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Plumbing in the Home/Shower Faucet Dribbling Backwards


Water flows to base of faucet
Water flows to base of  

I am embarrassed because this questions seems so silly but I am having an issue with my shower faucet. It needed replaced and I was able to just unscrew the old from the wall and screw on this replacement. It went hassle free and seems to have screwed on no problem as there is no leakage occurring from where it connects to the wall pipe.

However, the faucet leaks slowly from where the water comes out and the problem I am having is that our water has a high mineral content. The faucet must ever so slightly tilt because the water will leak for awhile and then start to drip backwards to the base of the faucet. It tales a little bit of time for the mineral content to build up enough to develop that path but, once it does, it is just a consistent water path to the faucet base. If I clean the bottom of the faucet, it eliminates that mineral trail and the leak then stops flowing back to the base but it recurs very quickly. My first idea was to just hammer the faucet down to hopefully eliminate that slight tilt (so slight I can't even see it) but that didn't work. Do you have any tips or suggestions as to how I can remedy this?

Thanks in advance for any help! If you need any clarification, just let me know.

ANSWER: Dear Luke...  

What a mess....  I'm sorry you've got a difficult problem.

From the rust in the picture, I would guess that you have iron pipe as part of your water system.  The difficulty is with the pipe which the spout is attached to....

I'll attach an image showing how a spout is connected to a pipe which extends from the wall... if that pipe is elevated instead of level or pitched slightly down, then your spout would always want to leak backwards.....  This can be water that sits in the pipes for a while, like the pipe leading up to the showerhead and gradually trickling down to it's lowest point.

I'm afraid fixing the problem could be difficult and possibly a bit costly.  If it's annoying enough then I would suggest bringing in a professional.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks very much for the answer. Before I changed out that faucet, I never had the leaking backwards problem before with the previous faucet on there. Do you think I tilted the pipe when I took the old faucet off and put on the new? Is it work trying then to untilt the pipe by taking the faucet off and putting pressure on it to re-adjust? Just trying to explore all options before I have to resort to the plumber. Thanks again for your help!

Dear Luke,

If the pipe sticking out from the wall is iron or brass with a threaded fitting inside the wall, then you could try to remove it with a pipe wrench.  But, I must caution you that if the pipe was soft enough to become bent, then chances are good that it could very well break off and become more difficult to fix.  If it is simply a copper pipe which is soldered inside the wall, then it will be necessary to open the wall to fix the problem... it is very unlikely that you could bend it back without breaking something.

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Thomas Ambler


I am experienced at troubleshooting and solving all types of plumbing problems. Issues related to specific manufacturers fixtures and specifications though are beyond my field of expertise. I have dealt with problems in both rural and urban areas, and with water supply and drainage systems. Plumbing issues can be very obscure... such as odors, stains or occasional seepage. I have even had to chase rats from a customer's sewer line.


I have 25 years experience dealing with plumbing systems (which also includes hot water and steam heating systems). My main expertise is in diagnosing and solving problems. I have worked in construction and installation of new systems but do not regard myself as an expert in that area.

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I completed high school and one year of college. I served 4 years in the Marine Corps and have education in electronic and electrical troubleshooting and repair. I have attended classes on installing and repair of oil burners, and I have EPA universal certification for air conditioning and refrigeration. I am now enrolled as a full-time student at Everest college to re-train for a new career. Any donations of financial support would be greatly appreciated.

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All of Denny's Restaurants in NJ, Several Burger King stores, I have done work at two different homes for Bruce Springsteen. I have also worked for Jim Johnson (of J&J) and his family, Whitney Houston, Steve Forbes and many others.

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