The sound of a leaking shower isn’t something most people would like to hear. No matter how much you try to fix it, it just keeps coming back. It’s not just a major annoyance, but an inconvenient waste of resources as well. This can be attributed to daily wear and tear, poor workmanship, and use of inferior quality materials
Knowing that there’s a leak is only half the battle; you have to get it fixed either on your own or with the help of a shower repair professional. When dealing with a leaky shower, the last thing you want is to panic. Here are a couple of steps you can take to hopefully reduce the leaking before the plumber arrives.
Locate the source of the leak
The first thing you should do is to find out where the leak is coming from. This can come from the shower head itself, the shower handles, or even the water supply pipes. The most common culprit for a leaking shower is worn-out seals and rubber washers. Sometimes replacing the seals is more than enough to stop the leaking so make sure to check the O-rings, seals, and gaskets to see if they’re due for replacement.
If the leak is coming from behind the wall, it’s most likely caused by a malfunctioning plumbing structure. Identifying the source of the leak will help give you a good idea of what you’re dealing with. If you’re unsure about how to tackle the leaking issue, it’s best to contact the experts and let them handle the situation.
Check to see if the water pressure has decreased
It can be difficult to diagnose internal shower leaks that occur behind bathroom walls, but that doesn’t mean you can’t identify them. You’ll know there’s internal leakage by observing the water pressure around different areas of your home. If the water pressure is weak in your shower but strong in other places, you most likely have an internal shower leak.
Try to look for signs of water damage around adjoining walls. If your bathroom is located on an upper floor level, you’ll notice a few water stains on the ceiling right below it. You may also experience a visible drip when the shower is being used, hinting an internal leak that needs to be addressed by a professional.
Do a flood test
A flood test is one of many methods to determine a shower leak. This is usually done to check if the shower base is the one that’s causing the leak. Start by blocking the drain and adding water into the shower base (make sure to use another water source). Wait until the water fills about an inch or two and mark the water levels. You’ll know there’s a leak in your shower pan when the water level drops below the area you’ve marked.
Perform a simple caulking
Caulking is a simple yet effective method for addressing leaks in your shower. It can be done by homeowners who have zero experience with plumbing and can act as a temporary solution prior to being serviced by the experts. Silicone is a rubbery material that’s used to seal joints and seams against leakage, especially in areas where significant movement occurs.
Consider caulking areas in your shower like the shower screen frame. This can help prevent leaks and avoid turning a small problem into an even bigger one. A leaking shower requires a more in-depth repair to rectify the leaking for the long-term and prevent it from recurring.
Try doing DIY methods
While shower leaks require professional attention, there are a couple of things you can to minimise it before help arrives. Assess the severity of the leaking and see if you can tackle it with a DIY approach. For example, you can check around the escutcheons and see if they’re properly sealed against the wall. Take out the escutcheons and replace the gasket with a new one to form a tight seal and prevent water from running down the gaps.
A leak coming from the showerhead can be addressed by simply giving it a good clean. Over time, the showerhead can be clogged by limescale deposits and other gunk that forces water out of other openings. Take out the shower head and inspect if the O-ring is still intact. Replace the O-ring with a new one and apply a fresh PTFE plumber’s tape before reinstalling the shower head.
These simple DIY methods can effectively reduce shower leaks in the short-term. Keep in mind that these are just quick fixes to help slow down the leak until it gets addressed by a professional plumber.
Call the experts
If you’ve exhausted all efforts and the shower leak is still there, perhaps it’s time to call the experts and have it fixed. But before you do that, make sure to do your thorough research about hiring the right person or company for the task. Ask for recommendations from friends and family and check if the company is licensed and if they have positive feedback from their clients.
A leaking shower requires your immediate attention to avoid costly repairs in the long-term. Shower leaks can slowly add up to your water bills over time and this is something that you definitely want to avoid. Make sure to follow these tips when dealing with a leaking shower to help mitigate the issue.