A leaking shower head can be very frustrating. Not only does the constant ‘drip, drip, drip’ get annoying after a while but if you are not a handyman, then the cost to repair it can be a pricey one. Apart from that, a leaky shower can waste hundreds of gallons of water and boost your energy bill significantly. Right now, you may be curious at to what causes this? Well, I have the answer for you below.
There are two main reasons why your shower may be leaking intermittently. Corroded of clogged parts resulting from hard water mineral build-up is one possibility. Worn out gaskets or inner seals is another. When the rubber O-rings that connect the moving metal parts wear down (which tends to happen over time with daily use), water slowly starts to leak or squirt out.
Now that you know the main causes of a leaky shower head, let us explore this subject further and in more detail below. We will discuss how to stop it from happening, why it often happens at night, and how much it costs to repair professionally. We will also explore some related topics including why the bottom of your shower and/or shower door may be leaking.
So, if you are ready to learn more about periodically leaking showers and how to fix them, then please continue reading…
Why Does My Shower Leak Only Sometimes?
A random or intermittent shower leak can be a plumbing problem caused by a hole in the water pipes. Cracks in the grout or tile along the shower wall or floor may also be the culprit.
As well, it could be an issue with the fixtures or drain not having been installed or sealed properly. And, as mentioned above, corroded/clogged parts and/or worn-out gaskets are a very real possibility.
The only way to know for sure is to troubleshoot each potential hazard to find the underlying cause.
Likely it is something as simple as the caulking falling out from around the valve stem or faceplate.
The tub spout and other fixtures should also have caulking around them as well as between the tub and wall. If not, then this could be causing the recurrent leak.
Why Does My Shower Drip Water After I Turn It Off?
The most likely reason for this is lime or mineral build-up in and on your shower head.
Calcium and/or magnesium will clog the waters holes of your shower faucet, causing it to hold water instead of draining completely.
This results in the slow and constant ‘drip, drip, drip’ even after the water valve has been turned off.
How Do I Stop My Shower Head from Leaking?
To stop the dribbling of a leaky shower head, avoid over-tightening the handle, no matter how tempting it may be!
This will not solve the problem. In fact, it will create another one by damaging the valve over time – requiring you to fix yet another plumbing issue.
To fix a leaking shower head yourself, begin by placing towels along the shower floor and directly underneath the faucets to prevent any small parts or screws from dropping down the drain.
Or you can simply close or ‘pop’ the drain (if you have a tub/shower combination).
Next, turn off the water supply before you start dismantling the shower faucet. The shut-off valve is likely located in the bathroom near the shower or perhaps in the basement.
If you cannot find the shut-off valve, then simply turn off the main water supply to the house.
As there are different styles and brands of shower faucet valves. How you go about fixing it will depend upon which type you have.
The most common design nowadays is the single-handle faucet however, older homes often still have the dual-handle varieties.
Finally, and I cannot stress this enough, if you are not a plumber or handyman by trade, then do not attempt to fix a leaking shower yourself.
Always call a professional when in doubt otherwise, you may end up with a bigger problem than you bargained for.
Does CLR Work for a Leaking Shower Head?
Though this is not really considered a ‘leak’, it can still cause the annoying ‘drip, drip, drip’ and results from a build-up of hard water minerals inside your shower head.
When your shower head is clogged or corroded with lime, calcium, and even rust, water gets trapped inside (instead of draining completely) and will slowly drip out long after being turned off.
By removing the head and submerging it in a bowl filled with half CLR and half water, after a few minutes you should be able to simply rinse away the excess mineral build and get your showerhead working properly again.
Why is My Shower Leaking from the Bottom?
The reason for this could be a build-up of pressure. If the shower hose is blocked and/or the pressure in the hot water tank is too high, this could cause water to leak from the bottom of your shower.
As well, cracks in the grout or tile along the shower floor can cause leaks. One telltale sign could be brown stains on your ceiling in the basement directly below your bathroom.
Why is My Shower Door Leaking?
The reason your shower door is leaking near the bottom could be the result of clogged drain holes. In most cases, an installation error will be the root cause of the problem.
If you happen to notice stains on your walls, water damage on or near your baseboards, or mold on the floor just below the shower, you should have it repaired or replaced immediately to avoid a bigger problem in the future!
Why Does My Shower Leak Only at Night?
A leaking shower just at nighttime is something of a mystery. It could be that the water accumulating in the showerhead or hose is spilling out due to air pressure or changes in room temperature.
Another possibility could be the boiler. If it has a preheat function, the expansion of the water as it heats up at night could be pushing on the valve, thus causing the leak.
How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Leaking Shower Head?
The cost to fix a leaky shower faucet professionally varies depending on where you live. The average cost is about $250.
However, if you happen to know a retired plumber or you have a friend with some plumbing experience, you could get it repaired for much cheaper – somewhere between $50 to $100.
If you can provide your own replacement parts, this will help bring down the cost even more!
Can a Water Leak Fix Itself?
Chances are, if you have a slow water leak in your shower, it will not reseal itself and should be repaired immediately.
If you do not address a small leak immediately, over time it will get worse and cause a much bigger problem – like a flood in your home!
You can temporarily seal the leaky pipe with an epoxy resin or putty, but this ‘quick fix’ is not permanent.
To sum things up, the two main reasons why your shower may be leaking randomly include corroded or clogged parts and/or worn-out gaskets or inner seals.
As well, the ‘seat’ inside the valve can wear out over time causing intermittent leaks. The only way to know for sure what exactly is causing the problem is to take the faucet apart.
This should only be done by a trained professional unless you or someone you know has handyman plumbing experience.
Cheers, tools owners!