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The Lie behind the Dripping Showerhead

Picture this: You are lying in bed at night. It’s quiet and you are just about to drift off. Then, you hear IT. The drip-drip-drip. What is it? Obviously it has to do with water, but is it a faucet leaking, a dripping showerhead, or a pipe leaking? Is it in the bathroom? Kitchen? Laundry room?

What do you do? Of course, there is no way you can fall asleep with the incessant dripping and the alarm bells about pending water disaster going off in your head. So you get up to investigate.

I won’t keep you in suspense. It’s the showerhead in the master bathroom. First thing you should do is make sure that the handle on the control is turned completely off. If it is, go back to bed, unless you are going to do a DIY plumbing job at this hour of night. You will be better off waiting until morning.

What causes a dripping showerhead?

Most people will immediately decide they need to get a new showerhead. While your showerhead might be looking bad or the holes might be encrusted and clogged with mineral deposits, a good cleaning will likely take care of those issues.

A showerhead itself is basically just a sprayer connected to the water supply lines. There are washers and O-rings that create watertight seals to prevent leaks. If these washers or O-rings harden or deteriorate, the watertight seal can be broken and result in a leak. Replacing the washers or O-rings will fix your problem.

That being said, the most common culprit causing a dripping showerhead is the control and faucet fixture. That is where the water is turned off or on. So if water is continuing to flow to the showerhead, it is most likely because the seals in the faucet have been compromised. Just like I mentioned about the washers and seals in the showerhead itself, the same problem can occur in the faucet and handles.

What does it take to fix the control causing a dripping showerhead?

Some showers have individual hot and cold handles while others are a single control. Either way, both hot and cold water flow into your shower. First thing to determine is if it is the hot water or cold water line that needs to be addressed. You can identify the line simply by feeling the water that is coming out of the dripping showerhead.

The faucet must be dismantled and the seals replaced. One quick tip: when replacing seals in any fixture, take the damaged items with you to purchase new ones. There are two reasons for that. First, the seal must be an exact duplicate in order to work properly. Second, having the old seal in hand will prevent you from making more than one – or two – or three trips to the store!

When to turn a dripping showerhead over to professional plumbers

The need for the seals you are replacing to be exact duplicates is one task where DIY-ers get in trouble. We are here to tell you that one washer or O-ring seal is not just like any other washer or O-ring seal. There can be minute differences that will foul up your efforts. That, and taking apart older fixtures can open up a whole can of worms if anything is damaged or broken in the dismantling. And we all know having an inoperable shower in the house makes for an unhappy household.

That’s why so many people prefer to just call in the pros here at Pipe Dream Plumbing. What might be a big stressful job for you is a job we can handle efficiently and effectively with no stress on your part. Make the call to Pipe Dream Plumbing at 317-388-1988 and we will stop that dripping showerhead and you can get back to a good night’s sleep.