Fix A Leaking Shower Head, Stop Dripping & Spraying

If your shower head is leaking, dripping or water is spraying out of the side while it is in use, the washer in the joint between the stem and the head is probably perished and needs to be replaced.

What You Will Need To Fix A Leaking Shower Head

  • Two Plumbing Pliers (One For The Head And One For The Stem)
  • Replacement Washer

How To Fix A Leaking Shower Head

Use a towel or cloth around the shower head and stem while using the pliers so that the teeth of the pliers do not mark or scratch the chrome finish. Grip the shower steam with one pliers and the ring on the head with the second, turn the shower head ring counter clockwise to loosen it and then remove it from the stem.

Remove the rubber washer and replace it with an identical one. This may require a special visit to your local hardware or plumbing store. Take the old sample with you to ensure that you get the exact replacement.

Lastly re-screw the shower head onto the stem. Wrapping some PTFE tape around the threads on the stem assists in lubricating the joint to allow the ring to be screwed on easier. With the washer replaced, there should be no water coming out anywhere around the joint. If it is still leaking, the thread is probably not seated correctly, unscrew the stem, replace the PTFE tape and try to screw it in again. When the thread is correctly seated, it should be easy to screw in and the ends will be flush and square.

If you shower head is loose or the nozzles are clogged by mineral deposits, follow this guide for securing a loose shower head and this guide for cleaning a clogged up shower head. Your shower will soon be as good as new.

Michael Klements
Michael Klements
Hi, my name is Michael and I started this blog in 2016 to share my DIY journey with you. I love tinkering with electronics, making, fixing, and building - I'm always looking for new projects and exciting DIY ideas. If you do too, grab a cup of coffee and settle in, I'm happy to have you here.


  1. Lately my shower head has been leaking from the bottom of the head while it is off. I’ll have to try replacing the rubber washer like you suggest to see if that fixes the issue. If that doesn’t work I might have to call in a professional to give it a try.

  2. It’s good to know that there are options to fix my leaking shower. My sister’s shower was leaking and she had no idea what to do so she tried duct taping it and it made everything worse. While I know there are DIY options, I still think it is best to call a professional just to make sure there isn’t a larger issue.

  3. My bathroom faucets are leaking so bad and the more i turn them off and on the more it wont shut off and we are waisting so much water like the bathtub will fill up in an hour so that is what tells you how bad it really is. So what can i do to fix this problem? Please help me. As i cannot afford to get a plumber thank you

    • Hi Sandra,
      It sounds like the faucet washer’s have become brittle or worn out and are not sealing properly. You’ll need to use a wrench to open up the body of the faucet, this is usually done through a hexagon shaped protrusion underneath the handle. It may be hidden underneath a cover but this is less common. Once you open the faucet up you’ll see a large black washer on a brass or steel stud. Remove this washer and take it down to your local hardware or plumbing store to get a replacement. Reassemble the faucet and your problem should be solved. It’s really quite an easy repair to do and costs a few cents for the replacement washers.

  4. My shower head is leaky in it’s joint and it’s not possible to wrap this place with tape. Water is dripping from the joint and it looks odd. Is there any solution for this or should I replace the shower head with a new one.

    • If the joint is leaking you’ll probably need to open up the joint and re-tighten it with some PTFE tape to assist with sealing it. Some joints also have a rubber washer which is clamped between the two joint faces.

  5. I have removed the shower head and arm. The drip is coming straight out of the pipe itself. I stand and watch it. How do you fix this?

    • If there is still water dripping from your pipe/head with the faucet/tap/mixer shut off then the faucet/tap/mixer is leaking. Depending on the design this might be a simple rubber washer replacement or a replacement cartridge.


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