How to Tackle Problems of Bathroom Shower Faucets and Heads
Leaking of bathroom shower faucets and heads is a very common problem. If you are fairly handy you can probably repair them yourself. You can at least open them up yourself and investigate whether you are able to repair them.
Sometimes it isnít a leak or an actual problem with the faucet or head, but you would like to replace it with something newer, more efficient or more stylish. It isnít a very daunting task to replace these. It is worth the effort as it can be really expensive to call a plumber out for a fairly simple job.
Replacing Bathroom Shower Faucets and Heads
When you choose your new showerhead and faucets, be sure that they have the same diameters and threads as the existing pipe outlet fittings. You may find it safest to take the old fittings with you to make sure the new ones match.
Starting with the showerhead, turn off the water supply and unscrew the old fitting from the shower arm. If necessary, use two wrenches, one for holding and one for turning. If the jaws of the wrenches are ridged, you will need to cover them with a cloth or better still a piece of rubber to protect your pipes. Some tape bound around the chrome pipes will help prevent them becoming scratched while you work. You need to clean up the threads on the shower arm and apply some new sealant. Normally a plumberís tape is used; just make sure it is a really good quality, or you will have leaks. Believe it or not, the old fashioned hessian strands wound around the thread still works like a bomb. When they get wet they swell and form a really water tight seal that lasts just about forever. Now screw on the new showerhead and adjust it to the angle you want. Test for leaks and tighten the head if necessary. Itís as simple as that.
Now weíll replace the bathroom shower faucets. Once again, remember to turn off the water before you begin. Undo the screw that holds the handle. In antique style faucets you sometimes have to unscrew the disks marking the Ďhotí and Ďcoldí faucets to reach the handle screw. When the handles are off you can remove the covers. After this you will probably need a spanner or wrench to remove the rest of each mechanism. Now you are left with the threaded pipes protruding from the wall. These will need cleaning up and some new plumberís tape before you screw on the new fitting. Follow the instructions that go with the new bathroom shower faucets. This is important, as with some kinds of cartridge faucet you are advised to apply a silicone lubricant to the inside when you assemble it.Repairing Bathroom Shower Faucets and Heads
If you just have dripping bathroom shower faucets, or showerheads, you can investigate to see whether they are repairable.
Showerheads can easily become blocked if your water is fairly hard and full of minerals. After shutting off the water supply, unscrew the showerhead and have a good look. With a pin probe the holes to see whether they are blocked. If so, give your showerhead a good overnight soak in a mild acid, such as vinegar or a descaling compound which you can buy from a hardware store or a small appliance store. This is often used to descale laundry irons. If it is possible to open up the showerhead, do that first. Then you can give it a good brush as well. Now you can clean up the thread on the shower arm and replace the head, using plumberís tape. You may need to replace the O-rings in the shower arm, if that is where the leak is coming from. A pivoting arm usually has O-rings in each joint.
Types of Faucets
There are many types of faucets, and you get bathroom shower faucets with washers as well as the washerless kind. If a washer type faucet is leaking remove the faucet screw and the handle. Then remove the cover, and the rest of the mechanism, the stem and the washer seat. Replace the old washer with a new one and re-assemble the faucet. If the leak persists, it means that the seat below the washer is worn and you will have to reseat the faucet. This is done with a reseating tool, or you can buy a reseating kit.
If you have a diaphragm type faucet you will remove and replace a diaphragm instead of a washer. For other types of washerless faucets, such as cartridge or ball types, you can try descaling, but you may have to replace the working parts. Once again, follow the instructions for the kits you buy.
More on Bathroom Shower Faucets
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