How to replace a shower door drip rail

Written by cody sorensen
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How to replace a shower door drip rail
Replace the drip rail to keep water where it belongs. (Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images)

The three ways that a shower drip rail attaches to a shower door are by screws, with adhesive tape or with adhesive sealant. Each of these fasteners makes it possible for the drip rail to be replaced. If you have a drip rail that's broken or no longer keeps water from going under the door, replace it. Failure to replace the drip rail usually results in water damage to the flooring around the shower. Mold and mildew growth are common when this occurs.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Scrub pad
  • Waterproof sealant
  • Caulking gun
  • Putty knife

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  1. 1

    Open the shower door. Undo any screws that hold the drip rail to the door, using a Phillips screwdriver. Once the screws come out, grab the drip rail with a pair of pliers at each end and pull it off. Some drip rails will pull straight away from the door, while others need to be pushed down to come off. If the rail won't come off, or it doesn't have screws, go to Step 2.

  2. 2

    Grip the side of the drip rail with a pair of pliers and, with your left hand bracing the door, pull the drip rail off with the pliers. This only works if the drip rail was installed on the door with adhesive-backed tape. Once the drip rail peels off, scrub off any adhesive residue with rubbing alcohol and a scrub pad. If the drip rail wouldn't pull off, go to Step 3.

  3. 3

    Place the bottom of your shoe on top of the drip rail at one of its ends. Hold the edge of the door with your hands. Push down on the rail until the adhesive sealant holding it to the bottom of the door gives way and the rail pulls away from the door. Clean the sealant residue off the door with rubbing alcohol and a scrub pad.

  4. 4

    Wipe the door clean with paper towels.

  5. 5

    Install the new shower door drip rail according to its design. If it's a screw-on drip rail, slip it onto the bottom edge of the door with the drip edge facing in toward the shower. Install the screws with a screwdriver. If it's the kind that goes on with adhesive tape, remove the paper from the tape and stick it in place. If it's the kind that goes on the bottom edge of the door, squirt sealant inside the channel that the door sits in, using a caulking gun, and then slip the drip rail onto the bottom of the door. Place some low-adhesive tape on the rail and the door glass to hold it in place until it dries. It should be dry in two hours.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a stiff-bladed putty knife to help remove adhesive- or sealant-attached drip rails.

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