower head and arm to protect it from scratches, or use a strap wrench.
- Wipe limescale from the shower head threads and the shower arm, using a damp cloth. Soak the shower head in vinegar, if the scale is difficult to remove. Spray vinegar onto the shower arm and let it soak into the limescale.
- Wipe both the shower head and the arm again with your damp cloth to remove remaining limescale buildup.
- Check the threads on both the shower arm and the shower head. If they are worn or cracked, replace the shower head with a new one. If they are not, the leak may be caused by the gasket.
- Look at the inlet of the shower head. There should be a small rubber disk installed here. This rubber washer is the gasket.
- Replace worn or torn gaskets. Take the damaged gasket to any hardware store to find a new one to match.
- Wrap the threads on the shower arm with Teflon tape. Wrap the tape clockwise at least four or five times around the arm. Cover all of the threads.
- Reinstall the shower head to the arm by hand-turning it in a clockwise direction. Do not over-tighten it.
- Turn on the shower and check for leaks. If there is still water leaking down the shower wall, the leak may be in the joint where the shower arm connects to the pipe.
- Wrap a cloth around the shower arm and unscrew the arm from the wall, using an adjustable wrench. You can also use a strap wrench, which allows you to loosen the arm without scratching it.
- Soak the threads at the end of the shower arm in vinegar to remove limescale buildup. Rinse with clean water.
- Wrap the threads of the shower arm with Teflon tape and reinstall it back into the wall.
May your drippy days be over! Information courtesy of SFGate.com.
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