Is the constant ‘drip, drip, drip’ of running water starting to drive you insane? When you consider the fact that water is going to waste, it’s no surprise the sound can be irritating – you’re literally hearing money go down the drain!
The good news is, if the leak is caused by a malfunctioning shower tap, you may be able to save money and fix the problem yourself. All you need is a few basic tools, an hour or two of your time, and a basic understanding of how to fix a leaking tap.
What You Need
Below are the following tools you need to get the job done right:
- Flathead screwdriver
- Cartridge puller (available at your local hardware store)
- New faucet tap cartridge (make sure you purchase one that meets the manufacturer standard)
As a handy hint, if you want to avoid losing any tiny screws or parts, place a small sheet over the drain cover.
Step 1 – Check the Shower Handle
Now this may seem obvious.
But it’s not uncommon for a leaky shower to be caused by simply not turning the tap off properly. For this reason, before you start to pull apart your shower components – make sure the handle itself is turned all the way off.
Is the shower still leaking? If so, head on to Step 2.
Step 2 – Turn of the Main Water Supply
Every household in Australia has a water mains switch that lets you cut off the water supply to the house.
Where can you find the water mains switch? Typically they are found at the front of the house near the water meter, most often near the garden tap. Depending on the layout of your house, this could be near a garden bed, footpath, or even buried among a pile of rocks.
Once you’ve found the switch – it may either be a knob or nut for turning – simply turn the device counter-clockwise (to your right) until it’s in the off position.
Step 3 – Remove the Shower Tap
Now comes the first real step to fix your leaking shower tap. First, you need to remove the shower taps and replace the cartridge.
What is a cartridge? Essentially, it’s a mechanical part inside the handle that regulates the flow of water and temperature. Cartridges are made up of many different parts (e.g. the O-ring) and any of them can fail. When this happens, the device loses the ability to maintain water flow and must be replaced.
To remove the handle, use a flathead screwdriver to pry off the handle cap or cover. Beneath this cap is the internal handle screw. Use a screwdriver to remove the internal handle screw.
Step 4 – Remove the Current Cartridge
Once the handle is off, you’ll immediately expose a large ring – this is the cartridge.
To remove the cartridge, you’ll need to use a special device known as a cartridge puller. This tool is specially designed to remove stubborn cartridges and simplify the whole process. Plus, it’s universally designed to work for any kind of cartridge.
Depending on the type of cartridge you currently have, you may need to remove a cartridge clip before you can attach the cartridge puller. From there, simply attach the device – be sure to follow the instruction manual to do this – then twist the puller back and forth while you literally pull the cartridge out.
Step 5 – Install the New Cartridge
By following the same process as above – but in reverse order – install the new cartridge and make sure it’s properly aligned. Re-install the O-ring (or replace it if damaged) and place the handles back in their original position.
Step 6 – Test for Leaks
Finally, turn the mains water supply back on and switch the tap on and off. If there is no water leaking in the off position – the problem is fixed.
Don’t have the time or resources to fix a leaking shower tap on your own? Then you will need to call a local licensed plumber. Should you however have leaking shower from somewhere else then Let the experts at Shower Sealed save you time, money and hassle. To request a free quote, call 1300 519 133 or send your online enquiry.