Avoid These Mistakes When Attempting Your Own Shower Repairs

Many homeowners assume that they can manage their own simple plumbing fixes, but often don't realize that even a small problem can require a more complicated repair job than they realize. Shower leaks are one such problem; they're often much more technical to fix than they appear. If you're determined to fix your own leaking shower, note a few common mistakes made by many homeowners so you know to avoid them yourself.

Trying to just tape up an old showerhead or connector

Hard water and minerals can cause rust and other corrosion in pipes and showerheads, as can chemicals you may dump into the drain to help clear clogs. After some time, these fixtures and pieces are just too corroded to be secure, and no amount of tape is going to plug up a leak. It's good to remove the showerhead completely and note if the threads to connectors seem worn or if you notice rust and corrosion in the showerhead or pipes of the shower. If so, it's best to just replace them rather than thinking that tape and caulk or other materials will be a long-term fix.

Not checking the water pressure of the home

Sometimes a leak in the shower is not a matter of poor plumbing fixtures but of too much water pressure. The water pressure in your home is often controlled by the hot water heater and can be adjusted manually. If you've recently had a new hot water heater installed or made any adjustments to it, you may have inadvertently turned up the water pressure. If you don't turn it down, you'll simply see more leaks in the shower over time. Note if you seem to get a lot of water out of taps and faucets of the home even when not turned on all the way, and this can tell you that the water pressure needs adjusting.

Not checking for loose or damaged tile

Once you've replaced a dripping showerhead or leaking pipe, you need to give all the tiles in the shower underneath the showerhead a slight tap. Note if any seem loose or you hear any hollow sounds behind them. This can mean that the leak has caused the caulk and grout to come loose; if you don't replace this, the tile will eventually just fall away. If you must open up the wall to address a leaking pipe, you also need to check the drywall for water marks or crumbling, and replace that section as needed also.