Although a leaking shower head doesn’t waste a lot of water or reduce the pleasure felt when showering, the leak tends to be quite annoying.
A leaking shower head (hand-held) may be as a result of a poorly connected hose or a faulty gasket. Luckily, you can determine the cause of the water leak based on where it’s located. Fixing most of these leaks takes little time.
Here’s a guideline for fixing a leaking hand-held shower head:
First, use an adjustable wrench to loosen the compression nuts from the hose. Grasp the shower head in your hand. Use an adjustable wrench to loosen the hose by rotating the fitting counterclockwise.
In case the nut doesn’t budge, take a rag and wrap it around the handle of the shower head. Then grip the rag with a channel lock pliers and undo the nut.
Next, clean any traces of plumber’s tape that may have hardened around the threads. Inspect the hose and the shower head threads for any signs of damage.
In some hose designs, the connections might be made of compression fittings that have rubber washers. In this case, the threads won’t have any plumber’s tape on them. However, the rubber washers might be worn out or cracked.
Remove the shower head from its handle by unfastening the threaded flange from the perforated shower head disk. In case the threaded flange is frozen, take a rag and wrap it around the flange’s knurled area.
Then use a channel lock pliers to loosen the thread. Next, remove the nut and check the condition of the rubber gasket installed in the flange cavity. Replace the gasket in case it’s hardened or cracked.
Get some white vinegar and pour it in a plastic dish. Soak the shower head components in the vinegar for about 30 minutes. Doing so will soften deposits of hard water that may be clinging on the metallic components.
Use a nail brush to scrub the metallic components, especially the threads. Rinse the components thoroughly under clean, running water to remove any scrubbed remnants.
Apply Teflon tape on the handle’s male thread. Wrap the tape clockwise. Pull the Teflon tape to snap it. Smoothen the ragged tape ends by pressing them into the fitting’s threads. Smoothening them will allow the tape to remain in place when reattaching the fitting.
Attach the hose fitting back onto the shower head handle. To do this, screw the hose fitting in place. Next, tighten the connecting nut with an adjustable wrench.
Attach the other hose ending onto the faucet like you did on the handle. In case the unit comes with compression nuts, then you won’t have to apply Teflon tape. Instead, follow the step below.
Get replacement rubber washers and insert them into the fittings. Do this on both end sections of the hose. Next, thread each fitting into place, one on the showerhead and the other on the faucet.
Tighten the fittings with an adjustable wrench. Avoid over-tightening the fittings as the washers can get damaged easily.
Take the replacement rubber gasket and slip it in the slot available underneath the threaded flange. Attach the flange back onto the showerhead disk. Tighten the nut by hand until its firm enough.
You can now test whether there’s any leak by turning on the shower faucet. In case of a leak, and the shower head features compression fittings, then use an adjustable wrench to tighten the compression nut a quarter turn.
In case the leakage is coming from the knurled shower head nut, you’ll need to take a piece of rag and wrap it around the leaking nut. Use a channel lock pliers to tighten the shower head nut a quarter turn.