The shower is the perfect place to wake yourself up and unwind. Nothing beats a nice, long shower after a tiring day. But what if your shower starts acting up and you can’t get a hold of a repairman to have it fixed? Is it time to say goodbye to your shower rituals for the next few days?
Not all hope is lost. I’d recommend going the DIY repair route. Sometimes all it takes is a little intuition to do home repairs yourself. The same goes with fixing a wonky shower.
The five most common shower problems are:
- Inefficient Draining
- Low Water Pressure
- Noisy Shower
- Rattling Shower Pipes
- Leaky Shower Head or Faucet
Let’s discuss them in more detail along with how you can fix them…
1 – Inefficient Draining
Two words: Clogged drain. If you or one of your housemates has thick, long hair, chances are it’s going to clump in the drainpipe. An easy but disgusting fix is to reach in (best to use a coat hanger) and pull the hairs out. Since they’re bunched together they should be easy to remove. Note that other solids can clog your shower drain as well, like leftover soap or limescale.
To prevent this from happening, clean your shower drain regularly and invest in a shower drain screen to catch the solids. Lifestyle journalist, Leena Nasir, outlines an easy fix which involves using baking powder and vinegar. Just pour these ingredients down the drain and let them sit for a minute. Then, flush it down with some boiling water. It’s a great DIY way to break down whatever is blocking your drainpipe.
2 – Low Water Pressure
Do you like the feeling of water digging into your back when you shower? Well, that’s not going to happen if your shower’s water pressure is weak. The first thing to do is to test your shower’s water pressure. In an article on HomeServe, Laura Rudd recommends placing a measuring jug under the shower for six seconds. Turn off the tap and multiply the amount of water in the jug by ten. The answer you get is your water pressure in liters.
If it’s under ten liters, then your shower has low water pressure. If it’s just your shower that’s suffering from this, the culprit is likely limestone build-up in your shower head. Get rid of it by taking the shower head off, soaking it in distilled vinegar for at least thirty minutes, then scrubbing it off with an old toothbrush.
However, if all your taps have low water pressure, there might be a leak in your pipes, and you should call a plumber for assistance if you’re not comfortable fixing it on your own.
3 – Noisy Shower
Who doesn’t like holding private concerts in the shower? Lifehack details how it can boost confidence and health and is great for stress relief. But it’s hard to do this when your shower’s whirring is louder than your falsetto.
Luckily, there’s an easy fix, and it shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes. Just take a good look at your shower unit and the pipes running from it. If any part of it is loose, all you need to do is tighten it either with a screwdriver for the unit or with a new set of brackets for the pipes. Once it’s all fixed securely to the wall, your problem should be solved.
4 – Rattling Shower Pipes
I mentioned the noisy shower issue, but what about rattling shower pipes – its kid sister, so to speak.
More often than not, if you hear your shower’s pipes rattling while the water is running, it could be one of three things:
- First, the problem could be that a loose pipe wasn’t secured to the wall. Usually, although not always, this is easy to fix. You need to find your pipe wall panel. Open that up and look to see if the pipe is shaking and rattling. If it is, use a clip to secure it in place. Still not sure what I’m talking about? Check out this video for a more detailed deep dive into how to fix the problem.
- Second, it could be air bubbles. Believe it or not, air bubbles (of all things!) could be in your shower pipes that cause rattling when the shower is running. The fix? Turn off your main water supply to the house. Then, drain all the water from the pipes. Next, start by opening the faucet at the highest and farthest point from the water main. Continue to open up all of your faucets throughout your home, working your way closer to the water main as you go. Once all the faucets are open, and the water is no longer draining, close the faucets in the reverse order. Lastly, turn on the water main once again. This should eradicate all of the air bubbles and solve your problem. If it doesn’t, it wasn’t air bubbles.
- Finally, high water pressure could be the culprit. If your pipes keep rattling, and you’ve noticed an uptick in your water pressure, it’s time to install a pressure regulator. If you’re handy, feel free to purchase this one from Amazon and install it yourself. If you’re not good with plumbing, then definitely pass on this install and let a professional handle it.
5 – Leaky Shower Head or Faucet
We’ve all experienced it: a slow but constant drip from our shower head or faucet, even after we’ve finished showering or bathing.
Not only is this annoying, but it can also lead to larger problems if it’s not dealt with quickly enough.
Oftentimes, the culprit of a leaky shower head or faucet involves inner seals being worn away and parts becoming corroded or clogged with hard water deposits. Worth noting, that rubber O-ring you might be familiar with or those gaskets that seal your shower’s connections between key moving metal parts can wear down with time and use. When this happens, water squirts and drips out. This is the cause of your leak.
Most of the time the repair involves carefully replacing the old parts and ensuring that all clogs are removed. However, before you break out your tools or buy replacement parts, make sure you know which kind of shower valve you have – there are a lot of them! Avoid the rookie mistake of buying the wrong parts for the wrong valve.
Wrapping Up: Shower Problems Solved
There you have it: five of the most common shower problems and their DIY fixes.
As I’m sure your aware, winter is rapidly approaching and temperatures are dropping. If you think you’re having some trouble with your shower’s piping, check out the following guide: How to Properly Winterize Your Home (in 3 Hours or Less).
It talks about how you can protect your pipes during cold months and why you should flush your water heater.
Until next time, happy showering!