You turn on the shower and water sprays in every wrong direction. Now you’re awake, but that’s not how you wanted to start your day. It’s ok, you got this one. First, might as well finish your shower if you can. The repair can wait at least that long. Here’s what to do:
Leak between the pipe and shower head
- With the faucet turned off, unscrew the shower head. Look inside the head for a rubber ring. Take it out. If the ring is covered in black goo or looks worn then you need to replace it. Take the ring to the store to ensure a match. While you’re there pick up some teflon tape, also known as plumber’s tape.
- Remove the old teflon tape from the pipe by rubbing it with a rag. Next, wrap the new teflon tape tightly around the threads of the pipe. Wrap clockwise so the shower head doesn’t tear the tape when it’s screwed back on. Two layers should do the trick.
- Twist the shower head on as tight as you can with your hand. It should be snug but not too tight or it’ll strip the tape.
- Turn on the water to test your repair. If the shower head is still leaking use a wrench to tighten it ½ turn further. Still leaking? The threads may need an extra layer of tape. Remove the tape and re-wrap the pipe.
If the leak springs from somewhere other than your shower head pipe the problem is most likely in the faucet. Similar to the rubber ring in the shower head, there are rubber parts in the faucet that could be damaged.
- Turn off the main water to the house. Be sure to warn the rest of the family first. Open the faucet and let any water drain out.
- Remove the cover from over the faucet. If there’s caulking around the faucet you’ll need to scrape it off.
- Disassemble the faucet. Unscrew the end of the pipe and remove the plastic pieces. Notice the rubber rings at the end of the plastic – those are called washers. One of them is probably worn out and letting water through its seal. Best to replace them all to cover your bases.
- Put the faucet back together the same way you took it apart. If you need to, apply caulk around the edge of the face plate where it touches the shower. Follow the instructions on the tube to allow sufficient drying time.
- Turn your main water back on and test the shower.
Are you feeling handy or what?! Go ahead and reward yourself with a long, hot shower to wash off the day.