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Dripping Showerhead? Here's What To Do

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Having a dripping showerhead is an annoying plumbing problem — but one that doesn't exactly fall under the header of "plumbing emergency." While you can hire a licensed plumber to correct this situation for you, you shouldn't feel intimidated by fixing it on your own. Even if you don't have any plumbing experience, this is a job that the average person can successfully tackle — and be proud of the end result. Here's what you need to do.

Want To Keep The Current Showerhead?

If you wish to keep the current showerhead but fix the dripping issue, the first priority is to unscrew the showerhead from the pipe that sticks out of the wall. Grip the showerhead firmly and unscrew it in a counter-clockwise manner. You don't need any tools for this job, nor do you need to shut off the shower's water supply. Within a few turns, you'll have the showerhead in your hands. Fill a bowl with a cleaning solution that reduces calcium deposits and soak the showerhead in the liquid for the length of time specified on the bottle. The dripping issue is often caused by some of the holes in the head being partially clogged with deposits. After soaking the showerhead, screw it back on and test the flow of water.

Avoid The Dribbles

When you remove the old showerhead, you'll often see thin, white strands of plumber's tape wrapped around the threads of the pipe. In many cases, it's a good idea to remove these strands and properly wrap the pipe threads with a new piece of plumber's tape. This inexpensive, adhesive-free tape is found in the plumbing section of your local home supply store and serves to prevent water from passing through the threads and dripping; while your dripping issue might have been through the showerhead itself, the last thing you want is another dripping problem once you've fixed the original issue. Wrap it a couple times around the pipe, moving in a clockwise manner, before securely attaching the showerhead.

Planning To Upgrade?

If you're eager to get a better showerhead, remove the old one and set it aside. You shouldn't automatically plan to throw it out; in many cases, you'll be able to donate it to a local building charity. Once you buy your new showerhead at the local home improvement store, it's as simple as removing from the package and screwing onto the pipe that sticks out of the wall — after you've redone the plumber's tape, of course.

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