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How to Fix a Shower Faucet with a Slow Leak: A Guide For You


Hi I’m Your Plumber Ken

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A slow leak in your shower faucet can be more than just an annoying drip-drip-drip that keeps you awake at night; it can also lead to higher water bills and potential water damage. Luckily, fixing a leaky shower faucet is a straightforward task that you can handle with a bit of patience and the right tools. Here’s a semi-professional guide to help you tackle that pesky leak.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screwdriver (Phillips or flat-head, depending on your faucet)
  • Replacement washers or O-rings
  • Plumber’s grease
  • Teflon tape
  • A small bucket or container
  • Towels

Step 1: Turn Off the Water Supply

Before you begin, you need to turn off the water supply to the shower. Locate the shut-off valves, which are usually found in the bathroom or in the basement. Turn the valves clockwise to shut off the water. If you can’t find these valves, you may need to turn off the main water supply to your home.

Step 2: Cover the Drain

Place a towel or a small container over the shower drain to prevent any small parts from falling down it. This will save you the hassle of fishing out screws or washers later.

Step 3: Remove the Faucet Handle

Use your screwdriver to remove the screw holding the faucet handle in place. This screw is often hidden under a decorative cap, which can be pried off with a flat-head screwdriver. Once the screw is removed, gently pull off the handle.

Step 4: Take Off the Escutcheon Plate

The escutcheon plate is the flat piece that sits against the wall. Remove any screws holding it in place and slide it off. Sometimes, it may be stuck due to old caulk, so you might need to gently pry it away from the wall.

Step 5: Access the Valve

Now, you should see the valve assembly. Depending on your faucet model, you may need to remove additional components to access the valve. Use your adjustable wrench to loosen and remove the valve nut.

Step 6: Inspect and Replace Washers or O-Rings

Carefully inspect the washers or O-rings inside the valve assembly. These small rubber parts are often the culprits behind slow leaks. If they appear worn or damaged, replace them with new ones. Apply a small amount of plumber’s grease to the new washers or O-rings to ensure a good seal and smooth operation.

Step 7: Reassemble the Faucet

Once you’ve replaced the necessary parts, reassemble the faucet in the reverse order of disassembly. Make sure each component is securely in place but avoid over-tightening, which can cause damage.

Step 8: Turn On the Water Supply

Slowly turn the water supply back on and check for leaks. If the leak persists, you may need to disassemble the faucet again and ensure everything is properly seated and tightened. If the leak is fixed, reattach the escutcheon plate and faucet handle.

Step 9: Test the Faucet

Turn the faucet on and off a few times to ensure it’s operating smoothly and the leak is gone. Check around the base and the valve assembly for any signs of water leakage.


Fixing a slow leak in your shower faucet is a manageable DIY project that can save you from higher water bills and potential water damage. With the right tools and a bit of patience, you can restore your faucet to proper working order. If you encounter any issues or if the leak persists despite your best efforts, don’t hesitate to consult a professional plumber or even a handyman plumber if you have one near you.

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