Troubleshooting Your Leaking Shower Head

Tips & Tricks / Article
December 23, 2022


You're probably not too thrilled if your shower head is leaking. In this article, we'll teach you about the causes of a leaky shower head and some potential solutions.

What Causes a Shower Head to Leak?

There are a few things that can cause your shower head to leak. It could be that the washers are old and need to be replaced, or that the O-rings have deteriorated and need to be replaced as well. It could also be that the shower head is not installed properly, there's a crack in the shower head, or the water pressure is too high.

If you think that it's one of these issues, you can try to fix it yourself. Replacing the washers or O-rings is a pretty simple task, and you can usually find instructions on how to do it on the manufacturer's website. If it's something more complicated, like a crack in the shower head, you may need to call a plumber to fix it for you.

And if you think that it might be the water pressure, you can try lowering it using your home's water pressure regulator.

How to Fix a Shower Head Leak

If your shower head is leaking, it's likely due to one of two reasons: a build-up of lime scale or a damaged washer.

To fix the problem, you'll need to either remove the lime scale or replace the washer.

Removing the lime scale is a relatively easy process. You can use vinegar or a descaling product to do this. Once you've removed the scale, you can then replace the washer, which is a more difficult task and may require the help of a professional.

Different Types of Seals and Washers

Your shower head might be leaking because of one of two reasons: a worn-out seal or a defective washer. Let's take a look at the different types of seals and washers and see which one might be causing your problem.

The O-ring is the most common type of seal, and it's usually made of rubber or silicone. It's located on the threads of the shower head and is responsible for creating a watertight seal. If this seal is worn out, it can cause leaks.

The second type of seal is the gasket. This is a ring-shaped piece of rubber or plastic that sits between the shower head and the pipe. It helps to keep water from leaking out around the threads. If your shower head leaks, it's possible that your gasket is damaged or missing.

The third type of seal is the washer. This is a small, round piece of rubber or plastic that sits in the bottom of the shower head housing. It creates a watertight seal between the housing and the pipe. If your shower head leaks, it's possible that your washer is damaged or missing.

How to Clean and Replace a Shower Head

If cleaning the shower head does not fix the issue, you might need to replace it. Fortunately, replacing a shower head is fairly easy and only requires a few basic tools.

Start by turning off the water supply. You'll then need to unscrew the old shower head using a wrench or pliers, depending on its shape. After that, all you have to do is attach the new shower head in its place and turn the water supply back on.

If you're having trouble loosening the old shower head, don't force it; try placing a damp cloth around it and leave it for a while before attempting to unscrew it again with pliers or a wrench. Placing a drop of lubricant such as WD-40 can also help loosen stuck parts. Once you've replaced your old shower head with a new one, your leaking problem should be gone!

Troubleshooting Common Issues With Leaking Shower Heads

If you’ve tried the previous steps and still haven’t resolved your issue, it may be time to troubleshoot the more common causes of leaking shower heads.

If your shower head is too loose on the pipe, it might be time to tighten the connection with some Teflon tape. Apply a few wraps of tape around the threads, being sure to cover them completely. That should do the trick!

The next common issue is when limescale builds up inside the holes in your shower head and blocks water flow. This can be tricky to fix because you’ll need to get inside your shower head to unscrew any blockages. If this is the case, you’ll need to use a longer length of pipe wrench to unscrew and remove any clogged parts inside the head.

You can also try immersing your showerhead in vinegar for a few hours, then scrubbing away any remaining limescale with an old toothbrush.

What to Do if the Problem Persists

If after following all of the steps above your shower head is still leaking, then it’s time to take a deeper look. In this case, you’ll likely need to replace some parts or even the entire shower head.

The parts that are most likely to be faulty and will need to be replaced are the washers and/or O-ring(s). These pieces help create a seal between both ends of the shower head, stopping water from coming out and causing damage. If they become warped, cracked or discolored over time due to regular wear and tear, they’re probably the culprits behind your leaky shower head.

If you don't feel comfortable tackling the problem yourself, then I would suggest seeking assistance from a professional who can help you diagnose and fix the issue quickly.


So, if your shower head is leaking, don’t panic! There are a few potential causes and solutions, and we’ve outlined them all in this article. We hope you find this information helpful and that it solves your shower head leakage problem.