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How to Stop a Dripping Shower Head

DIY Questions and Answer June 15, 2012 Sonia



Q. I have a two-handle faucet with a dripping shower head. How can I stop the leak?

A. If a compression faucet drips from the spout, you will need to replace the seat washers in the valves, and sometimes the seats as well. The washers deteriorate over time, the seal fails and allows water through the valve. To make the repair you’ll need to pry off the index caps that cover the handles. Then use a screwdriver to unfasten the handle and remove it. Pull the handle straight off the valve stem. If it doesn’t pull easily, you can use a tool called a handle puller which leverages the handle from the center stem to pull it off without touching the wall. Next, remove the escutcheon, some of which are held on the stem with a nut, while others are threaded onto the faucet stem and simply unscrew. The bonnet nuts n shower handles are recessed behind the shower wall, and you’ll need a deep-socket plumbing wrench to unscrew them. (You can by a set of the wrenches at Harbor Freight for about $10). Remove the stem to expose the seat washer. Remove the retaining screw, replace the washer with a new washer of matching size, screw it back on and coat it with heat-proof faucet grease. Reinstall the stem.