We’ve all experienced a dripping shower head at one point in our lives, and truth be told, it can be irritating. Add to that fact is the amount of wasted water.

Did you know that a shower head that leaks 10 drops per minute wastes more than 500 gallons of water per year?

If your shower head keeps dripping long after you’re done showering, here’s how to fix it.

Step 1: Turn the water supply off

Make sure the water supply is off before getting started to avoid any accidents and further wastage. Unless you have access to your bathroom’s water supply, just turn off your home’s water at the main shutoff valve. You can find the main shutoff valve near your water meter, in your garage, or where your main water line enters your home.

Step 2: Remove your shower controls

Most shower control knobs and handles are attached to the stem with a screw, either with a strategically placed hole or under a removable plate. Find it and remove the handle.

If you run into trouble, search for your handle’s manufacturer and follow their instructions for removal.

Step 3: Access and replace the cartridge

In most cases, a faulty cartridge will be the culprit. Accessing the cartridge will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but generally it will require removing the escutcheon or plate, the stop tube, and the retainer clip.

Once you can access the cartridge, use a pair of pliers to remove it from the valve body and replace it. Some replacement cartridges also come with plastic nuts that will help you remove the old cartridge.

Step 4: Access and replace the cartridge

Clean the area and replace the assembly. You may also want to use a scraper to remove debris that has built up around the plate before replacing it.

That’s all there is to it

The majority of dripping shower heads can be fixed by replacing the shower cartridge, but two-handled shower controls, older shower controls, and shower controls by less common manufacturers can complicate the issue. Be sure to call a local, dependable plumber like Simpson Plumbing if you need more help.