Rain showerheads offer a luxurious, spa-like showering experience. However, like almost every other product out there, these shower heads are prone to issues every now and again. A common problem with these shower heads is leaking, even when the shower head is off.
While this might not seem like a big deal, since the water safely disappears down the drain, a steady drip can waste quite a bit of water over time. So, it’s usually best to fix this type of issue sooner rather than later.
Why Is My Shower Head Dripping When Turned Off?
There are a couple of issues that can lead to a dripping shower head (see also ‘Best Delta Shower Head With Handheld Combo‘). You might notice the shower head drips steadily, even when the shower handle is in the off position. Usually, the culprit of the issue falls to a damaged or worn washer or a faulty valve.
However, if you notice the water only drips for a minute or two after you turn off the shower, the problem is likely a clogged shower head.
How Do I Stop My Rain Shower Head From Dripping?
Halting the annoying, steady drip of water leaking from your shower head when it’s off isn’t usually complicated. That said, the fix depends on the problem. In some cases, you might need to replace the entire shower head, especially if it’s an old and worn-out fixture.
But, before you jump the gun and replace the whole thing, give these fixes a go.
Check For Mineral Deposits
In some cases, mineral deposits might be the culprit causing the issue. This might be the problem, especially if the dripping stops after a few minutes. If you have hard water in your home, there’s a good chance this is the problem.
Rain showerheads are positioned right above the user’s head instead of at an angle down toward the user. So, the tiny holes in the showerhead can be overrun with lime and mineral deposits from the water.
Eventually, these deposits can build up enough to block numerous holes and hinder water from leaving the showerhead quickly. You might notice a few holes in the showerhead don’t spray water at all, indicating the presence of mineral deposits.
So, to correct this problem, here’s what you’ll need:
- White vinegar
- Large container
Start by removing the shower head from the shower arm. Fill a container with enough white vinegar to submerge the face of the shower head. Allow the showerhead to soak for a while, then rinse the residue away with clean water.
You might need to use an old toothbrush to dislodge stubborn mineral buildup. Once you’re done, reinstall the shower head. Turn on the water and let it run for a minute or two, then turn it off and watch for leaks.
If it steadily drips, mineral deposits may not have been the problem, so continue with the following methods.
Replace The O-Rings
The rubber washers or O-rings in the showerhead assembly wear out over time, compromising the seal and allowing water to pass through areas it shouldn’t. If the washers are worn out or cracked, you’ll need to replace them to stop the leak.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Thin towel
- Pliers or flathead screwdriver (as necessary)
- Plumber’s tape (as required)
- Replacement washer
Start by turning off the water supply to the shower. Sometimes, there might be a shut-off valve specifically for the shower head. If there isn’t, turn off the main water supply line before you get started.
Wrap a thin towel around the showerhead to protect the finish while you work. Next, remove the shower head from the shower arm using a wrench to loosen the collar nut. Once you remove the showerhead, look inside the assembly for the rubber washer.
Generally, the washer sits at the top of the showerhead beneath the swivel ball. Pry the old washer out using your hands, a pair of pliers, or a flathead screwdriver. Set the old washer aside, then replace it with a new, identical washer.
If you don’t know what size washer you need, take the old one to the hardware store with you to look for a replacement. Alternatively, look on the manufacturer’s website for a replacement part if you have time to wait on shipping.
Once you replace the washer, reinstall the showerhead. To ensure an even tighter seal, wrap a piece of plumber’s tape around the threads before tightening the showerhead into place.
Lastly, turn the water back on. Turn the showerhead on, then allow it to run for a minute or two. Turn the showerhead off, then watch for leaks.
Replace The Cartridge
If the washers looked fine, the shower cartridge might be the issue. In most newer showers, a single handle controls the flow of cold and hot water. Behind the handle, there’s a valve body housing a cartridge that regulates water flow to the shower head. When this cartridge wears out, water can seep through, causing a leaky shower head.
Here’s what you’ll need to replace the cartridge:
- Replacement cartridge
Start by turning off the water to the showerhead. Once the water supply is off, remove the shower handle by unthreading the set screw. Remove the handle and set it aside, then remove the shower valve trim and the cap covering the valve body stem. Sometimes, you can twist it off, but other times you’ll need to unthread a screw holding it in place.
Next, slip off the stem cover, which should come off easily. This will expose the end of the plastic cartridge. Most of the time, there’s a twist-on nut or a clip securing the cartridge in place. Remove the nut or pin, then use a pair of pliers to remove the cartridge. Grip the cartridge with the pliers, then pull it straight to remove it.
Once the cartridge is out, take it to the hardware store with you to buy a replacement. Or, order a replacement cartridge from the showerhead manufacturer. Once you get the cartridge, insert it into place, then reassemble the shower handle.
After everything is back in place, turn the water supply back on. Turn the showerhead on and allow it to run for a minute or two, then turn it off and watch for leaks.
Clean Or Replace The Diverter Valve
In shower/bathtub combos, a diverter valve directs the water to the tub spout or showerhead. When the valve wears out, it can allow the showerhead to leak when the tub spout is on.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Wire brush
Start by turning off the water supply to the shower or the water main. Next, remove the cap from the top of the faucet handle by loosening the screw. Remove the handle and set it aside, which will expose the diverter valve.
Remove the diverter valve assembly by unscrewing the nut located on the stem. Next, remove the brass stem and washer. Check both for signs of wear and tear, and replace them if needed.
Use a wire brush and vinegar to clean the valve and remove any sediment buildup. If there are signs of wear and tear, replace the assembly. If not, try cleaning the valve, then reinstalling it once it dries.
Reinstall the handle, then turn the water supply back on. Turn on the water and allow it to run for a minute or two, then turn it off and watch for leaks. If there are leaks, you might need to replace the valve assembly.
If you tried each of the above-listed methods but the showerhead still leaks, you might need to purchase a replacement showerhead.