Installing a new showerhead is an easy and inexpensive way to enhance the aesthetics of your bathroom. In addition to improving the quality of the shower experience, some fixtures — such as low-flow units — can save you money on energy and water bills. Read on to learn how to change a showerhead in just a few simple steps.
Many different types of units are available, including fixed, adjustable, handheld, dual, and rain. Fixed showerheads are the most common style. Depending on the existing plumbing setup, showerheads may be mounted on the wall or ceiling.
If your water is heavily chlorinated, consider adding a showerhead filter to guard your skin and hair from chemical exposure.
Before replacing a showerhead, make sure you have all the necessary tools and materials. These include instruments such as an adjustable wrench, slip-joint pliers, and a wire brush. You will also need a rag, Teflon tape (also known as plumber’s tape), and the showerhead replacement.
Turn off all the faucets before replacing the showerhead. (It is not necessary to turn off the water to the house.) Place an old towel or tarp in the bottom of the tub to prevent the porcelain or fiberglass surface from getting scratched. This also provides a clean and dry working space to prevent accidents.
You may want to consider applying an anti-corrosive solution to the rust-prone parts of the plumbing before installing the new showerhead.
Some showerheads are easier to remove than others and can be dismantled by just unscrewing the top. If it does not come off easily, place a rag over the shower arm and hold it in place with a pair of slip-joint pliers. Then use an adjustable wrench to turn the connecting nut on the showerhead counterclockwise.
Avoid yanking the fixture off abruptly, as you may damage the connecting pipes.
Once the fixture has been removed, use a wire brush to clear away leftover tape, rust, mineral deposits, or residue from the threads of the shower arm. If the new model requires it, wrap some Teflon tape clockwise around the threads. Use your fingers to smooth the tape to help it seal around the threads.
Screw the showerhead replacement onto the shower arm in a clockwise direction, and tighten until it is snug. Do not use a wrench unless the instructions explicitly state it. Then turn on the shower to check for leaks around the seal. If the fixture leaks, use pliers to tighten the nut a quarter turn while protecting the finish with a rag.
Some showerheads might need assembly or have additional parts or an extension arm. Be sure to read the instructions that come with the fixture for proper installation.
If the water flow or pressure seem low, remove the showerhead and inspect it closely for parts that seem out of place. For example, check that the thread tape was not displaced while you were installing the unit and ensure that the rubber seal is not damaged. Depending on the problem, you may need to tape or tighten the fixture again. Any leak after this process could indicate a damaged component.
Whether you are renovating an entire bathroom or simply need to update the shower, you may be able to install a showerhead without calling professionals. By following these simple steps, you should have the new unit installed and ready to use in no time.
Author bio: Excited to share her love of home design and décor with readers, Jaclyn Crawford started with ImproveNet in 2016. As a staff writer, she enjoys chronicling the latest trends and ways you can make your home the loveliest it can be. You may also find her in ImproveNet videos, sharing tips and trends for your home.