How to Fix a Leaking Shower Faucet

HomeQuicks Staff Oct 6, 2018
A leaking shower faucet can really become a headache at times. Continue reading to learn how to fix a leaking shower faucet.
A leaky faucet is always irritating, and even more so if it happens to be your bathroom shower faucet. The constant 'drip drip drip' not only results in wastage of precious water, but it can cause a lot of discomfort at times when you need the bathroom floor to be nice and dry.
So, is replacement the only solution? Not really. You can first try repairing the device, which in most cases, does solve the problem. Here are some tips on how to fix a leaking shower faucet.

Materials Needed

The following is the list of plumbing material that you will need:
  • a pair of pliers
  • a set of screwdrivers
  • a piece of dry cloth or a rag
  • an adjustable wrench
  • washers
  • pocket knife
  • sealant
  • O-rings
  • grease
  • cartridges
Once you have all the above material at hand, you can begin with the process.

Instructions

1. First and foremost, cut off the water supply to the shower. If you cannot locate the knob for that particular water pipe, never mind. Cut off the main water supply instead.
2. Once you have shut off the water supply, open the faucet and let the water remaining in the pipe drain out through the shower head. After all the water has been drained out, you can move on to the next step.
3. Now, you need to remove the faucet handle. All handles have a screw, which is either superficial or concealed. Look around and locate the handle screw. Using the adjustable wrench, gently unscrew the handle. Taping the tip of the wrench with some duct tape can help in protecting the handle from developing scratch marks.
4. Once you have removed the handle, inspect it thoroughly. Use the dry cloth to clean the insides of the handle and remove all traces of accumulated dirt and grime.
5. Now, inspect the insides of the faucet. In most cases, leakage is caused due to:
  • worn out rubber washers
  • worn out O-rings
  • loose valves
  • worn out threading
  • large-scale wear and tear of internal components.
6. We will take a look at all these possible factors one by one. First inspect the valve. If you find it slightly loose, try tightening it with the help of pliers. Re-attach the handle, screw it in and test the faucet. If the leakage has stopped, your job is done, else move on to the next step.
7. Inspect the rubber washer. From whatever little plumbing experience that I have, I have seen that most faucet leakages are caused by worn out washers and threads. Just looking at the washer itself will give you a good idea of whether it is in good condition or not. Replace the worn out washer with a new one of the same size and thickness.
8. If you find that the threading has loosened or has worn out, remove it and replace it with regular plumbing threads. Make sure you wrap it tightly around the stem or else it may get entangled with some other internal components.
9. Next, you should examine the O-ring. Replace it with a new one if it appears worn out.
10. For good measure, apply a coat of sealant on the threads of the valve while putting it back in place. Also, apply a thin layer of grease or petroleum jelly on the threads of the handle before screwing it back on.
11. Wait for about an hour or so so that the sealant gets enough time to dry. Turn on the shower and inspect whether the leakage still persists. If you find that there is still a bit of leakage, it is advisable that you take the help of a professional plumber for further repairs.
These were some tips to fix a shower faucet that is consistently leaking. Regardless of whether you have a single handle or a two handle shower faucet, the basic process remains the same.