How-To Replace a Shower Head

Aside from having clean water to drink, cook and clean with, there might not be a single piece of plumbing equipment you covet on more than your shower head.  You rely on this component to wake you up in the morning, to get clean after a hard workout or to fill you tub before you settle in for a glass of wine and a long hot bath.  Over time, your shower head takes a beating. 

Even if you make it a point to soak it in vinegar and keep it clean every so often, there’s going to come a day when you have to replace it.  While a professional plumber can certainly do the job, replacing your shower head is something you can tackle yourself if you know what you’re doing.  If you read on, we explain the process for you.

Get Everything Together

Before you jump in head-first, you’ll want to make sure you have everything you need in one place close by. You’ll want to have a tarp, Teflon tape, your new shower head, a couple of towels, an adjustable wrench and a pair of locking pliers by your side. 

Make Sure Your Shower Is Turned Off

Even though it sounds silly, the first thing you need to do is make sure your shower is turned off.  Take the time to ensure all the knobs are turned fully to their off position.  If you want to make sure you won’t get sprayed, you may want to turn off your water entirely. 

Get Your Towels and Tarp in Place

Before you start to disassemble your shower head, make sure you have your drain and shower floor covered with towels or tarps.  The last thing you want to have happen is for an important piece to come loose and disappear down the drain.

Take Off the Shower Head

To start, wrap the shower head arm in a towel.  Warp a separate towel around the shower head itself and secure it with an adjustable wrench.  Now you can begin to unscrew the shower head in a counterclockwise fashion.  Do this gently as you don’t want to risk breaking anything. 

Once you have the old shower head completely removed, take a couple of minutes to thoroughly clean everything with a rag and old tooth brush.  Over time grime will have built up and you’ll want your new fixture to be as clean as possible be you install it.

Wrap the Arm in Teflon Tape

Before you screw on the new shower head, wrap the arm in two or three wraps of Teflon tape.  You’ll want to press the tape firmly into the grooves so that you create a water-tight seal.  Be sure to wrap the tape in a clockwise manner so that it won’t come loose when you put the new head on. 

Screw on the New Shower Head

Once you’ve placed the new shower head onto the taped arm, wrap both in a towel and slowly begin to turn the head clockwise.  After you’ve twisted it as much as you can by hand, use your adjustable wrench to tighten it that last little bit.  Again, you want to proceed carefully here as you don’t want to break anything.

The Final Test

Now that you’ve got your new shower head secured and installed, it’s time to make sure it works.  If you’ve turned off your water completely, turn it back on and turn your shower knobs so they are in the on position.  If you’ve done your job right, water should flow and you deserve a nice hot shower to celebrate your hard work and knowhow.

Looking after your plumbing is just one of many tasks involved of taking care of your home and ensuring your family lives in comfort the whole year long.  While replacing a simple shower head probably won’t be the biggest headache you have to deal with, knowing how to do it yourself will save you money and you’ll reap the satisfaction of completing yet another home project yourself.  Should you have any questions along the way, just remember a call to your local Einstein Pros Professional is your best bet. 

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