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We recently moved from using a stationary shower head to a new version that has a wand. While I love the new one we have noticed that the wand shower head will release water at random times.

For example, in the middle of the night up to 15 hours after being used maybe 1-2 cups of water will drain from the shower head. It's not the most fun to hear when sleeping. It will also sometimes drain after a toilet flush.

Once the water is released it will not happen until after the shower is used again. I would expect the draining immediately after a shower but the odd hours/times are the frustrating part.

Additional details:

  • this is a standup shower
  • there is no lower tub faucet
  • The house is on city water
  • We never had this issue until we switched to the shower head with the wand.

enter image description here

Are there any steps that I can take to resolve this?

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  • Can you explain your setup a bit more? Do you still have a fixed shower head as well, how/why is the wand connected and what kind of valves do you have like is there a lower tub faucet and if there is a fixed shower head, do you have a valve to switch between the fixed and the wand. What position are the valves when this occurs? Are you on well or city water? If apartment, do you have your own water heater?
    – Jason
    May 18 '13 at 15:24
  • @Monso I added some more details and an image of the current fixture.
    – Taryn
    May 18 '13 at 15:30
  • Possible duplicate: Why does water surge out of the shower head after being turned off?
    – BMitch
    May 18 '13 at 15:36
  • @BMitch Doh, sorry I searched but obviously missed the it. The strange thing to me is that we never had the problem until we switched heads.
    – Taryn
    May 18 '13 at 15:36
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There are a few ways you can improve the situation but there isn't a true fix.

  1. Replace/fix your shower valve. The rises and drops in your water pressure due to flushing the toilet or night time (city water pressure rises due to low demand) is allowing minuscule amounts of pressure to seep past the valve, with large amounts of time in between this could be air.

  2. Redo all you connections with new Teflon tape, since this came about with the new faucet you may have a connection that is allowing air to seep in and either allowing the heavier water out or just assisting in the former scenario.

  3. Install a backflow prevention valve or check valve to prevent any backflow, it sounds odd since water to coming out but somewhere it's exchanging water with air and this can help prevent that.

  4. I can find the product name, if someone knows it please edit or comment, but there is something similar to a vacuum relief valve that you can get. This would be the most outwardly visible solution however it should fix it. The item looks like a vacuum relief valve but works a bit differently; it's a valve that is 3-way valve that has a pass through, your main water flow, and a vent. The vent is open when there isn't any pressure, or very low, to allow any small pressure build ups after the shower to simply vent and it would close with pressure so it wouldn't spray water during your shower. This should be installed at the highest point of the water, right before your faucet should be fine, and pointed up as it should only vent air. After you shut your shower off this would open and allow you to drain the line, just lower the head/wand; now if you have any water leak past the valve it would have to fill the line before over flowing, a ball valve one wouldn't even overflow. The item is either sprung or is a weak ball check valve.

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If I had to guess, it's draining some of the water that was still caught up in the shower head after you turned it off (and held there by atmospheric pressure). After enough of the remaining water has evaporated/etc to break the seal, the rest of the water comes out. We have a similar problem with our shower head (a flat "rain" shower head on an articulated arm). In our case the problem is depends on the position of the head and arm...oddly enough it happens when the head is not horizontal. All the other details are the same as yours (it never happened with the old head, no lower faucet, etc).

In our case it's not draining 1-2 cups since it sure sounds like it at 3AM in the morning and scared my wife on many occasions :-). You could verify the amount of drainage by putting a pan or something in the shower...if yours is indeed draining 1-2 cups it may not be the same issue unless it's somehow siphoning water out of the hose.

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Just loosen the head and shake the hose after a shower. You will sleep fine. If you want a fix that will last, change the massage settings to one with bigger holes in it so it will drain. It is like a straw -- if you hold the top it will hold the water, but when you remove your finger the water drains.

Another tip is to install a valve to release it after each use. It's fairly easy to install.

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  • Yeah, just take the head off the hook and let it hang while you're drying off. When you're dry, the hose will be drained & you can hang it up with the assurance that you won't get any dripping in the middle of the night.
    – FreeMan
    Sep 16 '20 at 16:27
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We have this problem too and it is a natural phenomenon that affects some makes of shower more than others. In our experience Aqualisa showers are particularly prone to it. When we have finished using the shower, we turn off the water at the thermostat. The water stops flowing but the showerhead does not drain completely is still half full of water.

This is due to natural physics, a combination of the angle of the shower head, the surface tension of water and the very small holes in the showerhead. This won't happen if the shower head is one of those large metal ones with large hole usually mounted horizontally.

And it can be lessened, when using an adjustable showerhead, by tilting it up or down after use but even then over time (and the effects of gravity or air pressure changes) the shower head may suddenly drain out but will sometimes retain water until its next use.

This may cause the following problems:

  1. If the shower is ensuite and decides to drain out in the middle of the night the droplets falling on the plastic floor of the shower cubicle make a lot of noise.
  2. As the shower head is half full of water it prone to develop mould in the holes and calcite collects more easily making it necessary to regularly clean the shower head.

This does not occur with shower units that are fitted with a spring activated drain valve in the shower head hose / pipe. When the water pressure is removed the spring opens and all the water in the showerhead and hose / pipe drains into the shower.

Some manufacturer's have this facility built in, others (including Aqualisa) have never considered it to be their problem. You pays your money and takes your choice! It is certainly on my list of ‘Annoying things about showers that need to be fixed. Strangely, most shower units in Cruise Line cabins have this facility fitted.

Best regards, Roger

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  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer; keep 'em coming. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know the details of contributing here. Sep 16 '20 at 17:06

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