A shower's plumbing involves a series of systems that can work separately and together. The main water supply delivers water under pressure to the home. Water heaters raise water temperature for the shower and two separate lines deliver hot and cold water to all faucets. Plumbing problems in the shower typically become evident quickly and, most of the time, they can be easily repaired without the need for specialized tools or skill.
Shower Head Repair
Over time, showerheads wear out or become clogged with mineral deposits from the water. Signs of a worn or clogged shower head include uneven spraying, loss of pressure or a greenish buildup around the head itself. The easiest repair in this case is to replace the shower head. Use a pair of locking-jaw pliers or an adjustable wrench to remove the old head. Before using the pliers or wrench to install the new head, wrap the jaws in electrical or duct tape to prevent scratching the new shower head's finish. Wrap the pipe threads of the new shower head with Teflon tape and screw it onto the pipe fitting.
Most shower faucets will be single-handed cartridge-style faucets that can be easily repaired to stop a leaky shower. Turn off the shower's water supply and then pry off the faucet handle cap with a small knife so you can access the screw. Remove the faucet handle's screw and pull off the handle. Remove the stop tube and use a small screwdriver to pry up the retaining clip of the cartridge. Remove the washer, loosen the cartridge stem and remove it with a pair of pliers. Take the cartridge with you to a home or hardware store to buy a kit with the identical cartridge model. Replace the parts provided in the kit and re-secure the handle and cap.
Clogged Shower Drain
Soap scum or hair can clog shower drains. When your shower drain is working slowly or water has stopped moving altogether, remove the clog before using the shower again. If there is a drain stopper in your shower, remove the stopper and clean it. Cover the drain with the bell of a plunger and push in and out to loosen any clogs in the drainpipe. If the shower remains clogged, use a plumbing snake. First remove the overflow plate and run the snake through the overflow drain.
- Photo Credit Shower image by Semfamily from Fotolia.com
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