Dripping Shower: How to Fix
LESLIE: Mandy in Alabama finds The Money Pit on WRJM and you’ve got a shower question. What’s going on?
MANDY: Yes, my husband and I remodeled a bathroom ourselves and we installed a new shower and fixtures and everything. And when you turn the bathtub portion on the shower part drips; even, you know, without turning it on for just the shower. If you get it beyond a certain pressure point – you know, like if you turn it on strong? –
MANDY: – it drips and it’s very annoying. When you’re trying to bathe your children you get a shower at the same time.
LESLIE: Sounds like a valve problem.
TOM: Yeah, it sounds like the diverter has gone bad on that shower. It’s basically a valve that controls the flow between the faucet and the shower head. And that valve is leaking on you and you need a new diverter.
MANDY: OK, because this is a brand new set. You know, we bought it ourselves and installed it (INAUDIBLE) …
TOM: Well then I would go out – I would go out and take it back to the store if it’s not working.
MANDY: The diverter?
TOM: It sounds to me like it’s not – the diverter’s not working properly. It definitely should not be allowing water to pass up to the shower head.
MANDY: OK. So take the diverter. And my husband wanted to ask – wanted me to ask another very quick plumbing question.
TOM: OK, sure.
MANDY: Our two year old, at some point, stuffed something down the toilet. (Tom and Leslie laugh) Same bathroom. And he – we’ve – you know, every time we use the bathroom in any capacity we have to plunge it. And it’s very slow to drain. And he was wanting to know does this sound like something that is like a do-it-yourself thing or should we try to get somebody professional in to – we’re probably going to have to take the completely off?
TOM: Well Mandy, you know, being a home improvement expert I feel your pain because one time I had a toilet back up in my house before – I think it was before my daughter’s christening. So the next morning before we go to church I go outside because I knew – because I am a home improvement expert – that the cause was the clogged waste pipe that was going out to the street. I had a big willow tree and I was absolutely convinced that that was the problem with the toilet. So I dug a big hole in the yard before church that morning and I found the pipe and I broke the pipe open and I snaked it one way and I snaked it the other way. And that didn’t do it. So finally, out of total frustration, with hours to go before the service and the big party when everybody’s coming over, I finally figured I had to access this thing from the toilet itself. So I pulled the toilet out and I snaked it down from the top. And guess what? I couldn’t find anything. But as I went to put the toilet back on I noticed something blue in the bottom of the toilet.
LESLIE: Oh, God. What was it?
TOM: It was a toy phone. (Mandy and Leslie laugh) It was a toy phone that my son had stuffed into the toilet.
TOM: And so, that’s how much I know. (Mandy and Tom laugh) If your question is is it …
MANDY: Well, he was going to just like take the toilet off and …
TOM: Yeah, take the toilet off …
MANDY: … and see, you know, at that point.
TOM: Turn the valve off. Take the toilet off. Turn it on its side. Carefully drain the water out and, you know, look from the bottom, look from the top. If it’s obstructed you’re going to find it.
LESLIE: Oh, gosh.
TOM: It’s not that hard to do. And then put a new wax – put a new wax seal on.
MANDY: That’s the whole reason we remodeled and we’ve got two bathrooms now. But we’re basically down to using just one when we have company. (Tom chuckles) It’s really embarrassing. (Leslie chuckles)
OK. Well, great. So check the diverter on the shower and then just look for objects, which we know are in there, (Leslie chuckles) and pull it.
TOM: That’s right. Because remember, there’s nothing supposed to be blue inside of a toilet, OK?
MANDY: (chuckling) OK. OK, thank you so much.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Alright, thanks very much. You’re welcome, Mandy. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.