A showerhead with a persistent drip can indicate a significant problem. Even worse, it can lead to bigger issues. This piece will explain why you shouldn’t ignore a dripping shower, common causes, and why you should call a professional plumber instead of fixing the drip yourself.

Don’t Ignore the Drip

It’s normal for a shower to slightly drip immediately after use. This drip is just the leftover water in the head draining out. However, if the drip persists throughout the day, it indicates a problem that can become rather serious. Here are some of the problems you may experience when you ignore a dripping shower:

Attracts Pests

When your showerhead is dripping, the room can become incredibly humid. Unfortunately, this is an attractive environment to many annoying pests. With an increase in humidity, you may see an increase in small critters near your drain. To help prevent seeing these creepy crawlers in your bathroom, get the dripping showerhead fixed and remove the humidity from the room.


A small drip may not seem like much water, but it adds up over time. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has discovered with just a single showerhead consistently dripping, your home can be wasting 3,000 or more gallons of water each year. Beyond the implication that this adds to significant water scarcity issues in many places, you’ll also notice an unwanted higher water bill.

Mildew and Mold

Both mildew and mold thrive in a moist environment. When your bathroom has a showerhead consistently dripping, it becomes the perfect environment for mildew and mold to thrive. Of course, the more severe issue is the health concern. If you or someone in your household suffers from allergies or respiratory complications, mildew and mold can be harmful.

Home Damage

Damage to your bathroom and even other parts of your home is possible when you ignore a dripping showerhead. Rust and corrosion can build up on the showerhead itself. Over time, you can expect discoloration and water stains to appear on bathroom surfaces and additional fixtures. If the water seeps inside the wall where the showerhead sits, this can lead to damage in that wall or the rooms below. This hidden damage can be so severe that it risks compromising the structural integrity of the home. If it’s exclusively the hot water dripping, this can cause steam to condense on the ceiling and ruin it. The water will peel paint and damage drywall.

Annoying Noise

While this may not be as serious as some of the other problems mentioned, the constant dripping noise coming from your bathroom can be irritating. The noise can be especially uncomfortable at night when you are trying to sleep. Just like replacing the battery in a chirping smoke alarm, it’s better to get a dripping showerhead fixed instead of learning to endure the annoyance.

Dripping Showerhead Causes

Unfortunately, there isn’t a singular reason why a showerhead drips. Various causes can lead to a dripping showerhead. Some can be obvious and relatively simple to fix, while others can be more complex or harder to diagnose. Often, a professional plumber is required to find out the root cause of the problem. Here are some of the common causes of persistent dripping:

Loose Connection

A loose showerhead connection is a common reason a showerhead drips. The showerhead in your bathroom connects to the pipes in the wall. Ideally, it is secure due to various seals and fittings. Whether improper installation the first time or some other reason caused it, the showerhead can eventually loosen and begin dripping water.

Broken Valve

A valve inside of the showerhead regulates the flow of water. If this valve breaks, wears down, or is otherwise faulty, completely shutting down the water may be difficult. Unfortunately, most people attempt to turn the knob much harder to get the drip to stop, which can cause even further damage.

Mineral Deposits

Over a long enough timeframe, deposits of minerals can accumulate inside the showerhead. This issue is especially true for homes located in an area with hard water. When these mineral deposits build up in the showerhead, they can clog the openings. As a result, you’ll get an uneven flow of water and dripping. You can help prevent the problem by regularly cleaning your showerhead. However, if the deposit buildup extends into the pipes inside of the wall, a plumber may be required.

Worn Washer

Inside of the showerhead is a washer. This washer is usually a plastic or rubber ring. The ring acts as a watertight seal, keeping the water flowing where it is supposed to. However, these washers can wear down or slip out of place. If the washer is damaged or falls out of alignment, water will leak out of this spot, leading to a dripping showerhead.

Damaged Pipes

Old or damaged pipes inside your home can cause your showerhead to drip. Of course, this type of drip indicates a severe issue and needs immediate attention. If water is leaking from your showerhead due to this issue, it’s likely also leaking inside the walls. A plumber must fix the source of the problem before structural damage occurs.

High Water Pressure

Although good water pressure helps provide a more enjoyable showering experience, too high of water pressure can be detrimental. High water pressure can damage fittings and seals over time, leading to a persistent drip. One way to remedy this issue is to have a pressure regulator installed. A pressure regulator will ensure you have the necessary pressure for a good shower without it being so high as to cause damage.

Avoid Fixing It Yourself

Although homeowners can handle many minor repairs around the home, complex plumbing issues are one of the things that you shouldn’t attempt yourself. Most people don’t have the proper tools and equipment and buying an expensive tool for a job you’ll do once can seem wasteful.

If the showerhead drip is due to something simple like grime clogging the showerhead and it only needs to be cleaned, it’s probably something you can handle yourself. The same can be said for a few other minor issues like replacing washers or tightening a loose connection. However, fixing a more severe issue with limited knowledge and experience can worsen the problem. Even if you fix a problem without fixing the underlying cause, the problem will likely reoccur or it can lead to home damage. Additional damage due to a failed DIY repair means the eventual professional repairs can be even more costly. Safety and mental stress of the undertaking are also concerns when attempting severe plumbing problems on your own. Instead of the risk of attempting difficult plumbing repairs yourself, contact a professional plumber. They have the knowledge, expertise, and experience to quickly figure out the cause of the problem and remedy it. The peace of mind you’ll feel is worth it.

Level 9 Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing offers plumbing and HVAC services in Washington, MO, St. Louis, MO, and the surrounding areas. If you have a dripping showerhead or other plumbing issue that you need them to look at, contact Level 9 Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing today.

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