The rubber washers in the shower control can wear out and begin leaking over time. Replacing them is an easy DIY homeowner project. With some simple tools and about an hour of your time, you can fix the dripping shower and stop wasting water.
Tools and Materials You'll Need
- flat-blade screwdriver
- Phillips screwdriver
- slip joint pliers, channel lock pliers or a small pipe wrench
- old rags for cleanup
From the home improvement store:
- tube of silicone grease
- replacement rubber washers
Each plumbing fixture manufacturer has their own unique designs for shower components. The easiest way to ensure that you have the right washers is to disassemble the shower control and take the washers to the store and have a clerk match them for you.
Fixing Your Leaking Shower
- Turn the water off to the shower. If there is not a separate water shutoff valve for the shower, you'll need to turn the water off to the house where the water main enters your home.
- Remove the decorative cap from the center of the shower handle.
- Remove the screw under the cap and pull the handle straight off.
- Remove the stop tube that surrounds the faucet cartridge.
- Remove the spring clip that holds the cartridge in place.
- Pull the cartridge straight out of the wall.
- Wipe off the cartridge and take it to the plumbing supply section of the home improvement store to find the proper replacement washers.
- Remove the old washers and slip the new ones onto the shower cartridge.
- Place a small dab of silicone sealer on each washer.
- Place the cartridge into the plumbing pipe.
- Turn the cartridge slightly as you push it in until you feel it click into place.
- Replace the spring clip to secure the cartridge in the wall.
- Replace the stop tube around the cartridge.
- Place the handle onto the shower assembly and secure it with the screw.
- Place the cap on the handle over the screw.
- Turn the water on to the bathroom and test the shower for leaks.
Possible Problems With This Project
If you have any of the following problems, you may need a plumbing service to help you complete the project.
- The handle won't come off or the cartridge won't come out because of corrosion. A plumber can force these components off and replace the parts with new to make future maintenance easier.
- The cartridge has extensive corrosion. If this is an old shower, the cartridge may be pitted by rust and corrosion. Consider replacing the entire cartridge with a new one to prevent future problems due to a old cartridge.
If this is an old shower, you may want to have a plumber install a more updated shower assembly. You'll get years of service from it before you have to deal with any plumbing problems in your shower. If you can't solve these issues on your own, contact a business such as Garrett Plumbing.