A leaky shower faucet can waste gallons of water over time, increasing your water bill significantly. Moreover, the annoying drip of water can be irritating, not to mention that water can dribble into the wall and cause dry rot and mold concerns.
Luckily, you can essentially fix a leaky shower faucet by replacing inner seals that have either corroded over time of clogged up with hard water deposits. This article will give simple instructions on how to fix a leaky two-handle shower faucet.
A two-handle shower faucet typically has a hot water and cold water handle. Leaks on this type of shower design usually result from worn-out rubber washers/seals inside the faucet that allow water to drip between movable metal parts. First, feel the temperature of the water dripping from the faucet to determine if it is coming from the hot or cold water valve so you know which side the leak is coming from.
Before you can disassemble the faucet to replace the worn-out seals, be sure to turn off the water supply to your house at the main shutoff valve. Next, open the bathroom sink faucet to drain water from all pipes near the shower faucet and ensure that no water oozes from the shower valve as you fix it. You can then place rugs on the floor or in the shower tub to prevent small rubber pieces from falling down the drain when you disassemble the shower faucet.
Fixing the shower faucet
First, remove the faucet handle by unscrewing the fastener on the front or side of the handle. In some shower designs, the locking screw could be hidden under a cover cap which you can pry open with a pocket knife.
Next, twist and pull the handle to remove if from the faucet assembly. You should now be able to see the faucet stem, which you should remove to access the underlying O-rings and flat washer that could be damaged and responsible for the leak. To remove the faucet stem, place a deep socket over the stem's hex nut and turn it gently in a clockwise direction. You can now pull the stem from the valve assembly and remove worn out or clogged seals, which you will then replace with new ones from a faucet washer kit.
Finally, lubricate the threads on the faucet stem with plumber's grease so it easily fits back into the valve assembly and then fit the locking screw back in to secure your shower handle back to the wall.