It is extremely annoying when we see a leaky shower faucet. Not only it is wasting water but also leaves watermark all over the place. At this time we all bash the shower head but the problem is not with it. It is like blaming news reporter for the bad news.
Problem is with the handles and valve that makes the water spout. Whenever you see a leaky shower faucet fix it as soon as possible. The drip-drop of water can waste a pond of water a day. Here is how to do it.
How to fix a leaky shower faucet single handle?
If your shower faucet has one handle for both hot and cold water then it is single handle shower faucet. When the O-ring of faucet is worn out that is a small rubber ring makes the drip drop leakage. The seal between the shower cartage and plumbing becomes loose because of the worn-out O-ring.
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Step 1- the security part
If you forget this step you are going to drown in water. So carefully follow all the steps mentioned here. Turn off the water supply. You can do this in a shower. If you cannot find an option like this, then turn off the main plumbing line of your home. Closing the shower drain is also important so that you do not lose any part of the shower faucet.
Then pop off the face-plate of shower faucet with a screw. Also, the face plate around the fixture needs to be removed as well. Carefully keep saving them for later.
Step 2- remove the cartridge
The small metal thing that lets cool or hot water come in the shower on either side is the cartridge. You will see that there is nut or pins that are holding the cartridge, remove it with pliers. Set the pins aside carefully. After pulling out pins, the cartridge will come off. Carefully pull the cartridge off the wall and set aside.
After you remove the cartridge, you will see that it is attacked by mildew or damaged. If it just has mildew then wash it off under the running water. Is it too much damaged? Then replace it. If you see small damage then just replace the O-ring. For this, go to the local hardware store so that you get the appropriate one. Lightly put some grease on the O-ring, washer, and cartridge for saving it from mildew.
Step-4 put it back to place
Just like you opened everything, set it back as it was. If you think it is a tough process than make a video when you are opening it. And then when it’s time to put everything on the place you can follow the video to see how everything was. After setting everything, check if the hot and cold water is coming and there is no leakage anymore.
How to fix a leaky two handle shower faucet?
The process of fixing two handle shower faucet is a little bit tricky. You have to have patience because you are about to do a lot of unscrewing. To start the work cut off the water supply as mentioned before.
Step 1- the removal
Remove the metal cap above your faucet with a screwdriver. Remove another screw that is under the cap to remove handles. For removing tight handles use screwdriver carefully if it does not come off easily. Turn stem of bonnet anticlockwise to remove it as well.
Step-2 washer and O-ring
On the bottom of the stem, you will see a screw having a washer. Change the washer and the O-rings but coat them with grease. You can use petroleum jelly as well. Reassemble the faucet and check if the water is working perfectly. There should be no leakage after that.
Step-3 in case of cartridge faucet
In case of cartridge faucet steps are mostly the same. Remove the metal cap and handles carefully. Get your crescent wrench anticlockwise to remove the retaining nut under the handles. Remove the cartridge stem by twisting with pliers. Remove the O-rings and then replace it by applying grease on it. Once you are done with the replacement repeat the process and put everything back into the process.
Basically, the process of one handle or two handles is almost the same. You just need to unscrew a lot with two handles. If you are not confident take help of a plumber and avoid risk.
I hope the processes were not so complicated compared to the advantages it gives. It’s okay to go through some hassle to save water. Just some small tools needed and you will be done easily. But if you are someone who has never tried to do things like that then it is going to be a daunting process.
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As the resident shower expert at ShowerJournal.com, Wayne Lee loves to share the helpful tips and tricks he’s picked up over the years during his job as a handyman.