Aqualisa Shower Leaking? Here’s Why
While showers are wonderful when they work, they’re… less so when they start to fail. Water damage is a serious issue, and a leaking shower is one surefire way to get it. So if you have an Aqualisa shower that’s leaking, you’re likely panicking. Luckily, DreamyHome has done this a few too many times, so we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to see what the most common causes of a leaking shower are.
The most likely source of an Aqualisa shower leaking is a damaged O-ring or a faulty cartridge. Other potential causes include bad caulking, a warped shower sweep, and a plugged drain.
There’s a lot to break down there, but luckily it’s all pretty straightforward. Let’s get right into it, yeah?
Why Is My Aqualisa Shower Leaking?
This is one of those things that’s a lot easier to pinpoint when I can see the issue, but we’ll get there – don’t worry.
If your shower is leaking from the showerhead, the three most likely causes are a bad O-ring, worn-out Teflon tape, or a faulty cartridge. If it’s leaking along the wall or floor, the causes are more likely to be bad caulking, a dead shower sweep, or a plugged drain. Let’s break those down bit by bit until we find the issue.
These are seemingly omnipresent in just about every piece of plumbing and a surprising number of electronics and machinery. O-rings, as the name implies, are small rings (shaped like an O) that go into gaskets and valves. They form an airtight seal, preventing liquid or air from going where it shouldn’t.
Unfortunately, like all things in life, O-rings have a set time on this planet. Once their lifespan has run its course, they’ll need to be replaced.
To replace one, begin by turning off the water at your home’s main valve and draining any excess water from the showerhead. Next, simply pop off the old ring and firmly (but gently) get the new one into place.
This is one of those things that we forget exists until it goes out. A shower cartridge (not so aptly named) is a valve. It’s the fitting that controls the water coming through your showerhead and prevents pooling in the shower tray. It also controls water temperature – so if you’ve had weird, sudden changes in water temp or flow, this is likely why.
To replace the shower cartridge, do the following:
- Turn off the water supply.
- Remove and disassemble your showerhead. You may need an Allen wrench to do this, if not, you’ll need a screwdriver.
- Remove the cartridge – it’ll be easy to spot.
- After doing this, you’ll see your O-rings. This is the same process with a single extra step as replacing the rings.
- Replace and install the cartridge.
- Put everything back as it was, turn the water back on, and test! Easy as that.
This solution is so frustratingly simple, that when I found it as the source of my leak, I was furious. Hours went into troubleshooting what I thought was a much bigger problem when I come to find out the cause was some tape.
For the uninformed, PTFE (Teflon plumber’s tape) is used to seal threaded connections. One of the most common places to find it is in the threading between your showerhead and the point it screws into place. When installing a new showerhead, one should liberally wrap PTFE around the threading to provide grip and a seal. When you unscrew the head, it needs to be replaced – it’s already done its job.
If you forgot to replace the tape when removing the showerhead, or just haven’t done it in a while, this is your best bet. Simply remove the showerhead and liberally wrap PTFE around the threading (at least 10 times). Then reattach and test the showerhead.
Assuming the leak is coming from the wall side or the bottom of your shower, these are the other most likely solutions. We covered the same thing in a previous article, so this will be short. Check out our guide to leaking shower screens if you haven’t for more details.
Now, what are the possible culprits?
- Bad caulking
- Faulty shower sweep/seal
- Clogged drain
- Failing tracks
You’ll want to inspect each bit for damage. The caulking will be separating and discoloured if it’s the issue. It may also have cracked if the wrong type was used (latex is not great with moisture). If it’s the shower sweep or seal, you’ll see that it’s separated from the door and likely cracked or warped.
Should the tracks be the issue, they’ll be clearly separated from where they should be and there will likely be bad caulking around it, as well. Finally, a clogged drain is a super easy fix and thing to spot – just look for water that won’t drain. If it’s dirty, that’s an extra good sign that you need to clean out your drain with some boiled water, and maybe a bit of vinegar and baking soda for good measure.
If your Aqualisa shower is leaking, there are a handful of potential causes that won’t need a plumber to fix. Begin by inspecting your caulking, tracks, drain, and shower sweep/seal. These are the easiest to spot damage on and will save you time if the leak is along the wall or base of the shower. Should the leak be coming from the showerhead, however, things get slightly more complicated.
You’ll need to shut off water at the main and disassemble your showerhead. Begin by inspecting the cartridge (it’ll have obvious damage if it’s bad), and the O-rings for failure. As these are both generally cheap parts, it’s often best to replace both when taking the showerhead apart. With that done, you can reinstall the showerhead with new Teflon tape and test out your like-new shower. Now get relaxing and take a nice, hot shower for me – you’ve earned it.