Mixer Shower Dripping When Off: Resolved

Mixer Shower Dripping When Off: Resolved

A dripping mixer shower is not just a minor annoyance; it can lead to higher water bills, potential water damage, and even mold growth if left unchecked.

Unfortunately or fortunately, in this case, I’ve encountered this issue many times over!

Let’s dive into the reasons behind a dripping mixer shower and how to resolve it.

Mixer Shower Dripping When Off
Credit: Mikko Auvinen

Common Causes of Mixer Showers Dripping When Off

It’s not just the constant sound of water droplets that can be bothersome, but the implications of wasted water and potential damage over time.

To get to the root of the problem, it’s essential to understand the various reasons behind a dripping mixer shower.

Here are the common causes of why your mixer shower is dripping when turned off:

1. Worn Out Cartridge

The cartridge is essentially the heart of your mixer shower.

It’s responsible for controlling both the flow and temperature of the water.

  • Wear and Tear: Like any component that sees regular use, the cartridge can wear out over time. The constant flow of water and adjustments made to temperature and pressure can lead to gradual degradation.
  • Material Breakdown: Depending on the material of the cartridge, exposure to hard water or chemicals in the water can accelerate its breakdown.

2. Faulty Seals or O-rings

These small but crucial components ensure that water flows only where it’s supposed to.

  • Aging: Rubber and silicone, common materials for seals and O-rings, can degrade over time, losing their elasticity and effectiveness.
  • Chemical Exposure: Some cleaning agents or chemicals in the water can cause these materials to deteriorate faster.

3. High Water Pressure

While a strong shower stream can be invigorating, excessive water pressure can be detrimental to your plumbing fixtures.

  • Forceful Flow: When the water pressure is too high, it can force water past the seals or even damage components inside the mixer shower.
  • Intermittent Spikes: Even if your water pressure is generally at a safe level, occasional spikes can still cause dripping issues.

4. Limescale Build-up

Hard water areas are notorious for limescale, a chalky deposit that can accumulate in your plumbing fixtures.

  • Obstruction: Limescale can obstruct the normal flow of water, causing it to divert and leak out from unintended areas.
  • Component Stiffening: Limescale can make components like cartridges stiff or even immobile, preventing them from effectively shutting off the water flow.

5. Temperature Fluctuations

Dramatic changes in water temperature can cause parts of the mixer shower to expand or contract.

  • Material Stress: Constant expansion and contraction can stress the materials, leading to cracks or misalignments that result in drips.
  • Seal Displacement: The seals or O-rings might get displaced due to these fluctuations, causing leaks.

6. Improper Installation

If the mixer shower wasn’t installed correctly, it might not function as intended.

  • Misaligned Components: Parts that aren’t aligned properly can lead to gaps or pressure points where water can escape.
  • Over-tightening: Over-tightening components during installation can damage them, leading to leaks.

How to Fix a Dripping Mixer Shower

Safety First

Before diving into any diagnostics, safety should be your primary concern.

  • Turn off the water supply: Although there is no electricity to worry about unless you actually have a dripping electric shower, you can still slip and hurt yourself due to the water.
  • Hire a professional: If in doubt hire a plumber. You don’t want to make things worse!

1. Replace the Cartridge

  • Step 1: Remove the handle or knob of the mixer shower. This might involve unscrewing a retaining screw or using a specialized tool.
  • Step 2: Once exposed, carefully remove the cartridge. It might be held in place by screws or clips.
  • Step 3: Install the new cartridge, ensuring it’s the correct model for your mixer shower.
  • Step 4: Reattach the handle or knob and test for any drips.

2. Check and Replace Seals or O-rings

  • Step 1: Disassemble the mixer shower to access the seals or O-rings.
  • Step 2: Inspect them for wear, damage, or misalignment.
  • Step 3: Replace any compromised seals or O-rings with new ones, ensuring they fit snugly.
  • Step 4: Reassemble the mixer shower and check for leaks.

3. Adjust the Water Pressure

  • Step 1: Locate your home’s water pressure regulator, typically near the main water shutoff valve.
  • Step 2: Adjust the regulator to reduce the water pressure. This might require a wrench or other tool.
  • Step 3: Test the mixer shower to ensure the drip has been resolved.

4. Clean the Mixer Shower to Remove Limescale

  • Step 1: Disassemble the mixer shower to access parts affected by limescale.
  • Step 2: Soak the affected parts in a descaling solution or white vinegar for several hours.
  • Step 3: Use a brush or scrubbing tool to remove any stubborn limescale deposits.
  • Step 4: Reassemble the mixer shower and test for drips.

Related: Best Shower Cleaner

5. Ensure Proper Installation

  • Step 1: Review the manufacturer’s installation guide for your specific mixer shower model.
  • Step 2: Disassemble the mixer shower.
  • Step 3: Check for any misaligned components, gaps, or overtightened parts.
  • Step 4: Correct any installation errors, ensuring all components are snug but not overtightened.
  • Step 5: Reassemble and test for leaks.

6. Consult a Professional

If you’ve tried the above solutions and the problem persists, it might be time to call in a professional plumber.

They can provide a thorough inspection and address more complex issues that might be causing the drip.

Wrapping Up

A dripping mixer shower can be a hassle, but with the right knowledge and a bit of effort, it’s a problem that can be resolved.

Regular maintenance and inspection can also prevent such issues in the future.

If you’re unsure about any of the steps or if the problem persists, it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional plumber.

Remember, water damage can be costly, so it’s better to address the issue sooner rather than later.