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How to Repair a Leaking Shower

Updated on March 8, 2017

Safety first

The first consideration as with any DIY task is of course your own health and safety. Depending what kind of shower you have varies the precautions you should take. For instance a leaking electric shower can be dangerous as leaks and electrics are a bad mix. In this case make sure the shower is isolated electrically before working on it. If you have any doubts call in a professional, it is always better to be safe then sorry. Also consider bathroom and washrooms are often wet and tiled making the surface under foot, slippery when wet. Also locate the water isolation valve for the shower; if the shower itself does not have one local you may have to isolate the main stop tap. It is always useful to know the location of the building stop tap in case of emergencies.

Fixing a leaking shower can range from an easy DIY job (shower hose, shower hose seals) to a difficult DIY job (leaking shower valve/electric shower). Only work to the level you are comfortable with, if it is beyond your capabilities call in a professional.

Bath Shower Mixer Tap
Bath Shower Mixer Tap | Source

Tools you are likely to need

Adjustable spanners

Water pump pliers (or grips as they are also known)

Screwdrivers

Allan keys


For the more advanced DIYer: -

Pipe cutters

Blowlamp

Other plumbing tools

Where to start?

Safety considerations aside the next thing to do is look for the leak, likely places are anywhere that the shower connects to a different part and any parts containing rubber ‘O’ rings or other seals which may wear. Once you have located the leak isolated the water supply to the shower, the last thing you want is water everywhere. If it is electric also isolate the electrics as a safety precaution. Decide whether dismantling and reassembling the leaking part is within your DIY capabilities, if not call in a professional. At the very least your investigation will save time (and potentially money) as you can direct them straight to the fault. Further water damage is also prevented when you isolate the water supply.

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Easy fix?

A common area for leaks is the shower hose. This generally connects from the shower body or valve with a screwed connection to a flexible hose leading to the showerhead where another screwed connection attaches the showerhead. These screwed connections often seal with a rubber ‘O’ ring or fibre washer. Often the screwed connections are only hand tight and can be undone with ease, if not use the water pump pliers to loosen them off. Check the seals are intact and remake the connections, if the hose is split this can be replaced easily. Spares are easily obtainable at your local plumbers merchant or DIY store.

It is also quite possible the leak from the shower is related to the pipes supplying the shower or the shower drain. The difficulty of this task is in how easy the pipes are to access, they are often hidden in walls or under floors making this a much more involved task. Further information or repairing pipe leaks can be found in other articles.

Hopefully this guide has given you some insight in to how to repair you own leaking shower. Or at the very least guided you to locating the leak and isolating the shower preventing further water damage whilst you get the professionals in.

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