Dealing with a Drip?

You’ve just finished your hot, relaxing shower, but the showerhead is still dripping. Several minutes later, it hasn’t stopped. Not only is it annoying, but it can also waste gallons of water if left unattended. How do you fix a dripping shower? We’re glad you asked. As your Birmingham residential plumbing experts, we want to provide a quick and easy solution that you can do with a few simple supplies. We’ve compiled a list of the tools you may need as well as step-by-step instructions on how to do it yourself. 


Tools and hardware needed: 

  • Pliers
  • Wrench
  • Teflon tape
  • Rubber O-ring
  • Plastic washer

Other supplies you’ll need:

  • Towel
  • Large bowl
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Warm water (from a sink is fine)
  • Old toothbrush
  • Toothpicks 

Note: you’ll really only need the O-ring or plastic washer if those are the parts that need to be replaced, but it’s a good idea to have them on hand ahead of time, since they’re likely contributing to the problem.


Step 1: Shut off the Water to the Shower

This can usually be done for just the shower area, but if you can’t find the shutoff valve, you’ll need to shut off the water for the whole house. Just remind others in the house that the water will be off for a little bit.  


Step 2: Prep your Tub or Shower Floor

You don’t want any small parts from the showerhead falling down the drain or any buildup from the showerhead getting your shower dirty, so lay a towel or something similar into the tub before getting started. Find a safe way to access the showerhead (basically don’t stand on the edge of the tub to do this). 


Step 3: Remove the Showerhead

You can accomplish this by unscrewing it with your hands or using a wrench or pliers. 


Step 4: Clean the showerhead

If it’s obvious that there’s a buildup in or on the showerhead, a good cleaning will help it work better and possibly help with the dripping problem. Soak it for 2-3 hours in a bowl of cleaning vinegar, then scrub with an old toothbrush. You can also use toothpicks to get smaller areas or for a detailed cleaning. Rinse with warm water once you’re done. Then dry it off with a towel.


Step 5: Replace the O-ring and/or washers

If the ring that seals your showerhead looks worn or damaged, replace it and make sure you situate the ring correctly so that it creates a tight seal. If the washers and O-ring look fine, then rewrap the pipe threads with Teflon tape which will help seal any gaps. 


Step 6: Reattach the showerhead

Put the showerhead back on and twist as far as you can by hand, then use pliers or a wrench to tighten until snug. 


Step 7: Test

Turn the water back on. Is there any leaking? Turn the shower back off- is the showerhead still dripping continuously? 

If not, congratulations! You fixed the problem! 


If it’s still dripping during or after your shower, something else is going on. There are other more extensive ways you can fix your dripping shower, but from here, it’s easier to just call your Birmingham residential plumbing experts at Plumb One! Our number is 205-537-5760.