If your shower is dripping from the shower spout, this is a quick, easy and inexpensive way to fix it yourself.
The cause of this problem is that the shower on/off valve is worn and the internal seal has deteriorated.
To repair this properly you will eventually need to replace the valve or both if you have 2, but for now you can perform this very easy inexpensive repair that will last, and prolong the life of the valves until you are ready to replace them, and the result is an improvement that will enable you to conserve water while you shower.
What you need is a large pair of pliers or a small pipe wrench, some adhesive tape, and you will have to purchase a “volume control” or on/ off valve, the one I bought recently cost $1.99, and you will need Teflon tape. This is a good time to upgrade your shower head if desired, and it might need to be replaced anyway. I recommend that you go to a hardware store that offers good customer service because they will know exactly what you need and where to find it, and it is likely that they will be able answer any questions you have.
Before you go to the store remove the shower head by unscrewing it from the pipe extending from the wall.
Wrap the area where you will apply your pliers or wrench to prevent scratching the finish. There are two types of mounting hardware used for shower heads. 1) The pipe is threaded. 2) The pipe has a ball shaped end, which is less common. Because of this, to loosen the head you will turn the mounting nut either clockwise or counterclockwise.
Once you have removed the head you will see which type of mount you have. If the wall pipe is threaded you are good to go, but if it is a ball end you will need to remove the wall pipe by applying the pliers directly to the pipe and turning counterclockwise. It will unscrew from its connector inside the wall. Take this pipe with you to the store to compare length and angles of the replacement pipe. This replacement pipe is inexpensive, and you might consider getting a gooseneck type that will raise the height of the shower head if desired. You will also need to replace the shower head with one that will work with threaded pipe. Shower heads cost $10.00 or more.
It is always a good idea to take the old parts with you to the store to ensure that you get the proper replacement parts.
If you replace your shower head, some new shower heads have a built in flow restrictor that is easily removed. I recommend removing it because you will be able to control the flow with the new valve you install. Ask someone at the hardware store how to remove this piece, and if you will need a washer or seal due to removal of the restrictor.
Now that you have the parts required, prior to installation you need to apply the Teflon tape to the external threads. Apply the tape starting at the end of the pipe; wrap it tightly clockwise overlapping once so you effectively have two layers of tape. Apply the adhesive tape to areas where the pliers will be used. In the following steps be careful not to over-tighten, and also be sure that it is significantly more than hand tight.
Install the wall pipe first. Know that once the pipe is hand tight you will need to turn it approximately 1 half turn more for it to be tight enough, so if it appears that once tightened it will not be at the proper angle, you will need to remove it and thread it back in starting with the pipe at a different angle than the first attempt until it hand tightens within 1 half turn of the desired angle, then tighten it with the pliers.
Install the on/off control to the wall pipe, and then mount the shower head to the new valve. Trim excess Teflon tape with a knife.
When you use the shower you can use the valve to control pressure and off/on to conserve water while showering without changing the temperature. When you finish showering, turn off the new valve to prevent dripping while the shower is not in use. On a separate note, in many industrial and commercial water softening treatment, businesses utilize this system in order to save time and money in the long run.