Water Won’t Come Out of Shower Head: Quick Fixes

You don’t hear the alarm go off on this day, so you sleep in. You rush around a few moments later, grabbing the towel and wrapping it around quickly straight to the bathroom. You turn on the shower, but the water won’t come out of the showerhead!

If water doesn’t come out of a shower head, it could be due to valves being turned off, low water pressure, leakages, a clog in the pipes or showerhead, or the wrong showerhead. Fix it by cleaning the showerhead and supply lines, installing a water softener, a new showerhead, or a new shower diverter.

Nothing is complex about fixing a showerhead that doesn’t release water as long as you identify the cause of the issue. In most cases, a DIY project over a few hours will restore the working of your showerhead.

Shower Head

Causes of water not coming out of the showerhead

These are the possible causes why your shower head won’t dispense water:

Causes Fixes 
Valves turned off
Low water pressure
Water leakage
Wrong shower head
Clean the showerhead
Clean the supply pipes
Install a water softener
Replace showerheads
Replace the shower diverter

1. Valves turned off

Before jumping to conclusions and calling your plumber, check that all the valves are turned on and working.

Someone or something could have knocked off the valve, unknowingly shutting it off. So, first, check to see if the valve that directs water to the bathroom is on. The valve is often in the basement or the room next to your bathroom.

If that valve is still on, check the main water valve, where water from the facilities joins your home, there is a valve that directs all the water to your plumbing system.

If this valve is turned off, water won’t be in your entire plumbing system. Turn it on, and check whether the water is back on your system.

2. Low water pressure

Your shower water requires high pressure to be pumped up the shower pipes so you can adjust your preferred pressure levels using the knob. If your water has low pressure, it’s hard to flow upwards through the shower pipes.

Track the flow of your water. The best way to do it is to start from the main water valve, the first tap from the main water line. Check the flow; does the water have enough pressure?

Move along with the entire plumbing system, checking water pressure levels on all your taps.

If the water on the taps has enough pressure, but the shower won’t dispense water, chances are your shower head is old and worn out, or the shower water diverter valve could be faulty.

Start by fixing the showerhead if you have lived in the house and have never replaced it. That should sort out any showerhead problems responsible for dispensing the lack of water.

Among the causes of low water pressure are weather changes.

3. Clogging

Mineral deposits affix to the surface of your plumbing system, blocking the free flow of water to your showerhead. The gradual affixing causes a thick layer to form, affecting your water’s pressure and entirely blocking it.

This problem is common in areas with hard water. Those of us that rely on well water face this issue. Magnesium and calcium minerals are the main culprits that cause buildup around your pipes, blocking the showerhead.

Also, human activities such as grease and hair could clog the system. Copper pipes can rust and also turn the water green.

Check the openings on your showerheads and ensure the holes are free from build-up before you can diagnose the problem further.

Unfortunately, the buildup from these minerals can also form at the bottom of the water heater tank that serves your bathroom. This means your shower won’t release any water as it’s blocked.

4. Water leakages

Water leakage is also a common reason water won’t come out of the showerhead. The leaks could be in the tanks or along the water supply lines.

Your water heater tank could have a leakage, meaning that the water flow is altered. This could affect your shower’s proper functioning. You may not get the right number of showers in a water heater.

In addition, the pipes that drain water to the tank can leak, preventing water from getting into the tank. As a result of this, no water will be dispensed through the showerhead and taps.

The first sign of water leaking is the growth of mold and other water-dependent plants.

A leaking supply line is that it starts as a harmless drop and gradually becomes a full-blown leak altering the free flow of water to the showerhead.

5. Wrong shower head

Once you have replaced the showerhead with a new one, you must get all the settings right. Otherwise, you will have a new shower head in place, but on turning it on, no water comes out.

Take time to go through the manual and get all the settings right. You could enquire from the vendors on how to go about the fixing. If all your efforts fail, get the help of a plumber.

Fix water not coming out of the showerhead

Here is what to do if there is no water coming from your shower:

1. Clean the showerhead

Upon discovering that the showerhead is all blocked, get a polythene bag, pour a glass of vinegar into it, and tie it around the showerhead. Ensure the showerhead is fully immersed in the solution.

If you want the showerhead to come off sparkling, add a few tablespoons of baking soda to the vinegar and stir for the best results. Let the solution sit for a few hours or a night before you can untie it.

Rinse the showerhead clean. The openings should have been cleared, and the showerhead should be fully functional.

Flush water for a few minutes to remove any remnants of the solution.

2. Clean the supply pipes

Say you have identified that the cause of water not coming out as the buildup in your plumbing system. In that case, you must plan and have the entire system unclogged.

The exercise is involving but will serve you a lot better regarding increased flow on your entire system.

Have enough water set aside for your household during the cleaning exercise. 

Turn off the main water valve at the entry point, flush any water resting on the pipes, then pour the vinegar and baking soda solution into your pipes.

Allow the solution to sit on the pipes for at least 24 hours so that all the buildup on the pipes can come off.

After that, turn on all the taps to free the system from the vinegar solution. Finally, turn on the main water line valve to allow the water to flow and rinse the system.

Flush for a few minutes until you are satisfied all the vinegar has been eliminated.

3. Install a water softener

With a softener in place, you are guaranteed that water flowing to the showerhead is soft, so there are minimal chances of a buildup on the showerhead or along the supply pipes.

A water softener is a long-term solution that ensures you never run out of water from sediment buildups.

4. Replace old showerheads

A showerhead is a fixture like any other, and after serving you for years on end, it will fail. So, plan to acquire a new one this time.

And, ensure when fixing it, you get the right settings or allow a plumber to handle the replacement.

5. Replace the shower diverter

After identifying that the diverter is the problem, fix it. However, you need to be sure it’s the problem. 

First, check whether the washers are properly aligned. Being the system that directs the water to the showerhead, a faulty diverter valve automatically translates to water not coming out of the showerhead.

If you aren’t sure how to do it, get a professional plumber to do it for you.


If your water won’t come out of the showerhead, check your plumbing system. First, check to see if the valves have been turned off. And if they are on, continue with further analysis starting with the status of your showerhead.

If you can’t diagnose the problem, engage a professional plumber to assist you. Fixing most of these issues by a plumber doesn’t cost much.

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