I have a shower with a long vertical pipe leading from the faucets to the gooseneck (suspended from the ceiling), then over to a rainfall showerhead. There’s a constant dripping from the head, even after cleaning the nozzles and soaking in vinegar. I think I’ve figured out that it’s because there’s basically a column of water left in the vertical pipe and it slowly seeps over the gooseneck to the head because there’s no way for it to empty. What’s the trick here?
If it's constantly dripping, then my guess is that you have a bad cartridge or washer in the shower valve. A gooseneck would possible drip for a few minutes after turning off the water but then it would stop unless there was a supply of new water. Cartridges and bad washers are fairly easy to replace for a DIYer. There are many posts on this site about how to do it.
It looks like the community agrees that you have leaky shower valve. Which one (Hot or Cold) is unknown.
Repairing the valves would be the proper way. How ever that could turn into doubting task since not all valves are not build the same, and can take long time to do, needing special tools.
Another quick fix would be to install a shower head shut off valve. There are few options on the market.
You would unscrew the shower head, instal the valve and screw the shower head back on (no more dripping).
Since the rainfall shower head is about 84 inches of the floor reaching the valve might be challenge for some.
Big rain heads can drip for hours after the water is shut off.
It's possible you have a leaky valve, and if it keeps dripping after about 8 hours, say first thing in the morning, it is probably a leaky valve. In that case get model-specific advice on repairing it.
But if it drips for 2, 3, even 5 hours and then stops ... it's probably "normal" and it's hard to rectify.
A large head can contain a lot of water after the supply has been shut off. Combined with a long arm and the in-wall plumbing, you could get as much as a liter stored up and waiting to drip out. For a bit of fun math, if there are 50 droplets in a mL, and they drop once per second, it will take 5.5 hours for a liter to drip out.
Things you can try:
- If you have a tub spout, after you turn off the water open the diverter valve half way and all the water will drain out the spout.
- If you have a hand shower, let it drop to the floor, open the diverter valve half way, and all the water will drain out of it.
- Well, not all the water. Because of the shape of the rain head, quite a lot will stay in there after the spout or hand shower is already sucking air.
- If the rain head tilts on the end of the arm you can tilt it so all the water goes to one side, then shake it a little. This will accelerate the dripping but will likely damage the arm pretty soon.
- You could install a small diverter valve just above the shower head at the end of the arm, but with nothing attached to it. After the shower, open it half way and it will admit air into the shower head to accelerate the dripping. The problem with this is 1) it's too high, and 2) it's ugly.
- You're probably arriving here with me already but: There really isn't much you can do about this. Put a little towel on the floor so it makes less noise.
- ... Or maybe that will make more noise ...