How to Fix a Leaky Showerhead?

leaking showerhead

A relaxing shower might be the best part of your day, but a leaking showerhead will probably ruin it. You don’t want that! Before calling a professional about your leaking showerhead, there are a few DIY options you can try. The leak could be caused by a problem in the showerhead or the faucet, so you can attempt to fix both before calling a plumber. Here are ways to fix the showerhead or faucet if the showerhead is leaking. 


Different shower heads can cost anywhere from $25 -$250, but the process to fix them is the same. Here are the supplies you’ll need and the steps to fix the showerhead. 


  • Towel
  • Plastic washer
  • Rubber O-ring
  • Pliers
  • Crescent wrench
  • Large bowl
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Old toothbrush
  • Teflon tape

Steps to Stop the Shower Head Leak

  1. Shut off the water supply. There should be a way to turn off the supply to just the shower, but if you can’t, you’ll have to turn off the water for the entire house. 
  2. Cover the drain and bottom of the shower with a large towel. 
  3. Remove the showerhead. You can usually unscrew it with your hands, but you can use pliers and a crescent wrench to remove it from the wall if that doesn’t seem to work. 
  4. If the washers or rubber O-rings look damaged, you need to replace them. If they are in good condition, rewrap the threads on the pipes with Teflon tape. 
  5. Clean your showerhead. Let the detached showerhead soak in vinegar for 2 hours. 
  6. Rinse the showerhead with hot water and use a toothbrush to scrub the hard-to-reach places. Then dry the shower head off. 
  7. Reattach the showerhead. When you can’t turn the showerhead with your hands anymore, use the pliers and wrench to tighten it a little more. Don’t screw it on too tight if you plan to clean it frequently. 

Faucet Leaks

The following steps are to repair single-handle faucets. 


  • Towel
  • Replacement cartridge
  • Phillips and flathead screwdrivers
  • Pocket knife or awl
  • Hairdryer
  • Handle puller
  • Cartridge puller
  • Adjustable wrench

Steps for Repair

  1. Shut off the water.
  2. Cover the drain and bottom of the shower with a towel.
  3. Use a small pocket knife or awl to remove the handle cap in the middle of the faucet. 
  4. You should see a screw now. Remove the screw with the appropriate tool. 
  5. There’s a retaining clip that looks like a small metal horseshoe on top of the cartridge. Lift it with a small screwdriver and remove the washer surrounding the middle bar.
  6. Unscrew the hex screw and nut with a wrench.
  7. Pull out the existing cartridge.
  8. Make sure your replacement cartridge is the same one as the one you took out. Align it and install it with the previous steps in reverse order. 
  9. Turn the water supply on and run the shower to make sure there are no leaks. 

If you have attempted this process and the problem persists, call Bird Dog Plumbing! We can figure out what’s wrong with your shower and fix it in no time. You’ll be back to nice, hot showers before you know it.