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Thread: What can I try next for a shower head leak?

  1. #1

    Default What can I try next for a shower head leak?

    Hi everyone-
    I've read previous posts and didn't find my exact problem (though it may be because I don't understand all the words - seats, valves, washers, o ring).

    We have a stand-up shower with one middle turn on knob for hot/cold. There has been a slow leak from the shower head for a month. It was a gross old head, so I decided to replace it anyway and replaced the shower arm at the same time. I used teflon tape on both sides of the arm.

    During the installation I noticed that there was water "sitting" at the top of the pipe and it began dripping out of the arm when I installed it, so the head obviously wasn't the problem. Now the water is dripping (when the knob is in off position) a little faster.

    My question is, what should I try next? Should I take off the cover of the knob and try to tighten it? Should I take off the whole knob and see if there is a bad ring or washer? Does a shower knob have a "shut off valve" similar to a toilet? Maybe this has gone bad and is no longer "shutting off" the water to the shower? I'm just not sure what I'm supposed to be looking for.

    As you can see, I need your help and would love to be able to fix this myself and learn a new skill.
    Thanks for your help.
    Amy

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The knob you turn for adjusting the temp/volume is the shut off for your shower. If water is coming out of the head, that valve is not shutting off. Fixing it depends on the brand and model. If that isn't obvious, can you post a picture? Most of them have a replacement cartridge that should restore operations to like new (except for the looks, and then you can buy a new handle, too, if you want). Once we figure out what you have, we can tell you how to fix it.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3

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    Thanks. I'll take a look tonight to find the brand/model or take a picture to post.

  4. #4

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    If you can't find a brand, here's what you can do:

    1.Turn off the water to the shower. If there is no shutoff valve just for the shower, you will have to turn off the water to your entire house.

    2. Remove the shower handle (knob) and backer plate.

    3a.If there is a cartridge, you'll have to remove that and take it to a hardware store, so you can replace it. Probably a Moen cartridge. There's a little horseshoe-shaped clip that must be pulled out using a needlenose pliers that must be removed prior to pulling out the cartridge.

    OR

    3b.If there is a large, round, silver brass nut that looks like a "cap" remove that with a channel locks. Then pull out the metal ball valve. Under that are springs and rubber seats that must be replaced. These are most likely Delta parts.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by Verdeboy; 09-05-2006 at 12:28 PM.

  5. #5

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    It is a Delta, but I can't find any other numbers or letters except MP-6.

    When I take off the knob there is a brass fixture that has a piece going straight across & a hole in the middle (where the knob screwed into). This brass fixture is surrounded by what looks like a white plastic. There is also a small screw that is vertical and attaches to the right side of the brass fixture.

    So, should I turn off my water and then try to take out that small screw?

    Thanks.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by undercoverplumber
    It is a Delta, but I can't find any other numbers or letters except MP-6.

    When I take off the knob there is a brass fixture that has a piece going straight across & a hole in the middle (where the knob screwed into). This brass fixture is surrounded by what looks like a white plastic. There is also a small screw that is vertical and attaches to the right side of the brass fixture.

    So, should I turn off my water and then try to take out that small screw?

    Thanks.
    I'm not really sure what small screw you're talking about. But if you feel brave, you can start taking everything apart to get at the bad seats and springs. It would be best if you had another shower to use in case you mess up.
    Last edited by Verdeboy; 09-05-2006 at 05:47 PM.

  7. #7

    Default

    The small screw is just a rotational limit stop.Thats not going to help you.You need to take off the big round bonnet nut to remove the cartridge.Then you can refer to the instructions referenced above.
    If you dont feel comfortable doing this,you should hire a pro.Its quite easy to damage the bonnet nut and things can get troublesome if that happens.

  8. #8
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Few showers have individual service stops (shut-offs), so if you take it apart, you have to turn the house water off. If you don't get it back together, you don't have any water in the house. This can get troublesome. It's not particulary hard, but keep this in mind. When they get old, it is sometimes a bear to loosen things up.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  9. #9
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default delta

    Be very careful when you try to take it apart. That model Delta will break into two pieces if you get too violent with the wrench. And if that happens, unless you have a good plumber who knows how to put it back together again, you will have to replace the faucet.

  10. #10
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Whatever you do, DON'T CUT THE RED WIRE .

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey
    Whatever you do, DON'T CUT THE RED WIRE .
    Wait, I think I hear the theme to mission impossible: oooooo da da dada da da da da da da dada da da da da oooooo ooooooo

  12. #12

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    Thanks for all the advice. I will have to turn off the main water supply, so I'll be sure I have a good plan before proceeding. Any tips on loosening a tough part? Is there something you can use to loosen it up before getting out the tools?

    I'll keep you posted.
    Amy

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by undercoverplumber
    Thanks for all the advice. I will have to turn off the main water supply, so I'll be sure I have a good plan before proceeding. Any tips on loosening a tough part? Is there something you can use to loosen it up before getting out the tools?

    I'll keep you posted.
    Amy
    The only thing that might need "loosening up" is the chrome cap that must be unscrewed with a channel locks (with a rag underneath the teeth of the channel locks, so as to not ruin the cap.) If that cap is frozen, it might require a propane torch to loosen it.

  14. #14

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    Okay, I decided to take and post a picture so I'm sure to do the right thing. I didn't see a bonnet nut based on what I've seen before, so does anyone recognize this part and what I should do next? Should I unscrew the large silver part that's in the middle?
    Any advice appreciated. Thanks.
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  15. #15

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    I wish you would have posted the photos earlier. That Delex model is a different kind of setup than I thought.

    It looks like you have to remove the two long screws that hold the trim plate on, and then remove the trim plate. I can't tell from the picture if that round, chrome piece in the middle with the ridges is a nut that must be unscrewed or a sleeve that must be pulled out. If it is a nut, then, with the water off, you need to unscrew it using a rag under a channel locks. Then, take a pliers and pull out the cartridge slowly--don't jerk it. They make cartridge pullers if it is frozen. Note: There may be a clip that is holding the cartridge in place. If there is, you need to pull it out first with a needlenose pliers. I don't think there's any springs and rubber seats with this model. You probably just need to replace the cartridge. I could be wrong, though. Let's hear what others have to say.
    Last edited by Verdeboy; 09-06-2006 at 10:12 PM.

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