I have a standard tub faucet and shower head in my main bathroom. Whenever I use the shower, something inside the wall starts to leak a little. (I don't have an access panel, so I can't see very well what's happening in the wall. Instead, there's an electrical outlet that I pop out and peer into the wall with a flashlight.) At first, I thought that the tub/shower diverter valve was leaking, but it could be a drip from higher up the shower supply pipe. I did a little "debugging" and found that:
- When I just use the tub faucet, there's no leak. Only when I use the shower.
- I then tried removing the shower head completely and diverting water to the shower. No leak.
I have one of those (admittedly cheap) shower heads that feeds water through a flexible hose and out of a handheld shower head that has a few jet patterns. There's an "adapter" piece that attaches to the pipe from the wall, and the hose attaches to the adapter. I also tried reattaching the adapter to the wall shower pipe (without the hose), and did not observe a leak. Only when I reattach the hose with the handheld shower head does the leak occur.
One thing I noticed while testing all this is that a lot of water comes out of the tub faucet and shower pipe. When the water flow is unhindered by the handheld shower head (i.e. when it's just the bare pipe), the volume of water seems quite high. With the handheld shower head attached, the water flow is drastically reduced.
As a layperson with no water plumbing knowledge, it seems like what's going on is that the water volume to the shower is too much and the shower head is restricting the flow so much that the back pressure is forcing water out of some loose fitting joint in the shower supply pipe in the wall.
So, now, finally, my questions:
- Is this an accurate assessment?
- What is (are) the problem(s) here and how would you recommend I fix this?
- Is it possible that my cheap shower head is partly to blame? Perhaps if I got a higher quality handheld shower head with a hose, then it would stop leaking? (I want to keep this style of shower head, but willing to get a better quality one if it will help.)
- Would it suffice to (somehow) reduce the water volume to the shower?
- Or should I also try to determine and "fix" whatever is failing to handle the back pressure caused by my shower head? (I would ideally like to avoid this because I don't want to cut open holes in my wall.)
Thanks in advance.