Why Does My Showerhead Drip Randomly? (Explained!)

A leaking showerhead can be extremely frustrating. If the noise from the constant drip, drip, drip doesn’t drive you crazy, the thought of all the water that goes to waste in the process will.

Just one dripping showerhead can waste as much as five thousand litters every year, which may be bad for the planet and your utility bill. The showerhead drip could also cause dry rot, mold and structural problems, which can be expensive to repair in the long run.

Therefore, if your showerhead drips water randomly, it is normal to get curious about what causes the random drips. This article tries to look into the cause of constant showerhead drip and how to solve this frustrating problem.

If your showerhead randomly drips water, it could result from a problem with the inner seals or gaskets. The showerhead inner seals or gasket may have become corroded due to the hard water mineral build-up. Another possible cause of the water drip is that the gasket is worn down and needs a replacement.  

shower head drip randomly

Why is my shower head leaking? 

A showerhead can leak water when the water is on or off, and both leaks are extremely annoying. When the water is leaking from behind the showerhead while it is running, it reduces the amount of available water and wastes the rest.

The water leaks from the showerhead when the shower is off is more frustrating than when the water is on because the extra distance the waterfalls create a loud “drip”, “drip”, “drip” sound that can often be heard far from the bathroom.

Moreover, if your water has minerals like iron, the leak may stain the shower pan and drains.

Water Sprays From Behind the Showerhead

When the water is leaking from behind the showerhead, it could result from blockage from mineral deposits.

It could also be the case that the connector between the shower arm and the showerhead is loose because the rubber washer inside the connector is worn down.

The problem could also be a combination of these conditions. Fix the problem by cleaning and tightening the showerhead. To clean the mineral deposits, you can soak the showerhead overnight in a bowl of white vinegar.

Dripping When the Shower Is Off

When water leaks from a showerhead after the water is off could be as a result of a faulty valve. This could be an easy fix depending on the type of shower valve you have.

All shower faucets generally have rubber washers or gaskets to stop water flow, and this rubber tends to wear out after several months or years of constant use. To fix this issue, you need to disassemble the valve and replace the worn-out washers or gaskets to stop the dripping.

Older Faucets Can Be Problematic

The mineral deposit can affect the effectiveness of a shower valve, and if the valve isn’t serviced or replaced, mineral deposits can bind the valve and make it impossible to extract using pliers. In this case, you may have to remove and replace the entire valve by cutting into the wall.

Since cutting the wall is difficult, you can use a valve puller to pull out the stuck valve.

What causes the showerhead to drip?

There are many potential causes of a leaky showerhead. Most times, a dipping showerhead is a product of worn or damaged inner seals.

The seal (rubber washer or O-rings) between the showerhead and shower hose prevents the water from leaking. But when the seal is damaged or worn out, water starts to leak out. The drip could also be a result of a damaged or worn-down O-ring or washer in the shower’s valve.

In addition, due to constant usage, the showerhead may have a build-up of dirt, grime and limescale, which can cause a leak and affect the flow of water. This means that the showerhead needs a proper clean.  

Is it normal for the showerhead to drip?

No, it’s not. It is not normal to see a properly fitted and functional showerhead leaking or dripping. A drip from the showerhead is a product of many factors, including:

  • Bad shower cartridge
  • Old or broken showerhead
  • Threadless or unsealed showerhead
  • Hard water mineral deposit build-up in the showerhead
  • Wore out seats and springs behind the shower handle
  • Corroded or brittle shower washers, O’rings or Gaskets

What does it mean when your showerhead drips?

When the showerhead drips water, it means it is bad and needs a new replacement. However, some bath fixtures have a diverter that takes water to the showerhead or the faucet.

However, the diverter can get gummed up with soap scum or hard water deposits, and these particles obstruct water flow. When this happens, the water stays in the pipe and leaks even if the showerhead is off.

The showerhead could also leak if the jet holes on the showerhead are too small to let the water out easily or if the air is allowed in. In this case, positioning the showerhead high wouldn’t stop the dripping because the warmer air in the showerhead warms the head, and that results in an expanded air in the head, which forces the water to drip out.

Why does the rain shower head drips after shut off?

Water leaks are pretty common with rubber-tipped rain showerheads. The surface tension of the water helps the rain showerhead hold a small amount of residual water, and when the showerhead is shut off, the residual water cools down.

But when the showerhead is switched on, the hot water warms the system and cause the residual water to expand, which causes a few dips. You can try tipping/tilting the head to drain some of the held water after the water is turned off to release the residual water.

Another possible reason for showerhead drip after shut off is mineral build-up in the showerhead. Calcium, lime, magnesium, and any mineral component could clog the waters holes of the shower faucet and cause it to hold water instead of draining completely. Hence the leak after the water is turned off.


In summary, the two basic reasons for a randomly dripping showerhead includes worn-out gaskets or inner seals, or a corroded part. In addition, the seat inside the valve may wear out with time causing intermittent leaks.

The easiest and the most assuring way to know the cause of the leak is to open the showerhead apart. If you are an enthusiastic handyman or you have some experience with plumbing, this is a great opportunity to put your skills to the test. However, if you’re not a handyman and lack plumbing experience, you should consult the services of a trained professional.