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Diagnosing A Leaking Shower Head


shower headI frequently get calls about a shower heads that are leaking. Many people automatically assume that the shower head needs to be replaced. It depends on when the leak is occurring.

If the shower head is leaking when the water to the shower is turned on, the problem is likely with the shower head itself, or where the shower head screws on to the shower arm. You may end up replacing the shower head, or at the bare minimum, removing the shower head and re-taping the threads on the arm.

If the shower head is leaking when the water is turned off, the problem is not with the shower head, but rather the shower valve. The valve is not stopping the flow of water as it should. If the shower valve is a single handle that controls both the hot and cold water, you need to replace the cartridge in that valve. If the shower valve has separate hot and cold handles, then the stem and seat of whichever side is leaking need to be replaced. You can feel the water to determine whether it is the hot or cold side. For these parts, it is generally better to bring the parts with you to get replacements. There are many different styles that look alike but may have subtle differences.


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