How to Fix a Showerhead

By: Walter Curtis

Showerheads are subject to several problems. Leaks can occur where the head connects to the shower arm or between the showerhead body and the swivel ball. If the showerhead arm connection leaks:

Step 1: Unscrew shower arm from pipe with strap wrenches. If you use different wrench, tape pipe to avoid scratching it.


Step 2: Clean arm threads and coat them with plumbers' joint compound or wrap plumbers' joint tape around them.

Step 3: Screw head back on and hand-tighten it. Remove any excess compound or tape.

Fixing a Leak at the Showerhead Swivel

Step 1: Unscrew showerhead from swivel-ball ring.

Step 2: Find O-ring (a ring that prevents water from oozing out) or similar seal inside. Replace it, and screw showerhead back into place.

Problems with a showerhead can also be caused by grit or sediment lodged in the showerhead or by a buildup of scale or mineral deposits. The solution is to remove the showerhead at the swivel ball and start cleaning.

It may be necessary to soak some parts in vinegar and scrape others, but be careful not to scratch or gouge anything. If the showerhead is of the adjustable-spray type, examine all of the moving parts carefully for signs of excessive wear. If the adjustment handle binds or does not work smoothly, or if the internal cam is fouled up, usually the only solution is to replace the entire head.

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