How to Fix a Leaky Shower Head

by lefton sanitary

Are you tired of that annoying drip, drip, drip coming from your showerhead? You're not alone. A leaky shower head is a common household problem, but the good news is it's usually an easy fix. In this guide, we'll walk you through everything you need to know to fix that pesky leak and get your shower back in tip-top shape.

What Causes Showerheads to Leak?

Understanding the root cause of your leaky showerhead is the first step to fixing it. Here are some common culprits:

Mineral Build-Up

Water, especially hard water, contains minerals like calcium, magnesium, lime, and silica. Over time, these minerals can build up and clog the small holes in your showerhead, causing it to leak.

Worn-Out Gasket

The gasket is a small, rubber ring that helps seal the connection between the showerhead and the arm. If the gasket is worn out, it can cause leaks.

Loose Connections

Sometimes, a simple tightening of connections can solve the problem. Loose connections between the showerhead and the shower arm can lead to leaks.

Faulty Diverter Valve

If you have a shower-tub combo, the diverter valve might be faulty. This valve directs water from the tub spout to the showerhead. If it's not working correctly, it can cause leaks.

Tools and Materials You'll Need

Before you start, gather the following tools and materials:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Teflon tape
  • Replacement gasket

Step-by-Step Guide to Fixing a Leaky Showerhead

Ready to tackle that leak? Follow these six easy steps:

1. Turn Off the Water Supply

Before you do anything, make sure to turn off the water supply to your shower. This will prevent any accidental water flow while you're working.

2. Remove the Showerhead

Use an adjustable wrench to loosen and remove the showerhead from the shower arm. Be gentle to avoid damaging the fixture.

3. Inspect and Replace the Gasket

Check the gasket inside the showerhead. If it's worn out, replace it with a new one. This is often the cause of leaks.

4. Reassemble and Test

Wrap Teflon tape around the threads of the shower arm to ensure a tight seal. Reattach the showerhead, turn the water supply back on, and test for leaks.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Even after following the steps, you might encounter some issues. Here’s how to troubleshoot them:

Leaks Persist

If the leak persists, double-check the gasket and ensure it's properly seated. Also, make sure the showerhead is tightly screwed on.

Leaks Persist

Low Water Pressure

If you notice low water pressure after cleaning the showerhead, there might still be some mineral deposits blocking the holes. Repeat the soaking and scrubbing process.

Low Water Pressure

Dripping When Off

If the showerhead drips even when the water is off, the issue might be with the shower valve. You may need to replace the valve cartridge.

Dripping When Off

Maintenance Tips

Prevent future leaks by following these maintenance tips:

Regular Cleaning

Regularly clean your showerhead with vinegar to prevent mineral build-up. Doing this every few months can keep your showerhead in good working condition.

Check Connections

Periodically check the connections between the showerhead and the shower arm to ensure they are tight. Loose connections can lead to leaks.

Replace Gaskets

Gaskets wear out over time. Replace them every few years to prevent leaks.

Water Softener

Consider installing a water softener if you have hard water. This will reduce mineral build-up not just in your showerhead, but throughout your plumbing system.


Fixing a leaky showerhead is a simple task that can save you money on water bills and prevent further damage to your bathroom. With the right tools and a little know-how, you can tackle this common household problem with ease. Remember, regular maintenance is key to keeping your showerhead in good condition and preventing future leaks.


1. Why is my showerhead still leaking after replacing the gasket?

If your showerhead is still leaking after replacing the gasket, it might be due to a loose connection or a problem with the shower valve. Double-check the connections and consider replacing the valve cartridge.

2. How often should I clean my showerhead?

For optimal performance, clean your showerhead every three to six months. If you have hard water, you might need to clean it more frequently.

3. What should I do if my showerhead is rusted?

If your showerhead is rusted, you might need to replace it. Rust can compromise the integrity of the metal and lead to leaks.

4. Can a leaking showerhead increase my water bill?

Yes, a leaking showerhead can waste a significant amount of water over time, leading to higher water bills. Fixing the leak promptly can save you money.

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