A leaky shower head or shower faucet can be both annoying and expensive and sometimes it is difficult to find a plumber. Understanding what the culprit behind the fault is is the first step of any successful home improvement job. However, before you try to fix the problem by yourself, it is essential to learn what are the good practises when it comes to shower repairs in your home.
What Causes a Shower Head Drip or Shower Faucet Leak?
If the water is continually dripping from the shower head or faucets, the problem is usually caused by the shower valve. In most cases, the inner washer seats are worn, or parts have become clogged or corroded from hard water deposits. The rubber gaskets that seal the elements of shower valve stem also wear down with time and use. When these parts are worn, water starts dripping out.
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Why Ignoring a Leaky Shower Is Not a Good Idea?
Beyond the disturbing dripping sound, a leaky shower can lead to hundreds of gallons of water waste every week. And what’s worse, if the leak is coming from the hot water side of the shower valve, it can result in significant energy loses. This happens because your water heater must run continually to warm the water that is unnecessarily drawn. Some of our clients with electric heaters in their homes have complained that the leaking shower valves caused a double raise of their electric bill. And if the shower valve leak is inside the wall, then this is even more worrying scenario. Over time water dripping into the wall can cause mould, dry rot, and structural problems that are not only expensive but hazardous to repair.
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Good Practices When Fixing a Leaky Shower
Here are a few tips from our experienced handyman that are useful and apply for any plumbing repair in your home.
Don’t Tighten the Faucets Too Much
If you turn off the shower faucets, but the water keeps coming out of the shower head, your natural instinct will tell you to tighten the tap as much as you can. However, this could only make things worse. Be sure the handle is turned off all the way, but don’t use force to tighten it! This could damage the valve, and you would have to replace the part, which takes additional time and efforts.
Prevent Blocking the Drains
Every time you dismantle faucets and taps, you should place rags in the tub or onto the floor beneath and over the drain. This small step will help you protect the surface of the tiles from scratches and damages. Placing rags will also stop small pieces from being dropped down the bathroom drain.
Always Turn Off the Water Supply
This is the first and most important step when handling plumbing repairs in your home. Before dismantling the shower faucets and valves, make sure to turn off the water supply. The shut-off valve is usually located in the bathroom, near the heater or the shower itself. However, if you can’t find the valves for the shower, it is safer to shut off the water supply for the entire house.
Things to Do Before Shutting the Main Water Valve
Shutting off the entire house’s water supply is a serious step and requires organisation and planning ahead of time. Read all the instructions for the shower repair carefully and make sure you have all the necessary tools and materials at hand. This will help you work faster and hence – minimise the time the water is off. Alert your family before shutting the general water supply – they also need to plan their day. Warn them, they won’t be able to use some appliances – like the washing machine and dishwasher, and that each toilet has just one flush. After you shut down the main water valve, open the bathroom sink tap to drain all water left in the nearby pipes.
There are different types of faucet valves and fixing them requires various methods. Before attempting a DIY repair, make sure you have all the tools and parts readily. If you aren’t fully confident that you can handle fixing the faucet yourself, it is better to hire a plumber for the shower repair.