Leaking Shower Faucet – How To Fix And Repair It

When you have a leaking shower, you might be looking at an expensive and annoying problem. Not only that you’ll have to face the annoying dripping sound, but you might be looking at gallons of wasted water!

At the same time, if the leakage is on the hot water side, you may be looking at higher energy bills. The repairman can cost a pretty penny, and who knows when he will be available! Knowing how to fix a leaking shower faucet can help you deal with the situation stress-free. 

A leaking shower faucet can make your heater work extra hours, leaving you with doubled utility expenses. If you end up having a leak behind the wall, you may be looking at permanent damage to your house!

Leaving leaks unattended can cause a lot of issues. Luckily, most of these problems you can deal with by yourself, saving time and money. If you want to learn how to fix a leaking shower faucet, keep on reading.

What Can Cause a Leaking Shower Faucet?

Several reasons can be the cause of your leaking shower faucet. Typically, it involves worn inner seals or some corroded or clogged parts. Occasionally, gaskets and O-rings can become worn down as well.

If you want to know how to fix a leaking shower faucet, first you’ll have to understand how to discover the cause of the issue. To do so, you have to know what type of shower faucet you own. A shower faucet can be compression, delta, Price Pfister, and Moen type. We’ll go over each model individually.

How to Fix Leaking Shower Faucet?

The first you should do, regardless of your faucet type, is to prepare. The first step of this is to turn off the water source. Sometimes, this may involve shutting down the water in your entire building. If this is the case – plan ahead!

Also, if the water drips even when the shower faucet is turned off, don’t press the handle harder. This may damage the shower valve and cause even more issues. Make sure the handle is closed, but not uncomfortably tight. Once you’ve turned off the water, open the faucets to ensure all the water is drained.

Place a piece of cloth or rug over the drain, to prevent small parts from falling into the drain. It’s always a good idea to prepare a small box where you’ll place every part once you remove it so that you can locate it quickly. Once you have done that, you are good to proceed to the next step!

Compression Shower Faucet

Compression Shower Faucet

A standard shower faucet type is a compression shower faucet. This is when your valve has two handles, one for hot and one for cold water. With this type, leaks commonly occur if a washer or a rubber seal wears out. This enables the water to reach between movable parts and drip. To fix it, you should replace any malfunctioned parts.

First off, remove the faucet handle. If your faucet doesn’t have exposed screws, they are probably hidden beneath a decorative cover cap, so you should remove them, as well. Sometimes, this has to be done with a pocket knife. Just be careful not to damage the metal parts!

Once the screws are removed, pull off the handle to separate it from the faucet’s body. This process can be tricky, so you should have a faucet puller with you. Using a plumber’s deep socket, which can be found at most tool stores, unscrew the sleeve and the trim from the faucet stem. You might have to use a significant amount of force at first, so don’t be surprised. Remove the stem from the faucet.

Now, you can replace any part of the faucet that seems to be broken. If you want to be sure, replace them all. When you’re done, lubricate all threads using the plumber’s grease, then replace the stem in a reverse process. Tighten it, then loosely return the handle and turn on the water supply to test the valve. If everything’s working, reassemble everything and seal the trim back to the wall.

Delta Shower Faucet

Delta Shower Faucet  

Leaky delta shower faucets usually have a faulty cartridge that has to be replaced. To do so, unscrew the handle. The screw is generally hidden behind the cover cap. Then, similarly to the previous one, remove the screws that are holding the escutcheon trim plate, and take the plate off. This will expose the hole inside the wall. Pull outward the outside sleeve and, using a pair of locking jaw pliers, remove the brass bonnet.

Next, remove the old cartridge. To do so, first pull off the cap, then grip the cartridge and wiggle it a bit until it’s loose. Make sure that there aren’t any deposits inside the valve area and clean it with a cloth.

Then, place the new cartridge. Take notice that one side of the cartridge has ‘hot’ written on it, and that side goes on the hot water side. Make sure everything is firm and tight, then reassemble the faucet, cleaning up all the parts with a wet rag. Once again, we recommend turning the water back on and making sure everything works before sealing the entire faucet back to the wall.

Price Pfister Shower Faucet

Price Pfister Shower Faucet

Price Pfister is a high-quality faucet brand with a unique type of faucet, but even they can break. They also work on a cartridge, so typically a leak will be caused by a malfunction on this part. Luckily for you, Price Pfister tends to send free parts if you can prove your faucet is younger than 20 years. 

If you want to know how to fix a leaking shower faucet of this type, the process is almost the same as with delta ones. The most significant difference is that the rubber O-ring tends not to be fully attached to the cartridge, so you need extra caution.

Moen Shower Faucet

Moen Shower Faucet

Once again, the leak is typically caused by a faulty cartridge. When it comes to Moen shower faucets, cartridges are usually U-shaped, and new cartridges come with a useful, plastic nut tool. Use this tool to interlock with the old cartridge to remove it, and later to orient the cartridge and place it into the right position. This will make everything easy.

If the cartridge isn’t set correctly, the hot water won’t work. This is why it’s important to try if the hot water is working properly before reassembling everything. 

See this tutorial

Bottom Line

Now you know how to fix a leaking shower faucet, no matter what type of valve you have! If the leaks continue even after you’ve replaced the parts, make sure to call your local plumber. Sometimes, you may end up having holes inside the wall, and that is never a good sign.

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